Yellow cedar trees are dying at an alarming rate throughout Alaska and British Columbia. One might ask what’s the big deal or who cares? Well yellow cedar trees affect 60 to 70 percent of the entire tree population throughout 600,000 acres. Alaska and British Columbia are rich when it comes to hardwood resources and many of their timber is used commercially to build homes and boats. If the whole yellow cedar population died off then we humans would lose copious amounts of valuable resources and thousands of animal and insect species would lose their habitat and homes. The reason that yellow cedar trees are dying isn’t because of some new invasive insect species like many of you may think; it’s actually from something that most people probably would just overlook.
The article from Science Daily talks about how the yellow cedar trees are dying at an alarming rate due to root freezing during the late winter and early spring months. These months can reach record low temperatures and often don’t even have snow on the ground. Freezing temperatures with no snow is the key here as the yellow cedar tree roots are more susceptible to the freezing cold temperatures without a soft layer of snow on top to insulate them. Yellow cedar roots don’t grow deep into the soil but remain rather close to the surface, which is why this problem occurs. The lives of these trees depends on the future climatic and snow pattern changes of the Alaskan and British Columbian environments.
Clearly, the yellow cedar tree population of Alaska and British Columbia is declining at an alarming rate. Now that scientists have figured out the reason that so many trees are dying they can start working on new ways to save the population. The yellow cedar trees are an important part of the ecosystem as well as an important resource used by humans. Scientists are now faced with a struggle because the trees are slow growing, so planting new trees won’t have much of an effect on the current population. Now all we can do is hope that someone will figure out a way to save this very important part of our ecosystem.
Posted by Nicco Ciccolini (1)