Society of Municipal Arborists Announces its 2017 Urban Tree of the Year: Chestnut Oak
By Michelle Sutton | January 3, 2017
The 2017 SMA Urban Tree of the Year is native to much of the Eastern United States. Hikers from New York to Tennessee who ascend to dry ridges will often see the deeply furrowed, blocky barked trunks of chestnut oak (Quercus montana) (syn. Q. prinus). The bark is so distinctive, it may be the only ID feature one needs.
There’s growing interest in using chestnut oak in the urban environment because it is pH-adaptable, handles dry soils and periods of drought, has a beautiful mature form, requires minimal pruning, and tends to be free of major pests and diseases.
The common name “chestnut oak” owes to the leaves looking like those of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) and indeed both are members of the beech family, Fagaceae. Other common names for chestnut oak include rock oak, rock chestnut oak, or mountain oak—referring to its customar..
Holiday Misc Trees
8 Uses for your Tree After Christmas
By Sheereen Othman | December 29, 2016
The end of Christmas doesn’t have to be the end of life for your living Christmas tree. If you had a real Christmas tree you can extend its life and use beyond the home. Here are 8 ways to responsibly recycle your Christmas tree for other purposes.
The most common use for your tree is to make mulch or compost out of it. Whether it’s with the woodchips or needles, mulch is a great way to keep your yard trees healthy and moist during the cold winter season. Pine needles are full of nutrients that enhance the PH of your soil if its more alkaline and allow your soil to breathe without becoming dense and compacted.
2. Wildlife habitat
The tree doesn’t have to be living for wildlife to take over. Hang bird feeders to attract birds and watch your tree evolves into a bird sanctuary. Other critters will soon follow as they nest in the branches of the tree.
3. Fish Feeder
Tree of the Week
Ponderosa Pine: Old Soul of the West
By Sheereen Othman | December 27, 2016
“Of all the pines, this one gives forth the finest music to the winds.” John Muir
When Lewis and Clark trekked through the Rocky Mountains into the headwaters of the Columbia River, they sailed in a canoe made from ponderosa pine. Nature writer Enos Abijah Mills was so intrigued by a ponderosa pine he wrote The Story of a Thousand Year Pine — unfolding the story of how loggers cut down a ponderosa pine he admired next to his camping site and left the tree there after it tumbled down in pieces and couldn’t be used as lumber. Upset by the actions of the loggers, Mills dissected the tree limb by limb, counting the growth rings from the stump and up. He dug up the roots and cut into the bark. He calculated that the tree was 1,040 years old.
Ponderosa pine is a heavy wood that was popular in colonial America for its durability in harsh climates and growing condition..
A Message From the Office of Matt Harris
By Matt Harris | December 23, 2016
Reflecting on 2016
Reflecting on 2016 with our Chief Executive, Matt Harris. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make these accomplishments possible.
Posted by Arbor Day Foundation on Friday, December 23, 2016
As the year comes to a close, Chief Executive Matt Harris reflects on all that we accomplished this year because of supporters like you. This year was another year of growth for the Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach new milestones. Your continued support is improving communities and changing the lives of the people we work with. We look forward to what we will accomplish together in 2017!
Read A Year of Gratitude for more examples of the difference our members and supporters make.
December 2016executive message
Chief Executive Office..
Corporate Partnerships Featured
2016 Rockefeller Tree Lighting: A New York Tradition
By Zach Kane | December 21, 2016
The Today Show personalities are joined on stage with Alec Baldwin after the Rockefeller tree is lit up.
Every year a Christmas tree is lit up in Rockefeller Center in New York City, kicking-off the start of the holiday season and a hallmark for the city. This year I was fortunate enough to attend the annual tradition and captured video of the celebration and musical performances.
More than 45,000 multi-colored lights illuminated the 94-foot Norway spruce from Oneonta, New York. A nine-foot star adorns the top of the tree, weighing 550 pounds and covered in 25,000 Swarovski crystals. The selected tree is generally donated to the Rockefeller Center. After it serves its use for display, the lumber from the tree is donated to Habitat for Humanity. Trees are selected based on their hardiness to hold the heavy ornaments, and their “Christmas tree shape.” This ..
