Author Archive: Loose Leaf Team


Small But Mighty

By Michelle Werts When I first heard of American Forests’ National Big Tree Program, I instantly envisioned towering, giant trees — the kind that hurt your neck when you try to take in all their grandeur. But, my awe of those redwoods and sequoias was soon replaced by a love for the “tiny titans.” As […]

Father of National Parks

By Katrina Marland The conservation movement has been fortunate enough to have a number of truly wonderful figures over the years. Few of these people, however, are as recognizable a name as John Muir. This man was a naturalist, a writer, an adventurer and above all an advocate for wilderness. His work was so influential […]

At Home in the Forest

By Michelle Werts When you read the words forests and wildlife, I’m sure the first visions that pop into your head are pictures of deer foraging in the understory, squirrels running up trunks and birds flitting in the canopy. Forests, though, aren’t home just to our mammalian and avian friends. What would your reaction be […]

Champions Lost

By Katrina Marland When the National Register of Big Trees is released, it is always exciting. There are new species and new champions, often with amazing proportions and incredible stories. Unfortunately, this often means that other champion trees have lost their crowns — usually a bitter pill to swallow for those involved in achieving it […]

Pigskin Versus White Oak

By Michelle Werts American football first emerged on the sports scene about 140 years ago, around the same time that Virginia Tech was being founded in Blacksburg, Virginia. More than 200 years prior to those moments — back in the same century that America’s first permanent English settlement, Jamestown, was being established — some white […]

Protecting the Environment: Then and Now

This Earth Month, let’s take a look back and see how environmental politics have changed since the first Earth Day, 42 years ago. 1970 was a monumental year for the environmental movement. In addition to the first Earth Day, Congress also authorized the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and […]

Trail Trees

By Katrina Marland When I’m driving in a new area, I am one of those people who become entirely reliant on a GPS. I find it hard to imagine how people found their way around before this nifty invention — or worse, before even paper maps were available. But it turns out that trees played […]

A Threatening Insect Infestation

By Michelle Werts Every day, our forests and trees are under assault: from droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes to fires and climate change. One particular brand of threat, though, is often sneaky, small and numbers in the thousands: insects. Trees and insects can often have a symbiotic relationship, with the insect providing pollination and other services […]

We Are the Champions

By Katrina Marland Later this month, we have something special in store for you: The spring edition of our National Register of Big Trees will be released on April 27th! In anticipation, we’ll be talking about big trees every Friday until the release of the new register. It showcases each of the biggest trees — […]

Speaking Plants and More

By Michelle Werts Every time I turned around this week, there seemed to be some new study, research or news related to forests, trees and flora that made me go, “That’s really interesting.” This made selecting a topic for today’s blog excessively difficult, so instead of selecting one, I selected four. Hope you find each […]