USDA to Conduct Small Urban Forestry Study on Peirce Island Red Pines

April 5, 2021

USDA Forest Service Plant Pathologist Cameron McIntire has arranged with Portsmouth Department of Public Works Parks & Greenery Division and Foreman Arborist Charles Baxter to conduct a small study on the urban forest stand of red pines on Peirce Island.

Some of the pines are in decline and Mr. Mcintire plans to collect one or two increment cores from each of the dead and dying pines to study any natural defenses the trees have mounted through production of resin ducts. By taking core samples, the USDA can observe how these resin ducts have grown throughout a tree’s lifespan.

The core information will be compared with the trees’ planting and management history, with particular interest in recent years. Mr. Mcintire will also take basic measurements (diameter, height, etc.). The sampling will occur during off-peak hours during the week of April 5, weather permitting.

The DPW Parks & Greenery Division is responsible for the City’s acres of green space, including an urban forest of some 10,000 trees. The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Portsmouth as a Tree City USA for over twenty years and has awarded Portsmouth its Tree Growth Award for the past two years. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. Portsmouth achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least two dollars per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.