Featured Tree of the Week
White Spruce: Amongst the Season’s Finest
By Sheereen Othman | December 20, 2016
When Jacques Cartier sailed up the broad St. Lawrence River in 1535, he became the first colonist to see North America’s white spruces. As he laid claim to the land, he proclaimed the trees to be “as beautiful as one could wish for.” According to Cartier, the white spruces were “the finest trees in the world.”
Four hundred years later, naturalist Donald Peattie echoed Cartier’s remarks, stating of the conifers lining the river banks, the white spruce was the “beauty of its family.” This tree has often been heralded as a beautiful tree in North Country. It’s popular along river banks and the northern boreal forests. It’s a tough tree that does well in urban settings and is resilient in cold climates.
Among its appealing traits, the white spruce is popular in the Christmas tree industry. It’s pyramidal form, dense crown, stiff needles and needle retenti..
Community Tree Recovery Featured Replanting Our National Forests
A Day in the Life of a Tree Planter
By Melissa Wilson | December 19, 2016
This year, we reached a new milestone by planting our 60 millionth tree on our nation’s forests. These trees are planted with the help of tree planters, who spend long days in varying terrain dedicated to planting new trees. Melissa is one tree planter who was part of the Lost Pines Forest Recovery effort in Bastrop, Texas — where wildfires burned more than 32,400 acres of forest land. Melissa shares insight on what it’s like to plant hundreds of trees a day and the challenges they overcame.
I think most of us had a romanticized vision of planting budded trees along riversides, we weren’t expecting boxes containing thousands of saplings. For seven weeks, I led a tree-planting crew committed to replanting trees damaged in the Bastrop County Complex Fire, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Although we worked for AmeriCorps ..
Tree of the Week
The Eastern Redcedar
By Sheereen Othman | December 13, 2016
The eastern redcedar is an ancient tree, dating back to Native America where fossil evidence indicates it covered large portions of the continent. It is the most common conifer in the eastern part of North America. It sits on pasture hills and farm hedgerows, adorning open country.
Early explorers took notice of the tree. Reports state captains Arthur Barlowe and Phillip Amadus were quoted as saying the trees were “the tallest and reddest cedars in the world.” Redcedar wood became popular with craftsman. It was easy to work with, resistant to decay and aromatic. It was great for cedar chests because the wood was a natural repellant to moths and other clothes-eating insects.
The interesting thing about the redcedar is that it isn’t a cedar at all. The eastern redcedar is a juniper, despite its misleading name. While many admired the cedar for its beauty there are others who..
Gift Green with These Brands
By Amy Bodfield | December 12, 2016
Need last minute gift ideas? Shop one of these brands from our Corporate Partnerships and your purchase will help plant trees in a forest of need.
Companies large and small are working with us to plant trees across the country and around the globe. A few of the programs supported by partnerships include Rain Forest Rescue, Tree City USA, Community Tree Recovery and Plant Madagascar. Programs like these impact the people and communities where they are implemented. Whether it’s replanting trees in disaster-stricken communities or providing jobs in rural areas that contribute to economic growth, these programs are changing lives, and it’s possible because of support from our partners. Visit our Corporate Partnerships page to learn how you can get involved.
Read Plant it Forward to learn what one partner is doing to plant trees in our nation’s forests.
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Corporate Partnerships Featured
Plant it Forward
By Amy Ossian | December 8, 2016
For RiceSelect, one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s new corporate partners, planting trees isn’t just about earning metrics to include in their sustainability report. They understand the importance of planting trees for the future of their business and the world. Louis Fernandez, RiceSelect® Director of Marketing, says, “Trees are extremely important to the environment and to our daily lives; we want to do our part to give back and Plant it Forward.” The company has committed to planting 100,000 trees right here in the U.S. where their rice is grown.
In an industry where the land is solely responsible for the brands’ product offering and livelihood, RiceSelect is eager to give back to the land that gives them so much. Customers can feel good knowing their purchases are helping to plant trees that provide shade, beauty, habitat for wildlife, and clean our air and water.
RiceSelect has found a ..