How to kill a tree?

Paul T. Riddell priddell at
Sun Feb 18 02:06:26 EST 1996

I'll add my 2 pfennigs to this:  I've seen the same thing in Michigan, 
in particular around copper smelters in the Lower Peninsula, when I 
was a kid.  Quite a few places in the American West suffer from the 
problems with copper sulfate:  leachings from old mines have done 
wonders to kill off most local vegetation (interestingly, someone's 
doing interesting experiments with a variety of moss that grows 
abundantly among the leachings;  the idea is that it concentrates 
copper and other metals in commercially recoverable amounts, thus 
allowing the possibility of cleaning waste water of heavy metals by 
growing and then processing the moss on contaminated sewer sludge).

  One last little bit:  the next time you go to the local aquarium, 
note how many tanks have starfish in them.  Copper sulfate is used as 
a treatment for many fish diseases, but even tiny amounts kill 
starfish and other echinoderms.  In most cases, the starfish in 
aquariums are casts of originals, and the few that appear in the flesh 
(or armor?) are isolated to tanks where nobody will apply copper 


  Paul T. Riddell
  Check out our VRML page...

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