Tree of the Week
Pin Oak: Autumn Glory
By Sheereen Othman | May 23, 2017
The pin oak pleases me for reasons I cannot wholly explain.
— Hal Borland, A Countryman’s Woods
The pin oak is the type of tree that stands out from its neighbors. Pin oak is not the largest of forest trees, but its distinctive branching pattern sets it apart from other oaks. The pin oak has a single, central trunk that rises from the ground to the tip of the tree. Upper branches are upright, middle ones horizontal and its lower limbs slant gracefully toward the ground.
Its Latin name palustris means “of the swamp,” a reference to the tree’s ability to thrive in heavy soils on moist bottomlands. In the wild, the lower branches of the tree are often shaded by other trees, eventually splitting from its crown and leaving pin-like stubs.
The pin oak has also become a popular street and park tree. interestingly, the same traits that led to its popularity have the potential to lead to..
By Amy Ossian | May 22, 2017
As I write this post, I am sitting at my dining room table enjoying the view of my backyard through the window. The centerpiece of our property is a beautiful thirty-year old white ash tree. It stands strong in the middle of our backyard and provides shade throughout the heat of the summer. It puts on a beautiful display in the fall with its leaves turning orange and gold. I can’t imagine living here without it. And yet, I must, because I know that it will eventually succumb to the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species of beetle that made its way from northeastern Asia to the US where it was first detected in Michigan in 2002. It has since spread across the U.S., killing tens of millions of ash trees to date. It is expected to kill most of the estimated 8.7 billion ash trees across America.
The severity of this threat inspired the Arbor Day Foundation to create an EAB campaign as part of the Commun..
Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure
Experts Learn how to Protect Trees AND Utility Lines
By Arbor Day Foundation | May 17, 2017
Guest post by Phil Charlton, Ph.D. Executive Director, Utility Arborist Association.
North America depends on electricity and gas. Admittedly, I get my energy from caffeine but I depend on electricity to make the coffee. My house is heated with gas. I depend on streetlights and stop lights, both of which depend on electricity. Our jobs, factories, and every other part of life are possible because of the electric and gas infrastructure that supplies our homes and businesses.
Unfortunately, trees and other vegetation — if not planted in the right place — are not always compatible with our energy needs. The network that crisscrosses North America includes about 5 million miles of high-voltage distribution lines (the ones that run down our neighborhood streets), 450,000 miles of very high-voltage transmission lines largely running acr..
Tree of the Week
Live Oak: Heart of the Southern Landscape
By Sheereen Othman | May 16, 2017
Did you know the first three forestry laws passed by American Congress was aimed at protecting live oak? Live oak was so valuable to America’s security that it prompted the government to take measures toward protecting it. It was widely used in shipbuilding. But when a secretary of the navy discovered that almost half the live oaks from southern coastal lands were gone —much of it exported to foreign nations —it prompted president John Adams to persuade congress to establish a plantation to grow future crops. The Naval Appropriations Act of 1828 allowed the navy to maintain oak forests for their use.
A lot can be said about a tree so beloved it inspired the administration to preserve it. Once metal began to replace wood in shipbuilding, the live oak transitioned from a staple in vessels to a shade tree, and with good reason. The tree’s branches spread nearly ..
A Retirement Community Created their own Arboretum
By Arbor Day Foundation | May 15, 2017
Guest post by Rochelle Newman, a resident of Mountain Meadows.
My husband and I moved to the Mountain Meadows Retirement Community about eight years ago. The community is more than twenty years old. There are a number of reasons we transplanted from the east coast to Oregon, but the beautiful landscape of the state and Mountain Meadows attracted us the most. The thirty-acre campus was established with great trees, shrubs, and plants, but I saw the potential to make a greater statement. One that would bring awareness about a healthy planet, the need for forests, and the role trees play in health. Trees are especially important to me, even though I was born in Brooklyn, New York, far from forests.
As a college professor in the creative arts teaching in Massachusetts, I wrote a series of four interdisciplinary textbooks that bring together art, math, and nature. Seeing Mou..
