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..
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 ..
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.
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.
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..
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 ..
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..
Tree of the Week
A Tree with Tulips in its Hair
By James R. Fazio | May 15, 2018
“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..
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
If you like hydrangeas, then you’ll like the Chinese snowball. This..
Tree of the Week
The Feisty River Birch
By James R. Fazio | May 8, 2018
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..
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 ..