Author Archive: Susan Laszewski


Beetles Cultivating Disaster

Avocado lovers, beware. A study recently published in Fungal Genetics and Biology suggests a threat facing avocado crops in California and Florida could take a new turn. Ambrosia beetles of the Euwallacea genus bore into avocado trees to farm Fusarium fungi, which they use to feed their young. It’s well-known that these fungi can damage […]

Keeping Up With Climate Change

Wildlife will have to evolve 10,000 times faster to keep up with climate change finds a new study published in Ecology Letters. Researchers at the University of Arizona and Yale University estimated the rate of evolution for 17 vertebrate groups — comprised of 540 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians — by looking at […]

Keep Cool, Keep Clean

New research published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics has found that an estimated 460 lives in the U.K. could have been saved from premature death if only trees and plants had been less stressed by a heat wave-induced drought. Trees clean our air: In addition to absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen, they also play an […]

Dreaming Big

Big, bigger, biggest. It’s no surprise that here at American Forests, the headquarters of the National Big Tree Program, we have big trees and champion trees on the brain quite a bit. But we’re not the only ones. People take a lot of pride in their local big trees, and big trees make for quite […]

When Life Gives You Lemons, Plant Trees

There’s absolutely nothing like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. But when that lemonade goes to help a cause you believe in, it tastes even sweeter. We recently heard about two young entrepreneurial minds that are using this principle to the benefit of forests. Amanda Edwards of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, recently […]

Defenders of the Coasts

There is a silent army out there protecting our coasts from invasion — a second Coast Guard, if you will. This army has protected us not from war, but from hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes. I’m talking about coastal buffers — the mangrove forests, wetlands and oyster beds that protect us from hurricanes, floods and […]

Hot and Cold

Back in the Winter 2013 issue of American Forests magazine, we visited Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass., where researchers are heating the soil with buried electric cables to gain some insight into how the changing climate will affect soil organisms like microbes and ants. So my interest was piqued when I read in E&E News […]

Conifers Under Threat

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports that the latest update to their Red List — a database in which the world’s species are classified according to threat level — includes the first global reassessment of conifers. In addition to the shelter and food they provide for wildlife, conifers play an important […]

The Successors of Giants

It’s been a little more than two years since Will Blozan of the Eastern Native Tree Society shared his story of documenting the last giants of a dying species in American Forests magazine. In “The Last of the Giants,” Blozan tells of his race against the clock to document some of the East’s most magnificent […]

Farewell, Skippers

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and marvel at how some of the smallest among us — bees, hummingbirds, bats and others — facilitate the reproduction dance of so many of our flowering trees. In fact, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), more than […]