Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop?

Tree City USA Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop? By Sheereen Othman | May 30, 2018 Natural disasters often strike without warning and wreak havoc wherever they land. A city can never be fully prepared for natural devastation, but there are measures they can put in place that will help reduce the impact. One of the easiest and cheapest tools a city can use is its urban forest. A thick, urban forest can reduce the environmental and economic impact of heavy storms. A dense urban forest helps reduce flooding during a rainstorm because trees act as a sponge by soaking up stormwater. When there are less trees, there is more stormwater runoff. In the same way that shrubs and trees planted along waterways slow flood waters and filter runoff from land, a thick urban forest absorbs excess rain that would otherwise flood flat surfaces. When storm drains reach capacity, stormwater has nowhere to go, so it runs along streets a..
Read More

Weeping Willow: The Tree of Romance

Tree of the Week Weeping Willow: The Tree of Romance By James R. Fazio | May 29, 2018 Were they water maidens in the long ago, that they lean out sadly looking down below? — Walter Prichard Eaton If ever there were a tree to stir the heart of a poet, weeping willow would claim the honor. To Walter Prichard Eaton, the long, slender branches gently dipping to the water of a river, “still…deep and brown,” is nothing if not the hair of a once-fair maiden. Robert Herrick also saw melancholy, proclaiming, “Thou art to all lost love the best,” a tree under which distressed young men and maids “weary of the light…come to weep out the night.” Napoleon Bonaparte must have seen something of this in the tree, too. When banished to the island of St. Helena, Napoleon is said to have found a favorite place beneath a weeping willow, undoubtedly reflecting there on his lost honors. He was buried by the tree, and cuttings from it came into high demand around the world. One even made its ..
Read More

Common Tree Pests and How to Spot Them

Tree Care Common Tree Pests and How to Spot Them By Arbor Day Foundation | May 25, 2018 Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree. Spring is a wonderful time of year, when everything around us is bursting to life. This, of course, includes pesky insects that have it out for your trees. As the weather warms up, pests come out of the woodwork, so to speak, and you’ll want to know what signs to look for. When trees are stressed after a long winter, they are especially susceptible to attack. These are some of the most destructive and prevalent insects that can cause serious damage to your tree and even lead to tree death. Defoliators Gypsy Moth USDA Forest Service , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org The gypsy moth is notorious for defoliating more than a million forested acres each year since 1980. As leaves emerge in the spring, the moths leave masses of eggs which hatch into hungry larvae. The moth’s larvae defoliate hardwood trees, especially oak, birch, elm and maple. ..
Read More

How our Energy-Saving Trees Program Earned our Partner an Award

Energy-Saving Trees How our Energy-Saving Trees Program Earned our Partner an Award By Kristen Bousquet | May 24, 2018 Oncor Electric Delivery has been named the Environmental Leader Project of the Year Great change happens when organizations work together. The Energy-Saving Trees program is a living example of the impact community trees can have on communities and the utility companies who distribute them. For the last six years, we have partnered with Oncor Electric Delivery to give away free trees to Oncor customers in its service area throughout Texas. Participants use the online mapping tool to place trees on their property where they make the most impact. In the fall of 2017, the company gave away more than 8,500 trees — more than any other Energy-Saving Trees program. The trees come from local nurseries throughout Texas that are grown specifically for the Oncor program. Together, we have given away more than 43,000 trees to Oncor customers. Trees that are streng..
Read More

Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant

Tree of the Week Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant By James R. Fazio | May 22, 2018 Gleditsia triacanthos form inermis One of the most startling trees to encounter on a walk in the riparian woodlands of the east and Midwest is our native honeylocust, Gleditsia triacanthos. It just can’t be missed. No other tree is guarded by such a mass of sharp, branching thorns, some of them as long as a foot in length. They are truly ferocious. Fortunately for our community forests, someone noticed that some of the trees had all the other characteristics of honeylocust — except the nasty thorns! Scientists and plant breeders found that while the thornless honeylocust is distinctly different from honeylocust in the not-so-minor matter of thorns, it is not otherwise different enough to be classified as a separate species. Moreover, offspring from the thornless trees will sometimes have thorns. This twist of genetics has led botanists to classify thornless honeylocusts as a form ..
Read More

