Monday, June 16, 2008

Aliens suck nutrition from tree roots

Either we are being invaded by a species of hungry aliens who love sap more than human blood, or the arborists at Wesleyan are trying some sort of experiment with the great old trees on campus.

Several trees on campus have had strange plastic cylinders pounded into their roots. These cylinders seemed to be designed to monitor flow of moisture, or inversely to be injecting some sort of material, into the roots. Anyone have any idea?

Which leads me to the tribe of black squirrels that gambol around campus. It's the only family of black squirrels I've ever seen in New England. Is it me, or is it suspicious that this gaggle of squirrels lives suspiciously, directly across from the science tower, where experiments are conducted every day.

UPDATE: Dave Hall, who is in charge of grounds at Wesleyan told me that the affected trees are elms which are being inoculated against Dutch Elm disease. It's a three day inoculation (the "hypodermics" will be removed today), and it's been successful for the last several years in warding off the disease that has been fatal to most elms in New England.

No word on the black squirrels.

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