Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 9, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 9


Mountain View News Saturday, November 9, 2019 



Do you need a little “pick me up”? 
Sammie is the purr-fect answer! 
Sammie is a sweet and cuddly female 
tabby, age 8 mos. She is fun and 
very playful, but can also be mellow 
and will love to fall asleep in your 
arms. She gets along great with 
other cats, too. Sammie will come 
current on vaccines, healthy, and 
neutered. Please call her foster mom 
at 626-991-6619. You can see more pictures of Sammie at www., the More Cats page. We would be so thankful 
to get this sweetheart into a forever home by Thanksgiving!

Pet of the Week

 Meadow came to the shelter as a nursing mom of 
EIGHT puppies. They’ve all been adopted, and now 
it’s Meadow’s turn to find a forever home and enjoy 
her post-motherhood life! Meadow’s puppies were 
beautiful, and they definitely got their looks from their 
mom. This gorgeous two-year-old gal is a little shy in 
her kennel, but comes out of her shell when she’s given 
room to run and play. She’s particular about treats, but 
if you give her the good stuff (hot dogs) she’ll love you. 
All her kids have gone off to college, and Meadow is 
ready to join a book club, take up cross-stitch, and live 
her best life! 

 The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dogs are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and 
vaccinated before going to their new home. 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets at Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Sunday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone 
calls or email.


Diamond is a 1-year and 9-month old gorgeous American 
Staffordshire terrier and Siberian Husky mixed girl also known as 
a “Pitsky.” Her striking good looks go beyond the one icy blue and 
one hazel eye, unique cream and brindle coat, bushy tail, and perked 
up ears because she is just an all-around cute as a button pooch! 
Sweet Diamond can sometimes be nervous around leashes and 
sudden movements but she is doing better every day. Now that she’s 
surrounded by loving people, she enjoys going on walks, getting 
treats, and learning the joys of squeaky toys. This resilient young 
pup will continue to trust that people with time, patience, and much 
needed TLC. If you are that special person or family, please stop 
by and meet Diamond the prettiest Pitsky! Her adoption fee is $145, which includes spay surgery, 
microchip, first vaccinations and a free wellness check-up at a participating veterinarian.



[Nyerges is the author of “Guide 
to Wild Foods,” “Foraging California,” 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” 
and other books. He 
can be reached at Box 41834, 
Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.]

 Eucalyptus is a tree with a 
mixed reputation. This stately 
tree is renown for the “forest effect” 
due to the high transpiration rate of its leaves. 
According to one report, “In Sydney, a large gum 
tree [eucalyptus] transpires up to 200 litres of water 
a day. A well-maintained garden in Sydney will 
transpire nearly twice the volume of water as the 
total rainfall.”

 The tree was included in my Guide to Wild Foods 
book since it was so useful in its native Australia 
by the Aboriginees: the leaves for various medicines 
(mostly upper bronchial issues), the bark for infections 
and many other uses, and even the little psyllid 
bugs can be harvested and eaten like a backwoods 
sugar. And the honey produced from eucalyptus 
flowers is a dark almost-medicinal honey.

 So is it wise to remove the eucalyptus trees and replace 
them with natives? In order to fully grasp the 
effects of eucalypti on the environment, let’s look at 
its effect in other parts of the world. 

 Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree. When you cut 
them down, they will sprout right back up again. 
Because of this, there have been major plantations 
in various countries throughout the world from Europe 
to China to Africa in order to supply the wood 
for lumber, paper products, and firewood. If the 
eucalyptus trees are planted in non-agricultural areas 
where nothing else will grow, they survive quite 
well. A eucalyptus tree in a plantation can be cut as 
little as every four years.

Around the time that the U.S. was experiencing long 
gas lines during the 1970s ”energy crisis,” many 
countries around the world discovered that the eucalyptus 
tree seemed like a miracle tree. It grew easily 
anywhere, and could be regularly harvested for 
fuel wood, building materials, and pulp for paper. 
It was also a financial boom to the public and private 
businesses in various countries who grew these 
plantations. Today, eucalyptus is the number one 
tree planted in plantations around the world. With 
so many undeniable benefits, what could go wrong?

