The Time to Plant is Now: Help us Restore our Forests

Community Tree Recovery Corporate Partnerships The Time to Plant is Now: Help us Restore our Forests By Erin Mousel | October 19, 2018 As we continue to experience record-setting fires each year, the Arbor Day Foundation knows that it will take a multi-faceted approach to restore the natural landscape that has been destroyed in communities and to build resiliency in forests near and far. In 1988, the Yellowstone Fires were the catalyst for the creation of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Reforestation program, which helped to restore 8,000 acres of severely burned land in the adjoining Gallatin National Forest. Those fires blackened 1.4 million acres, or 36 percent, of the park. It is still on record as the driest summer for the park. Burn damage on Gallatin National Forest Unfortunately, 30 years later, the unprecedented conditions that brought on those fires are becoming the norm, rather than the exception. Across the West, summers and winters are hotter, with snowpack melt..
Read More

Up With Trees Inspired to Re-envision Program Outreach by Trees Forever

Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Up With Trees Inspired to Re-envision Program Outreach by Trees Forever By Matt Spitsen | October 17, 2018 This year, Alliance for Community Trees hosted a mentor exchange program for members through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service. The mentor exchange program paired smaller non-profit groups with larger groups and allowed them to learn by travelling to their location and doing a site visit. Guest post by Steve Grantham, Executive Director, Up With Trees Before the Mentor Exchange, I had never been to Iowa. Everything I knew about the Hawkeye State had come from following the Iowa Caucuses, watching The Music Man, and being a fan of Big Ten football (GO BLUE!). Three days in and around Cedar Rapids gave me a newfound respect and love for the state, the people, and the mission of my host, Trees Forever. If you ever have the chance to sit across from and talk to Trees Forever’s Executive Director Shannon Ramsey, do..
Read More

Girdling Roots And What To Do About Them

Tree Planting Girdling Roots And What To Do About Them By Arbor Day Foundation | October 15, 2018 Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree. Imagine wearing a belt around your waist that is being squeezed tighter and tighter, and you’ll get an idea of what girdling roots do to a tree. Girdling roots are more common than many people realize, yet they can be deadly. When lateral roots at (or sometimes, just below) the surface of the soil encircle or cut into the main trunk of a tree, the flow of water and nutrients becomes restricted. The longer a tree has to deal with girdling roots, the weaker and more unstable it becomes. What Causes Girdling Roots? Typically, girdling roots don’t just “happen.” Trees in urban environments are exposed to certain factors trees in nature don’t have to contend with, which can cause numerous issues, including girdling roots. The most common cause is improper planting/transplanting. When trees remain in their nursery containers for too long..
Read More

Ask an Arborist: How do I Avoid Damaging my Tree’s Roots?

Ask An Arborist Ask an Arborist: How do I Avoid Damaging my Tree’s Roots? By Arbor Day Foundation | October 10, 2018 One of the most common questions we’re asked by members is, “what can I do to avoid damaging my tree’s roots?” In this video, Pete explains how roots stabilize our trees, how they help our trees grow, and how much space they need to grow and thrive. How long are tree root systems and how deep do they grow? Most roots are found within the top two feet of soil. The majority of tree roots grow within the dripline of a tree, the area at the edge of a tree’s crown where rainwater would drip. It is important to see the root flare of a tree, the area at the base of the trunk that spreads out to the roots. Identifying the root flare helps to determine whether a tree was planted at the appropriate depth and how healthy its root system may be. How do I avoid damaging my tree’s roots when planting? Surface roots are common on trees that were not planted deep enough. ..
Read More

Full Sun, Partial Sun, Does it Really Matter?

Tree Care Full Sun, Partial Sun, Does it Really Matter? By Sheereen Othman | October 8, 2018 There has been a recent craze in the plant scene. Suddenly everyone wants house plants, desk plants and mini succulents that they can scatter throughout. And why shouldn’t they want plants, there are so many benefits to them environmentally and aesthetically. Naturally, I jumped on the fad and bought my first succulent, a leatherpetal. I put it on my nightstand under my window and figured my work was done. But then a couple weeks later the leaves started to droop. What was happening to my succulent? I (embarrassingly) overlooked one of the most basic rules of plant care: sun exposure. My succulent was under my window, so it wasn’t getting enough sun. In fact, it wasn’t getting any sun. That same care my succulent needed transitions to outdoor plants as well, like trees. Of all the things we tout when it comes to tree planting and care, the right tree in the right place is at the..
Read More

Do You 811?

