6 Fun Facts About Presidents and Trees

Featured Misc Trees 6 Fun Facts About Presidents and Trees By Sheereen Othman | February 20, 2017 The tradition of planting and gardening at the White House dates all the way back to the first president to ever take office, when John Adams planted a vegetable garden. But the tradition of planting trees on White House grounds started with Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson planted a grove of trees on the lawn. Over the past 200 years, numerous U.S. presidents have carried on this tradition of tree planting, whether it was planting memorial trees or planting trees as part of the landscape design. Here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about trees on the White House grounds. (Facts taken from The White House Historical Association.) While the White House was being rebuilt after the 1814 fire, James Monroe increased tree plantings on the grounds based on plans by architect Charles Bulfinch. The federal government used Charles Bulfinch’s planting scheme for a thick gro..
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Trees are More Than Their Beauty

Featured Misc Trees Trees are More Than Their Beauty By Konstantin Dimopoulos | February 16, 2017 Last fall we shared The Blue Trees — an inspiring art installation by artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to raise awareness about global deforestation. The Blue Trees started in Australia and made its way to the U.S., but not without capturing public attention. The installation has done exactly with artist Dimopoulos aimed to do: get people talking about trees. Deforestation has increased around the world. Nearly 30% of the earth is covered in forestland, but more than one and a half acres of forest is cut down every second. At this rate, there will be no more rain forests left in the world within 100 years. Forests are home to endangered wildlife. Trees purify our air and provide clean drinking water to more than 180 million Americans. Have You Visited a Forest Lately? Watch this video to see how people interact with Dimopoulos’ art installment. Visit Replanting our Forests t..
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Loblolly Pine: The Eisenhower Tree

Tree of the Week Loblolly Pine: The Eisenhower Tree By Sheereen Othman | February 14, 2017 Pinus taeda One of former president Dwight Eisenhower’s favorite hobbies was golf. He loved it so much that he continued to play in the winter and painted his golf balls black just so he could see them against the snow. He was a regular at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Few things could distract him from the game, but a giant Loblolly Pine on the golf course could. A Loblolly Pine sat on the golf course at Augusta National and interfered with Eisenhower’s game. He was so frustrated with the tree that he lobbied to have it removed. He was unsuccessful, but the tree became an icon on the Augusta National golf course and one of the most famous landmarks in American golf. Unfortunately, the Loblolly Pine was removed in 2014 after a destructive ice storm. Eisenhower may not have valued the beauty of the Loblolly on the golf course, but off the course this tree is a beauty. ..
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The Immortal Evergreen

Featured Misc Trees The Immortal Evergreen By David Beaulieu | February 10, 2017 How are the plants in your yard looking these days? If you live in the North, as I do, your deciduous trees and shrubs are probably pretty bare. My sweetgum tree, viburnum shrubs and spirea shrubs were some of the last holdouts. Even my neighbor’s Bradford pear tree, always one of the last to give up the struggle, has shed the remainder of its tardy but oh-so-brilliant fall foliage. But not all is lost — well, not if you’ve had the foresight to plant evergreen trees, that is. They just keep chugging along, oblivious to the changing seasons. Even that Grim Reaper of the seasons, winter, fails to stifle needled evergreens. Old Man Winter meets his match in this Old Man River of the plant world. It is this quality of persistence for which evergreens are known that earned them an association with immortality. That’s right: When we survey the history of the Christmas tree and, more generally, the..
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Eastern White Pine: Monarch of the Forest

Tree of the Week Eastern White Pine: Monarch of the Forest By Sheereen Othman | February 7, 2017 Pinus strobus Eastern white pine trees were among the first trees colonists discovered when they first came to the country. Hundreds of miles of eastern white pine once lined the Hudson River. It was one of the most popular evergreens that blanketed the east coast. These old giants reached as high as 200 feet and extended nearly 40 feet around. The Fight for Independence White pines like those old giants are hard to find these days. Native white pine trees were popular to use as masts for naval sail ships. Records show that almost every year after 1653 England received white pines from the colonies. By 1691, their disappearance in the American landscape began to show. Popularity of the eastern white pine led to King George III of England passing a law which restricted any white pine tree with a 24-inch diameter or more for exclusive use by the British navy. The law was th..
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Community Tree Canopy Programs Made Easy

