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Browning treetops are cause for concern

I remember the date exactly, Friday, June 19, just last week. A friend and I were headed west toward Asheville for dinner. As we chatted, I saw him glance to the left and then quickly take another look at the mountains, our namesake, our lovely heritage.

“Sofi, I see a strange color over there,” he said. I glanced out the window. “It seems to be a rust color on the mountains,” he added. “Do you see it?”

“Yes, I do,” I said. “It almost looks like the tops, the crowns have been singed.”

We were quite puzzled. A few days later, I began investigating.

I found many trees near Blue Ridge Assembly that were badly mottled on top. Many leaves were already dead on the ground, blackened. Then I examined the trees to the east over near the Asheville watershed reservoir. They too were affected, especially the poplars, it seemed.

Has anyone else noticed? I wonder what could be causing such a pervasive damage to so many of our mountain trees.

Later, last week, I collected more leaves from a total of 10 different varieties of local trees, including oaks, locust, maples, sassafras and black walnut. I found holes and burned and blackened, withered patches on the leaves of all these trees from Black Mountain to Swannanoa and also Asheville.

Sophia Brooks

Black Mountain

Hopes MLK conference will

make a difference

I feel compelled to echo Rev. Weston Hall’s comments about the irony of Montreat and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in last week’s edition of the Black Mountain News (BMN July 2, 2015). I pray earnestly that the upcoming conference next month in Montreat, “Dr. King’s Unfinished Agenda,” will have a challenging, provocative and positive impact on the entire community.

Rosa Hilbert

Black Mountain

Lucky to have

folks like these

A special thank you to Rick Harwood, the entire staff of Harwood Home for Funerals, and the many volunteers involved in the Annual Community Barbeque Rick hosted on Saturday, July 4.

For the past eight years, Rick has hosted this event as a way of giving back to the community. As a lifelong resident of Black Mountain and Swannanoa and having worked in the business for 20-plus years, this valley is fortunate to have such kind folks in our midst. The care Rick and his staff provide families is exemplary.

Dwight Bailey

Black Mountain

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