The Norman Transcript

Editorials

February 5, 2013

What to do with cedars

NORMAN — A question at this past week’s Norman Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast seemed to catch lawmakers off guard.

Norman City Council member Dave Spaulding wanted to know what they were doing about eastern red cedar trees that are invading pastures in his council ward and throughout the state. The trees have been here for years but only recently have come under scrutiny, mostly due to water and fire concerns.

The trees consume about 40 gallons of water per day, destroy wildlife habitat and are a hazard for firefighters. Dry trees burn like torches. The trees are “consuming” an estimated 700 acres of pasureland per day in the state.

At one time, they provided windbreaks for farms during the Dust Bowl. State officials now estimate the economic damage to the state at $46 million. Lawmakers want to find ways to encourage an industry to harvest the trees from pastures.

In early days, range fires kept down on the number of unwanted trees in pastures. Lawmakers have made it easier to use inmate labor to remove trees, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest in the harvested tree as a raw material.

The only industry that has grown up around the menacing trees seems to be extreme brush-hog-type removal. Advertisements in co-op magazines show machines that will rid pastures of up to 100 trees per hour.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Let’s toast: Main Street bridge nearly complete

    It was January 2013 when crews began knocking down the Main Street bridge over Interstate 35. The timeline on completion has always been this May. If everything comes together and the weather holds for the next few days, the overpass and ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Yes to Capitol and museum

    Two major spending bills have emerged from the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee headed by Norman Rep. Scott Martin. Both are up for passage in the full House of Representatives. We believe both deserve passage....

    April 11, 2014

  • Assistance needed

    The planned reopening of the Canadian River bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is still more than two months away. Some of the businesses that depended on cross-bridge trade may not make it that long....

    April 11, 2014

  • Voters need speak up

    As candidates gear up to get their names on the ballot this year, it also may be time for voters to take some initiative, too....

    April 9, 2014

  • Let the filing begin

    The path to the state Capitol and local election board offices will be busy for the remainder of this week. Candidates, incumbents and those thinking they might want to be an incumbent will sign up today through Friday to have their names ...

    April 9, 2014

  • Taking care of business

    The backlog of state prisoners filling county jails in Oklahoma is finally getting some attention. The Associated Press’ Sean Murphy reports the new director of the state Department of Corrections has made clearing the inmate backlog a ...

    April 8, 2014

  • A Tuesday kind of market

    A family friendly, festive atmosphere is what organizers of Cleveland County’s Farm Market hope for tonight at the fairgrounds on East Robinson Street....

    April 8, 2014