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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: vsteblina]
      #6479303 - 04/21/14 02:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Also keep in mind that trees grow. That view you had a few years ago might just be lost due to tree growth. Many trees can grow several feet a year.




Yes, but that is why there are chainsaws!!! Remember a tree is just a wannabe stump.




If they are your neighbors trees they may not be amused!


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Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
*****

Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: TCW]
      #6479894 - 04/21/14 08:23 PM

A couple of things for astronomy criteria in a house search:

At these latitudes, make sure it's south of the city you're commuting to, for multiple reasons:

(1) This would put the darkest skies to your south and the city's light dome to the north. Even if you have a neighbor with an offensive in-security light blazing away, that means your "escape distance" to dark skies is a lot shorter.

(2) Further south = less snow, all things being equal. Snow cover dramatically worsens local pollution.

(3) Further south = less winter. That's good in its own right, but also because...

(4) Further south = more time with leaves on the trees. When the leaves fall off the trees, I notice about a 1/4-mag drop in naked-eye limiting magnitude, even if there's snow cover.

Clear Skies,
Phil


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: TCW]
      #6480182 - 04/21/14 10:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Also keep in mind that trees grow. That view you had a few years ago might just be lost due to tree growth. Many trees can grow several feet a year.




Yes, but that is why there are chainsaws!!! Remember a tree is just a wannabe stump.




If they are your neighbors trees they may not be amused!




No they were not amused. However, coming from southern California trees were unique and rather special to them!!

Then the trees fell in their driveway just missing their house.

Now they sneak across MY property line to cut trees that they think might endanger their home!!!

Common sense...it comes to people based on experience!!


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NorthWolf
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/23/09

Loc: Eastern Canada
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #6480278 - 04/21/14 11:56 PM

Quote:

A couple of things for astronomy criteria in a house search:

At these latitudes, make sure it's south of the city you're commuting to, for multiple reasons:

(1) This would put the darkest skies to your south and the city's light dome to the north. Even if you have a neighbor with an offensive in-security light blazing away, that means your "escape distance" to dark skies is a lot shorter.

I'm surrounded by lights everywhere around the city. Montreal is one of the brightest cities distance wise, perhaps as much as New York City. You can escape to the north where it's nice and quiet, but than again you don't want that as you will have the city dome southwards.

I've driven through Ohio and I've seen how Cincinnati and Columbus are distanced from themselves, it's really not like that here... they use lights everywhere here! All that's missing is the Eiffel tower.


(2) Further south = less snow, all things being equal. Snow cover dramatically worsens local pollution.

That's one thing I keep forgetting about! I need to move to Arizona or Utah!

(3) Further south = less winter. That's good in its own right, but also because...

(4) Further south = more time with leaves on the trees. When the leaves fall off the trees, I notice about a 1/4-mag drop in naked-eye limiting magnitude, even if there's snow cover.

True! I need to plant Cedar trees as they grow to the perfect size I find and are evergreen, I think they also repel mosquitos! My friend just bought a house with 20 year old 12-15 feet tall Cedars all around his land in the back of the house. I tell him how lucky he is, too bad he doesn't have a telescope, but all in due time!

Clear Skies,
Phil




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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: NorthWolf]
      #6481432 - 04/22/14 03:03 PM

I don't know what species of Cedar you have but I have Incense Cedars by the thousands and millions of mosquitoes!

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? [Re: vsteblina]
      #6481662 - 04/22/14 05:07 PM

Quote:

However, coming from southern California trees were unique and rather special to them!!




One doesn't have to be from southern California to make trees unique and rather special to a person.

I personally know how long it takes to grow trees, as I planted one-footer evergreens, and trust me; it's many years for them to achieve any growth. If trees are healthy, it's a shame to destroy them. I saw hundreds in my area destroyed by the pine bark beetle; that area will never regrow in most of our lifetimes.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6481736 - 04/22/14 05:53 PM

My area has the same problem with bark beetles. Ironically the solution is cutting trees down as the problem is driven mostly by overcrowding.

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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: TCW]
      #6482241 - 04/22/14 10:33 PM

Our Forest Entomologist had the following quote "we have an epidemic of trees".

It really depends on where you live....but on the eastern slopes of the Cascades we have a tree density SEVEN times historical. In most of the western US, we have many, many more trees than in historical times. That is one reason why
forest fires burn hotter and many times the acreage today.

It is a little more difficult back east since there are very few records of the historical landscape. And I don't know anything of eastern forest ecology!! But I suspect tree density is much high than historical.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6482613 - 04/23/14 05:19 AM

Quote:

I personally know how long it takes to grow trees, as I planted one-footer evergreens, and trust me; it's many years for them to achieve any growth.




It depends where you live. In the eastern U.S., trees are weeds; it's very hard to cut them as fast as they grow. If you don't keep on top of them, they take over in a hurry.

