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Environmental Help Needed

Can any one help with possibilities of where to send soil samples and tree samples for testing?

There are thousands of trees and plants dieing where we live and no one will take any of us concerned seriously.
No tree should go from fully green, to as brittle as a tree normally dead for two years, in only 1 and 1/2 to 2 months.

Drought my *ss. Our soil is still wet and trees have defense mechanisms against drought.

All the normal avenues of help have been exhausted; forest service, nature conservancy, usda, etc. Even a local biologist and botanist has hit dead ends and getting anything tested.

One of the largest trees, that I know of in our area,  has now shown signs of decline and if it follows the pattern of the rest will be brittle as twigs in a few months.

Any advice is appreciated.
deleted deleted 26-30 2 Responses Jun 3, 2012

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Have you noticed any new bird or insect species in your neighbourhood? Any new wind farms or plants (factories). A recent change to the municipal water system? Any hospitals receiving a larger number of patients with GI issues?<br />
Many cemetaries have arborists on staff maybe on of them might be willing to give his/her opinion.<br />
Ask your local Home Depot (or some such) if they have contact with an arborist.<br />
Cut a branch from one of the dead trees and check it for evidence of bugs that might bore to the heartwood. Whether you can see bugs or not put the branch, a handful of wilting leaves and some dry leaves in a clear bin to carry around with you. It will make for good samples, and maybe whatever is getting into the tree will make its way out of the branch and into the bin.<br />
I agree with SciGuy, if all else fails write to all the media, find online newspapers and start a blog. Band with your neighbours and (all of you) write, write, write, write to all and any politicians.

The more people you can get in on this, the more clout you will likely have with whatever entity you appraoch.

I don't know where you live, so it's difficult to advise you. In the U.S., my first call would be to the county cooperative extension service. It is under the USDA, which you indicate you have already contacted. If you get nowhere with them, you could contact your local/county health department. You could also try your State's environmental protection department or even the USEPA office for your region. You should be able to find contact information online. Another option would be to contact the environmental studies or ecology department of the nearest university. If all else fails, you could contact the local newspaper or television station...

I forgot to mention that there can be various "natural" causes for the condition of the trees (e.g., drought, flooding, lack of nutrients, disease, insects, etc.). A certified arborist would likely be able to rule out those possibilities. In that case, you would need to suspect an environmental cause (e.g., some type of contamination).