Energy-Saving Trees Community Tree Canopy Programs Made Easy By Kristen Bousquet | February 6, 2017 This story originally ran on Sustainable City Network. Written by Randy Rodgers. Empowering citizens to acquire the right trees, and plant them in the right locations, can make an important contribution to a city’s sustainability goals, and the Arbor Day Foundation recently made it a lot easier for local governments and organizations to get a tree distribution program up and running. By now, most people know the benefits of trees: they can save energy by providing shade and wind breaks around buildings, they reduce soil erosion, mitigate stormwater, provide habitat for wildlife, cool and beautify neighborhoods, absorb carbon, clean the air and water, and raise property values. At the same time, as every utility and street department knows, the wrong tree in the wrong place can be a headache, cost money and even endanger lives. The answer: invest up-front to distribute tr..
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Douglasfir: A Western Champion

Tree of the Week Douglasfir: A Western Champion By Sheereen Othman | January 31, 2017 Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca Early Beginnings Scottish botanist David Douglas was among early explorers to North America. He travelled to and from the continent on numerous voyages studying plant culture. On his second expedition, he explored the pacific northwest of the United States in what the Royal Horticultural Society called his most successful expedition. Douglas introduced more than 240 species of plants to Britain, including the Douglasfir. Although the common name of the species is named after David Douglas, its scientific name is actually named after rival botanist Archibald Menzies who discovered the species 40 years before Douglas. Among other misleading names, the douglasfir is not a fir tree at all. It is often written as douglasfir or douglas-fir to distinguish it from real firs. In fact, the douglasfir is its own genus comprised of five species. To add to its co..
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Too Warm To Grow Tree Crops? Pushing Through Climate Change Challenges

Misc Trees Too Warm To Grow Tree Crops? Pushing Through Climate Change Challenges By Ezra David Romero | January 30, 2017 This story originally ran on KVPR, an NPR member station in Central California. Written by Ezra David Romero. The valley’s fruit and nut trees need cold temperatures in the winter in order to go to sleep and wake up healthy in the spring. New research suggests that in as little as 30 years, it may be too warm in the valley to grow these trees due to climate change. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports that the agriculture industry is taking the issue very seriously. Tom Coleman is busy pruning branches off pistachio trees that aren’t budding at an orchard just north of Fresno in Madera County. He farms and manages more than 8,000 acres of pistachios across the state. “Here’s an example of some hanging down nuts from last year that just wouldn’t come off because of the position on the tree so we want to remove that,” says Coleman. Coleman’..
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Ask an Arborist: Why Should I Plant Evergreens?

Ask An Arborist Ask an Arborist: Why Should I Plant Evergreens? By Pete Smith | January 27, 2017 Certified arborist Pete Smith explains the benefits of planting evergreens on your home landscape. Evergreen trees provide numerous benefits when planted around your home. They can be used as a living snow fence, provide energy savings, and block cold winds. Additionally, they beautify your home. Living Snow Fence Planting a living snow fence is more cost effective than installing a slatted snow fence. Trees are not only cheaper to plant, but they live longer and require less maintenance than a slatted snow fence. On average, a slatted fence lasts 7-20 years, versus a living snow fence which lasts 40-50 years. A living snow fence captures up to 12 times more snow than a slatted fence and requires less maintenance. Windbreak Aside from redirecting snow from driveways or streets, planting a row of trees blocks strong winds. In the winter, this means less cold drafts through ..
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Leyland Cypress: A Transatlantic Hybrid

Tree of the Week Leyland Cypress: A Transatlantic Hybrid By Sheereen Othman | January 24, 2017 x Cupressocyparis leylandii Seven hundred fifty years ago, a wealthy Englishman in Wales imported trees from the Pacific coast of the U.S. to add to his collection of trees from around the world. A Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) from California and an Alaskan Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) —a cedar-like tree found in the forests of northwest North America. The Discovery In their natural habitat, the two trees grow hundreds of miles apart, with no chance of crossing paths. But when the trees were planted near each other on John Naylor’s estate, nature took its course. Pollen from the Monterey cypress landed on the cone of the Alaskan Cedar, pollinating its flowers. Christopher Leyland, Naylor’s brother-in-law noticed the seedlings were different, but still shared resemblance to their parent trees. So, in 1888, Leyland planted six of the seedlings on his own estate, H..
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