Over the last 30 to 40 years, countless business, governmental, 
and academic studies have been done to 
weigh the pros and cons of the largescale use of the 
eucalyptus tree. I’ve spent time over the last year 
compiling hard data on the eucalyptus tree. 

 There were very real worries about deforestation 
and desertification that began in the 1980s. Eucalyptus 
trees, with its obvious economic benefits, 
were planted in ever-greater numbers. Today we 
can analyze the ecological effects of over 30 years of 
eucalyptus plantations.

 Because the eucalyptus tree is such a great transpirer, 
it follows that it generally consumes far more 
water than other native or non-native trees. In fact, 
one of the stated reasons that eucalyptus is planted 
in certain countries is to dry up swamps and wet areas, 
either for development or because the wet area 
was believed to be a source of malaria. The deep 
roots of eucalyptus, and their extensive network of 
small surface roots, has been noted to extend deep 
to the water table. 

 Although a eucalyptus plantation does very well in 
dry areas where nothing else is growing, in areas as 
diverse as China, Ethiopia, Vietnam, etc, local villagers 
of these diverse places have noted that their 
water wells run dry. In fact, this seems to be one 
of the main objections to eucalyptus plantations: 
it dries up the local sources since it generally consumes 
more water than is received by rain in any 
given area, which then means there is far less water 
for agricultural crops and orchards.

 In studies done to determine if the leaf drop from 
eucalyptus is "allelopathic" (exuding soil toxins), 
various plants grown in a mixture of eucalyptus 
mulch and soil have exhibited a germination rate as 
low as 3%, compared to normal rates of germination 
with an oak mulch. 

 Another argument against the eucalyptus plantations 
is that there is a great depletion of soil nutrients. 
In general, eucapytus take up more nutrients 
(and water) from the soil than other native or non-
native trees because they are fast-growing. And, in 
theory, if all the leafy matter was left on the ground 
(as opposed to cleaning it up), those nutrients 
would degrade and enrich the soil. But unfortunately, 
eucalyptus mulch takes a very long time to be 
degraded by bacteria and fungus due to its oils, and 
so in actual practice, the soils around eucalyptus 
tend to be very desert-like due to the unavailability 
of nutrients. [Source: The Effect of Eucalyptus and 
Oak Leaf Extract on California Native Plants, Kam 
Watson, UC Berkley]

 This effect results in the lack of biodiversity and 
understory that is commonly observed under and 
around eucalyptus trees, in stark contrast to native 

 One study was also done with soil under the eucalyptus 
trees, along with a soil sample not influenced 
by eucalyptus. Soil samples from under eucalyptus 
trees proved to be less able to absorb water. 
This meant that though eucalyptus trees have been 
planted in areas to reduce runoff and flooding, this 
result is not usually successful because of the effect 
of the tree’s oil on the soil. These same results have 
been documented in eucalyptus plantations in China, 
Kenya, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and other sites.

Kenya Forest Service has published guidelines, basically 
aimed at promoting eucalyptus plantations 
in the country, called “A Guide to On-Farm Eucalyptus 
Growing in Kenya”, December 2009. They 
advise not growing eucalyptus in wetlands and 
marshy areas, and riparian areas. They advise not 
growing eucalyptus closer than 30 meters from rivers, 
and ideally 50 meters, so that the trees do not 
adversely interfere with the water source.

They add that other areas where eucalyptus should 
not be planted include around lakes, ponds, 
swamps, estuary and any other body of standing 
water. They advice that eucalyptus not be planted 
closer than 50 meters to farm lands, and other measures. 
In other words, even those who are pro-eucalyptus 
recognize the adverse effects of eucalyptus on 
the environment, and offer ways to minimize those 

Though there are medicinal benefits to the eucalyptus 
tree, there are better native trees to plant which 
provide the same benefit.

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