Sunday, February 1, 2009

Heat and drought grip Australia as people and trees suffer; Australia; 1/29/09

Australia swelters in searing heat
The extreme temperatures were threatening Melbourne's parks and gardens, said Mayor Robert Doyle, who announced an increase in water supplies to counter a 40 percent drop in soil moisture. Melbourne has 60,000 trees in its parks and streets and officials said they were most concerned about 15,000 trees growing in irrigated turf. "Our parks staff have indicated a number of trees are defoliating and canopies are thinning. Once defoliation takes place it is very hard to save the tree," said Doyle.

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