9 Reasons to Plant a Tree

Tree Planting 9 Reasons to Plant a Tree By Arbor Day Foundation | May 17, 2018 Did you know planting a tree is one of the easiest and most powerful things you can do to have a positive impact on the environment? It’s true. Trees clean the air, prevent rainwater runoff, help you save energy and even combat global warming. And they’re a snap to plant! No horticultural degree required. From the single homeowner in Nebraska planting a maple in her backyard to the 250 Comcast employees volunteering in communities devastated by hurricanes, fires and Emerald Ash Borer infestation by planting hundreds of trees on Comcast Cares Day (the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer event), people nationwide are getting their tree on. Here are 9 reasons why you should join them. Trees fight climate change Wish you could do more than recycling and reducing your carbon footprint to combat climate change? Trees have you covered. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb harmful carbon d..
Read More

A Tree with Tulips in its Hair

Tree of the Week A Tree with Tulips in its Hair By James R. Fazio | May 15, 2018 Liriodendron tulipifera “Imagine a tall tree with unearthly foliage and 5,000 tulips in its hair.” — Thomas Pakenham, Meetings with Remarkable Trees Tuliptrees seem to inspire poetic interpretation. Leaves appear snipped off at the tips by supernatural scissors, forming the silhouette of a stylized tip. The tree’s flowers, the real reason for the name tuliptree, stand singly at the tips of twigs — six large, yellowish petals that to American naturalist Donald Peattie, “hold the sunshine in their cups, setting the whole giant tree alight.” Later in the season, dry, cone-like fruits continue the picturesque parade with their resemblance of little torches held boldly aloft. The glorious tuliptree is the state tree of Indiana and Tennessee, it is the tallest of the eastern hardwoods and grows rapidly when conditions are right. In fact, writer Hugh Johnson notes that a “seedling with all its pr..
Read More

5 Stunning Flowering Trees

Holiday Landscape Design 5 Stunning Flowering Trees By Sheereen Othman | May 9, 2018 Mother’s Day is around the corner and planting a tree — or gifting a tree — is a meaningful way to honor the caretaker(s) in your life. Trees only gain value as they grow, and these 5 flowering trees aren’t just stunning as landscape trees, but they will add fragrance, attract wildlife and pollinators, and add a little buzz to your yard. Check your local nursery for one of these spectacular flowering trees and shrubs. 1. Date Night™ Tuxedo™ Weigela Weigela x ‘Velda’ This striking shrub brings life to the landscape. With its profusion of white blooms and dark foliage, the Date Night™ Tuxedo™ Weigela attracts butterflies and bees. It is loaded with flowers and has a long bloom time, from summer into fall, and thrives in a wide range of soils, hardiness zones 4-9. 2. Potted Chinese Snowball Viburnum Viburnum macrocephalum If you like hydrangeas, then you’ll like the Chinese snowball. This..
Read More

The Feisty River Birch

Tree of the Week The Feisty River Birch By James R. Fazio | May 8, 2018 Betula nigra River birch is a tree that is easy to admire. As its name suggests, the river birch naturally grows along river banks. Mud is a natural bed for the seedlings and the tree is excellent for holding stream banks, helping to keep erosion in check. It is one of 12 Birch species that extend south from the Arctic Circle, and the only one that grows naturally at low elevations in the southeastern part of the U.S. Its ability to withstand dryness better than other birches has made it popular for planting in landscapes where its white-barked kin inevitably suffer stress from summer drought and eventually succumb to the bronze birch borer. This species is resistant to both. It has moderately strong wood, a graceful, semi-weeping form at maturity, and it can withstand the trampling effects of foot traffic. This tree quietly serves an important role in anchoring the soil and providing a cornucopia o..
Read More

Happy Arbor Day: A Message from Dan Lambe

Arbor Day Executive Message Happy Arbor Day: A Message from Dan Lambe By Arbor Day Foundation | April 27, 2018 At the Arbor Day Foundation, planting trees is core to our mission. It’s what we do, and it’s what we’ve always done. As we celebrate National Arbor Day this April, it’s helpful to reflect on all that trees do for us. It’s a reminder of the importance of protecting our forests, our nation’s greatest natural treasures, and beautifying our communities, the places we live, work, and play. Trees help to bring positive nature-based solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing us today, and we have some serious challenges in front of us. If ever there was a time to plant trees, now is that time. And what better time to do it than Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a busy time for the Foundation. We are a part of tree planting events and celebrations from coast to coast. We launched celebratearborday.com, the go-to website for Arbor Day events across the country where you ..
Read More