Lewis Blackwell – writer, artist, environmentalist and former creative director of Getty Images –celebrates the relationship humans have with trees in "The Life & Love of Trees."
With a collection of stunning photography from around the world – from cypress enclaves in Tuscany’s wheat fields, to the coast-dwelling mangroves of Indonesia and frozen skeletal structures in the Japanese tundra – Blackwell blends visual poetry with thought-provoking reflections on one of the most successful kinds of organisms and the ties that bind us to them.
See selections from the book here.
KENT, Ohio – Ken Celmer, senior vice president for the company’s residential/commercial services, will retire from The Davey Tree Expert Company effective Jan. 1.
Celmer has held the position since 2000.
“Throughout the years Ken has been an employee of Davey, he has provided consistent leadership and commitment to the people working within the R/C service line and has been a valuable ambassador for the Davey Company within the industry,” said Davey Executive Vice President Pat Covey.
Celmer began his Davey career in 1971 as an apprentice on the Indianapolis Power and Light account. He transferred to R/C services later that year and was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility for the residential division, including Indianapolis district manager, area manager for Midwest operations, operations manager, vice president eastern operations, vice president and general manager.
Celmer is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and is a current land management committee member for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Celmer is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in forestry.
The Davey Tree Expert Company, with U.S. and Canadian operations in 45 states and five provinces, provides a variety of tree services, grounds maintenance, and consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets.
LEXINGTON, Mass. – House prices in the U.S. ended their two-year slide in the third quarter of this year and edged up by 0.2 percent over the second quarter, according to IHS Global Insight. The uptick was led by a 2.1 percent increase in California, according to a quarterly housing valuation analysis by the economic analysis firm.
In year-over-year terms, house prices increased during the third quarter by 0.9 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This increase is the first since the second quarter of 2007 when the national housing market began its slide. From its peak in 2007, the U.S. housing market is now down 10.7 percent, on average.
While nationally the price index increased, prices still declined from the second quarter in 161 of the top 330 metropolitan areas. This is a significantly positive change compared to 317 metro areas with declines in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the new House Prices in America, the quarterly U.S. housing valuation analysis from IHS Global Insight. In the third quarter, 169 markets registered price increases.
At the same time, sales of existing homes rose 7.4% in November as buyers took advantage of a federal tax credit for first-time owners.
Sales of previously owned single-family houses, town homes, condominiums and co-ops rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million units in November. That's the fastest clip in more than two years, according to the National Association. of Realtors, which compiled the figures based on transaction closings.
The nation's housing market remains troubled, with foreclosures and mortgage defaults continuing to mount in the face of stubborn unemployment. But home prices are no longer in free fall, having improved steadily in recent months as first-time buyers and investors, motivated by cheap prices and low interest rates, have snapped up bank-owned properties.
For the first time since the House Prices in America study began in 2005, no metro areas were extremely overvalued. There were 52 in 2005. For the nation as a whole, the housing market is now slightly undervalued – 8.6 percent when weighted by market value; 10.1 percent when weighted by housing units.
The largest quarter-on-quarter home price declines were 5.6 percent in Bend, Ore., and 5.0 percent in Las Vegas; these metros are now 33.5 percent and 56 percent below their peak prices in 2006. In all, eight metropolitan areas of the 330 studied each quarter have experienced price declines greater than 50 percent from their peaks. Four of the eight, led by Merced, Calif., with a 66 percent price decline, are in California's Central Valley. In all, 128 metro areas have experienced price declines of at least 10 percent from their peak.
Only 16 metro areas have escaped net home price declines since the cycle began. All 16, except Pittsburgh, are in the center of the country, and six are in Texas. Two areas hit hard by the housing downturn – Los Angeles and Miami – recorded third quarter price increases above 4.0 percent.
"While the rate of decline has decreased throughout the year as the market began to stabilize, it's not at all clear that the market is on a recovery path,” said James Diffley, group managing director of IHS Global Insight's Regional Services Group.
"Economic conditions remain dire, with unemployment likely to remain stubbornly near 10 percent for some time. The federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers has played a temporary role in bolstering the market," said Jeannine Cataldi, senior economist and manager of IHS Global Insight's Regional Real Estate Service.
The markets that are still overvalued remain mostly in the Pacific Northwest, though prices are declining in the region.
House Prices in America, a joint effort by IHS Global Insight and PNC Financial Services Group examines the top 330 U.S. real estate markets, representing 78.4 percent of all existing housing units and 86.4 percent of all related real estate value to determine what house prices should be, accounting for differences in population density, relative income levels, and historically observed market premiums or discounts. Markets with valuation premiums above 35 percent were deemed at risk for price corrections based on the typical degree of overvaluation that preceded the 79 known local price declines observed since 1985.
House Prices in America combines a statistical model owned by PNC with data largely developed at IHS Global Insight. More information on IHS Global Insight's housing valuation analysis is available at www.ihsglobalinsight.com/housingvaluation.
VENICE, Fla. – Maria Muhlhahn, FCHP, operations manager with ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design, has earned her Certified Arborist certification from the International Society of Arboriculture.
ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design has been the business for nearly 20 years with a specialty in resort-level planned community maintenance and landscape design and installation. Its services include community maintenance, pest control, tree service, irrigation, landscape design and installation, hardscapes and landscape lighting. It is locally owned and operated in Venice with satellite locations in Sarasota and Port Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ecoscape Solutions Group has opened two new offices, expanding its South Carolina market presence with new offices in both Columbia and Charleston.
Ecoscape hired two branch managers: Chris Hamil in the Charleston market and Jed Warner in the Columbia market.
“Even with the recent downturn in the economy, our plan has not changed. We will continue to look for opportunities for growth,” said Tony Pope, Ecoscape CEO. “This is the reason we have opened offices in Columbia and Charleston, S.C., this year. Opening in these markets will only strengthen our position for future growth as the economy begins to improve.”
The company was ranked 44th on this year’s Lawn & Landscape Top 150 list with 2008 revenue of just more than $29 million.
Ecoscape is full-service landscape company headquartered in Charlotte, and has offices in Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, Fort Mill, S.C., Columbia, S.C., and Charleston, S.C.