Tree Planting Do You 811? By Arbor Day Foundation | October 5, 2018 If not, you should. It can save your life and protect the environment. Guest post by Mary Patricia Kindt, Underground Safety Alliance. Does 811 sound familiar? For tree lovers, or anyone who ever digs or does underground work of any sort, it’s a very important number to know. The “Call Before You Dig” number, better known as 811, is the national federally designated phone number for underground line locating. However, thanks to the progression of technology, there is now an easier and faster way to have your utility lines marked, and that is with online locate requests (learn more at Call811.com). Either way, 811 is synonymous with underground safety. Contacting 811 is free, and is a public service intended to keep the public and environment safe. The 811 number has been around for 11 years, although the Call Before You Dig system was in place long before that. With population growth and the ceaseless ..
Read More

Investing in Community Trees

Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Investing in Community Trees By Matt Spitsen | October 1, 2018 NeighborWoods Month Marks the Celebration of Community Forests Young people are told that if they want to retire comfortably, they need to start saving a little money early in life. Deposits, even with low interest rates, over time, add up to surprisingly large yields of cash. This same concept can be applied to trees. The “deposits” are trees planted, and the yields are the myriad benefits trees provide. Why Tree City USA? Why YOUR City? One of the greatest forces in helping grow community forests are local non-profit organizations like those that are part of the Alliance for Community Trees network. These community-based organizations are dedicated to planting and caring for trees. They are the boots on the ground and they are changing towns and cities across the country. National Wildlife Federation reports that there are up to 200 million spaces alon..
Read More

How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff

Tree Care How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff By Arbor Day Foundation | September 27, 2018 Trees in our communities provide many services beyond the inherent beauty they lend to streets and properties. One of the most overlooked and underappreciated is their ability to reduce the volume of water rushing through gutters and pipes following a storm. This means less investment in expensive infrastructure and – importantly – cleaner water when the runoff reaches rivers and lakes. READ: Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop? How do trees help with stormwater management? Trees help reduce stormwater runoff in several ways. Trees intercept rain and hold a portion of it on their leaves and bark. Part of this intercepted rain will evaporate and part will be gradually released into the soil. Fallen leaves help form a spongy layer that moderates soil temperature and helps retain moisture, harbors organisms that break down organic matter, and recycle elements for use in pla..
Read More

8 Trees that Flaunt Brilliant Fall Color

Landscape Design Tree Planting 8 Trees that Flaunt Brilliant Fall Color By Arbor Day Foundation | September 24, 2018 Autumn is “leaf season,” nature’s annual color festival. Environmental factors and the genetic makeup of the trees determine the intensity and times of peak color, with factors varying from tree to tree and region to region. Here are 8 of our favorite trees for fall color. These trees will also provide spring color, shade, privacy, and wildlife habitat. Black Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica Called “one of the best and most consistent native trees for fall color” by tree expert Michael Dirr, the black tupelo is a terrific landscaping choice. Displaying various hues of yellow, orange, bright red and purple—often on the same branch—its foliage is a stand-out of the autumn season. Even the distinctive bark, which resembles alligator hide, adds visual and textural interest. And while its blooms may not seem noteworthy, bees will be very appreciative of the presence o..
Read More

New Jersey Tree Foundation Greens Communities on TD Tree Days

Corporate Partnerships Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure New Jersey Tree Foundation Greens Communities on TD Tree Days By Mary Sweeney | September 21, 2018 Guest post by Beth Kwart, Development Director, NJ Tree Foundation The TD Tree Days program gives us opportunities to make a large impact in community parks, residential streets, and open spaces. We have planted anywhere from 30 to 130 trees at one time through our TD Tree Days events. -Lisa Simms, Executive Director for the New Jersey Tree Foundation. Each year, the Arbor Day Foundation and TD Bank awards 10 community grants to municipalities with Tree City USA designation as part of the TD Green Streets program. The grants are used to plant trees in barren and underserved communities. The New Jersey Tree Foundation—an organization dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for New Jersey residents by planting trees—has partnered with TD Green Streets grant recipients in New Jersey..
Read More