Holiday Landscape Design
10 Mother’s Day Trees with Lasting Beauty
By Sheereen Othman | May 13, 2017
Many people appreciate the gift of flowers, but their short life span isn’t always the most practical gift. Trees, when properly planted and cared for, live for generations to come. They serve a myriad of purposes, whether it’s to shade your home, serve as a windbreak, provide food, or simply beautify. Combine the beauty of flowers with the benefits of trees. Spend this Mother’s Day planting a tree with your mother, or in honor of your mother. If you don’t have the physical space for trees, considering planting Trees in Celebration in a forest of need. Time spent amongst trees is never time wasted.
Here are 10 gorgeous trees with lasting beauty that will live for years to come.
Considered a continuous bloomer, the Tilt-A-Swirl hydrangea produces blossoms that are real show-stoppers. And as the season progresses, the flowers deepen in color..
Ask An Arborist
Ask an Arborist: How do I Hire an Arborist?
By Arbor Day Foundation | May 12, 2017
An arborist is a professional trained in the art and science of planting, caring, and maintaining individual trees. Arborists are required to continue their education to maintain certification. So they’re likely to be well trained on the latest techniques in arboriculture.
The day-to-day maintenance of trees may not involve an arborist. But when it comes to tree health and safety, such as diagnosing disease or pruning mature trees, these skilled experts are the best resource to protecting your trees.
Before you hire an arborist, there are factors to consider. Hiring an arborist is an investment, but the cost of poor tree care is far greater. Find out how to hire an arborist and where to find one locally.
Catch up on Ask an Arborist: The ABC’s of Pruning.
arboristTree Caretree expert
Tree of the Week
White Oak: The King of Kings
By Sheereen Othman | May 9, 2017
“If oak is the king of trees, as tradition has it, then the white oak, throughout its range, is the king of kings.” -Donald Peattie
When early settlers discovered forests full of white oaks, they were ecstatic. They discovered a wood that rivaled the cherished English oak. They started using white oak wood in flooring, furniture, bridges, and railroad cars. The durability of white oak is prized so much so that it was commonly used as the keels of mine sweepers and patrol boats during World War II. As with many oak trees, white oak is not only sought after for its strength, but its longevity. White oak trees can live up to 300 years, with some living longer, such as a white oak in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
Nicknamed the “Holy Oak,” this white oak tree was believed to be the oldest white oak in the country at 600 years old. The oak tree survived through war and natural disaster a..
Tree of the Week
Willow Oak: A Handsome Southerner
By Sheereen Othman | May 2, 2017
The oak tree family is made up of hundreds of species. It’s fair to say that each species offers unique and imperial traits to any landscape it adorns. The willow oak is no exception. Its striking foliage and medium size has made it one of the most popular choices along streets and in parks. Naturalist Donald Peattie described the tree as, “a tree of stately form, with foliage at once brilliant and delicate.” Indeed, it is.
The willow oak is easy to grow, provides beauty and practicality over a very long life span, and is of high value to wildlife. Perhaps that is why it was also one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite trees. It offers the same grand statue as its relatives with a little extra flare. The foliage on this tree has willow-like leaves that transform into a bright show of shades of yellow bronze-orange and russet-red in the fall.
In the landscape
The willow oak i..
Celebrate Arbor Day
Happy Arbor Day
By Arbor Day Foundation | April 28, 2017
It’s here, it’s here, Arbor Day is here.
Since 1872, the tree planter’s holiday has been celebrated on the last Friday of April. People across the country are planting trees and greening communities. More than 194 organizations and cities have planned Arbor Day celebrations across America.
Check out celebratearborday.com for celebrations in your area.
This year we set a goal to plant 70,000 trees together during the month of April. Our friends at Unilever and Ahold wanted to help us reach this goal, so for every tweet with #arborday, they committed to planting a tree in a forest of need, planting up to 20,000 trees. We’re thrilled that you’ve helped us plant 71,913 trees — and counting — exceeding our initial goal.
Arbor Day is a reminder of all that trees do for us. It’s a holiday that focuses on the future, not on the past. The trees planted today will give shade, clean water, and purify th..