Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Oak trees killed, damaged in spraying mix-up

tree spray, 7/17/13

Dead trees on Pleasants Valley Road, just south of Putah Creek Road, were recently sprayed in an effort to curb invasive invasive plants. The spraying apparently went beyond the targeted species and killed native plant life. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | July 18, 2013 |

VACAVILLE — The orders were to inject some invasive plants and to spray others along Pleasants Creek in rural Vacaville.

Those instructions were mixed up somewhere along the way and resulted in around 12 dead oak trees and 20 to 30 more that were damaged.

An investigation by the Solano County Department Agriculture is currently underway, said Simone Hardy, assistant agricultural commissioner.

Hardy said Wednesday that “there seem to be some issues” with the application of the chemicals.

The issue in question took place during an eradication effort to rid the creek beds of Arundo and Tree of Heaven, which are non-native species that cause erosion and water flow problems in the creek, said Rich Marovich, streamkeeper with the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee.

Marovich said with regret that crews from the contracted Agrichem Industries in Davis mixed up orders to inject one species and spray the others. That led to overspray landing on the oak trees, killing the dozen or so, he said. Marovich said it was the first time in 12 years of using the company that such an incident had occurred.

“The spray crew just mistook their marching orders. They treated the plants in mixed canopies,” Marovich said. “I was certainly dismayed with the amount of overspray. I feel terrible this happened. We don’t want to be hurting native populations.”

Paul Washburn, owner of Agrichem, confirmed the crew mixed up the orders and said he regretted the error.

“They didn’t mean to do that,” Washburn said. “It won’t happen again. I can guarantee you that.”

Arundo is likened to bamboo that grows in thickets, making the spray method the best to kill it. Tree of Heaven, brought over from China, is more susceptible to injecting the herbicide into the plant itself given that it is commonly found among other plants, Marovich said.

The spray is treated with a blue dye to help crews see where it is landing, which in this case was also in the water, Marovich said. Residents near where the damage occurred soon noticed the water had a bright blue color, which caused concerns.

“I would be (concerned), too,” he said. “You see that water an unnatural blue and the first thing you think is it’s a septic tank or some other toxic material.”

The spray is considered “relatively nontoxic to aquatic species,” he said. The California Department of Fish and Game inspected the area. Marovich said they noted seeing species still living in the area and would later issue a report on the findings.

Hardy agreed and said there was likely no risk to the water, but the damage was done to the plant life.

Marovich said the dead oaks would be replaced and even offered to have the landowners personally pick out the new trees from the nursery in Davis the group regularly uses. In areas where larger trees were killed, he said several would be planted in their place.

He said the irony of the whole situation is they are there to protect the native species and plant new trees once the non-native species are killed off.

“We will be leaving it in better condition eventually, but we didn’t want to take a step back doing it,” Marovich said.

Any land owners or others who want more information about the incident or the replacement of trees can call Marovich at 530-902-1794.

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or dbernardini@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Steven KaysJuly 18, 2013 - 7:17 am

    Better luck next time.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Sandy CulbertsonJuly 18, 2013 - 10:08 am

    This earth is the ONLY home we have. NICE JOB! Kill some Oak trees and poison the water... But uh, whatever. The trees can always be replaced and who cares about the water? Nice going ~ keepers of our chemical safety. Hope ya got the plants you were originally after. I'd hate for this to have been a waste of time!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    Now let's not go all Inspector Javert here. Mistakes happen. Responsible people own up to it, make restitution the best they can, and move on. I’ll wager Rich or someone responsible was even the original lead on this story. Rich and the people responsible for the management and environmental enhancement of Putah Creek for 12 years (did you miss that?) have had an excellent track record prior to this incident, and they deserve a “pass” from us from time to time when something goes wrong. A risk-free program would be to leave the creek alone, and everyone who knows anything about Putah Creek would agree that is the worst possible outcome; neglect wasn’t benign. So I say, well done! There are responsible, trustworthy people working on Putah Creek, and we see them at their best when they have to deal with a problem like this.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Brian KleinJuly 18, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    Well said, Rick.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 14 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Annoying minor floods are increasing on US coasts

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page:

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5