My grandparents bought our property in the country in 1930. When my father was growing up there, it was fields as far as the eye could see -- just lines of trees along the edges of the fields and a few stands of trees here and there left to be cut for firewood. Now it's solid forest with just a few clearings. The very biggest trees are the ones that used to line the fields. But even the younger trees are now 50+ feet tall and a couple of feet in diameter. All of that in one human lifetime.

Quote:

If trees are healthy, it's a shame to destroy them.




I don't cut any tree needlessly, but I have no qualms about cutting down a few dozen to improve my view for astronomy. There are thousands more where they came from.

Quote:

I saw hundreds in my area destroyed by the pine bark beetle; that area will never regrow in most of our lifetimes.




That's a different story entirely; the pine-bark beetle infestation is truly disastrous.

There are similar infestations in the East. But unlike the West, where forests tend to be monocultures, we have dozens of species in any given forest stand. So if one species diminishes, others will eagerly take over.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6484441 - 04/23/14 09:44 PM

Nature will reclaim the land!

The western forests I have seen are far from mono cultures with many different species. The problem here is twofold - excessive fire suppression that historically has thinned trees and eliminated excess fuel and bans on logging that instead of preserving forests, actually contribute to their fiery demise in catastrophic wildfires. Over crowding weakens trees and aids the spread of insects and disease.


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: TCW]
      #6485481 - 04/24/14 12:11 PM

Quote:

Nature will reclaim the land!

The western forests I have seen are far from mono cultures with many different species. The problem here is twofold - excessive fire suppression that historically has thinned trees and eliminated excess fuel and bans on logging that instead of preserving forests, actually contribute to their fiery demise in catastrophic wildfires. Over crowding weakens trees and aids the spread of insects and disease.




Apoligies to the OP, since we're going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I'll tie this back in at the end.

I spent a summer back in the 1970s working on a HoDad (tree planting) crew in the National Forests of the southern Cascades of Washington state. We replanted clearcuts with monocultures of Douglas Firs (or occasionally, western Hemlocks), bypassing the more diverse natural succession of species that occur between natural wildfires in any given area severe enough to mimic clearcuts - with the planted grove often given a herbicidal head start the year before replanting, to minimize delay from the new trees having to compete with brushy species. Most clearcuts then (and I suspect still are) mostly replanted with near-monocultures. THAT SAID, your point about excess fire suppression having counterproductive effects with respect to vulnerability to insect infestations/greater vulnerability to catastrophic wildfires is spot-on true.

AS TO THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY, any tree cover existing on the vast majority of land, whether it's still rural or else has become suburban or semi-suburban, is a second or third-generation succession forest-in-progress (or more suburban areas, in a semi-arrested state of succession). I have a half-acre of such forest in my back yard, in which a still relatively young and small set of hardwood trees will, if left alone, gradually push out the dominant pine trees over the next 100-150 years. The rub is the extent to which homeowner "landscaping" type culls interfere with the rather messy, cluttered natural process, including the fact that some of the places where both pines and hardwoods "naturally" try to reestablish themselves with young seedlings are inconvenient or unsightly for the look of a well-tended lot. On the scale of a 300 acre farm, fields or other areas stripped of trees will spontaneously regenerate a succession forest over the following few decades. But not so much once the land's been subdivided into half-acre housing lots.


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NorthWolf
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/23/09

Loc: Eastern Canada
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: TCW]
      #6536996 - 05/20/14 08:21 PM

Hey guys,

I just rejected a house I was about to buy, everything was going great until I paid close attention to the backyard, it had a North East view, was really well covered on every side, but it had humongous 70 feet tall trees almost on every side leaving me with a circle viewing spot right on top of me... I let it go...

Anyhow the hunt goes on, I am definitely looking now for a house with at least 3 good views with the South as a must. Also, no cottages as it equals to no privacy, I want a bungalow where I can place my scope in almost any corner of the backyard without anyone seeing.

Are these trees good for placing all around the backyard if I find one with no trees?

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/emerald-cedar/991784

What else would I need to buy, how do you plant them, I need to research Cedar planting/growing!

http://www.renodepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/RenoSearchDisplayView?navR...

http://www.rona.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/RonaAjaxCatalogSearchView?navDes...

http://www.cedarguys.com/cedarhedgeplanted.html

Edited by NorthWolf (05/20/14 08:28 PM)


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: NorthWolf]
      #6540454 - 05/22/14 07:53 PM

As a general rule of thumb, if you live in or near an LP area then the area just above the horizon is not worth trying to view so anything that grows below that level will probably help.
How far above the horizon that extends is what you'll have to find out yourself.
In this area, I'm deep in a red zone with trees covering about 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon and it helps block some of the LP.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: What to look for when buying a new House?? new [Re: richard7]
      #6540855 - 05/22/14 11:25 PM

Trees will block nearby lights but will do nothing about the overall skyglow caused by city lights.

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