Striving to decrease nature deficit for children in urban areas


by Ian Leahy
kid in High line Park

Without a doubt, the part of urban forestry that intrigues me the most is environmental psychology – the study of how natural features impact our behavior. In both obvious and subtle ways, a growing body of research over the past couple decades has emerged that hints at just how deep this connection goes, particularly on children, and just how much further it could go if we created truly green cities teeming with healthy vegetation.

Some impacts are obvious. A study from the Landscape and Human Health Lab in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows that fewer symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ... (Read More)




Urban forestry’s next frontier


by Ian Leahy
Helping bridge the gap between cities and nature, American Forests has helped plant trees in urban environments for decades, just like this project in Detroit, Ian's hometown.

Urban forestry.

The term itself seems contradictory. I used to gird myself when telling people what I do for a living. The inevitable bafflement would usually be followed by a pleasantly patronizing, “It’s nice you’re doing something you enjoy.”

I would never argue, though, because I really do enjoy this work. I enjoy its depth of impact that we are only beginning to understand, from improving air and water quality to influencing crime, obesity, psychology and energy, urban forestry encompasses a wide range of disciplines. Before becoming American Forests’ director of urban forest programs, I worked... (Read More)




Strengthening enforcement to protect our forests


by Loose Leaf Contributor
Diseased and dead ash trees — victims of the emerald ash borer — can wreak havoc on communities. Photo credit: Major Hefje, Ann Arbor, Mich.

By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert

As my earlier blogs have demonstrated, highly damaging, tree-killing insects are introduced to North America in crates, pallets and other forms of wood packaging material (WPM).

Since it was first detected in 1996, U.S. and Canadian authorities have spent more than $500 million trying to eliminate the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). These efforts have eradicated ALB from Chicago, portions of the New York City metropolitan area, and Toronto. However, authorities are still dealing with large outbreaks in Massachusetts and Ohio; with an e... (Read More)




Forest Digest — Week of October 27


by Loose Leaf Team

We have hefty Halloween version of Forest Digest this week. Enjoy!

“These Miniature Super-Forests Can Green Cities With Just A Tiny Amount Of Space” —
We covered this a few weeks, but here’s an in-depth look into the process! A startup in India has figured out how to soak up pollution and reduce floods for trees in cities. The founder, a young industrial engineer, Shubhendu Sharma, uses an intensive process of building nutrients three feet deep in the soil and carefully plotting out a mix of trees, so thick it’s impossible to walk inside. He uses the concept of a multi-lay... (Read More)



Forest pests: Where is the threat?


by Loose Leaf Contributor

By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert

As I said in my previous blog, many damaging pests enter the United States by hiding inside wood packaging material (WPM) such as crates and pallets.

What types of imports pose the greatest risk of carrying unwanted insect pests in crates and pallets? Heavy items, such as machinery (including electronics); metals; and tiles and decorative stone (such as marble or granite counter tops). Indeed, more pests have been found in wood supporting tiles and stone than any other type of commodity in 24 of the past 25 years.1

Which parts of... (Read More)