Forests Create Vibrant Cities

by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Chicago, Illinois“At the root of every vibrant city is an urban forest.” This simple statement from the Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests National Call to Action speaks volumes to the importance of urban forests. Especially as urbanization continues to expand throughout our country, it will become increasingly important to understand just how crucial urban forests are to creating and maintaining vibrant cities. I find it fascinating that while only about three percent of the contiguous U.S. is considered urban, it is estimated that about 80 percent of our population (roughly 220 million Americans) lives in this urban area! And, over the next sever... (Read More)

Under the Nashville Canopy

by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Centennial Park in Nashville, TennesseeWe’d like to introduce a new member of the American Forests team and our newest blogger, Melinda Housholder. Moving forward, Melinda will be joining us every third Tuesday to share information specifically on urban forests, aka forests and trees in cities and towns. ~K&M I am excited to have joined American Forests as the Urban Forests Program Manager. For as long as I can remember, I have had a connection to trees, forests and nature. Growing up in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, I was exposed to lots of great music, tasty southern cooking and wonderful urban parks. While Tennessee might be home to the Smoky Mountains an... (Read More)

Treks and the City

by Amanda Tai
Recently, there’s been a huge push in this country to get people to be more active and maintain a healthier lifestyle. A major part of that effort is encouraging people to go outside. When we go outside, there’s a whole world of activities to explore: hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking and camping - just to name a few. There are also a lot of great things to see outside like trees, rivers and wildlife. But with a lot of us living in cities and suburbs, it’s not always easy to find the time and opportunity to really connect with nature. President Obama is well aware of the issue and has made it a top priority. Last year, he launched... (Read More)

Don’t Take the Trees!

by Loose Leaf Team
By Michelle Werts Yesterday, Katrina talked about working Christmas tree farms, where the farmers work hard to make sure that they are planting as many trees as are being removed from their farm, but what happens when trees are removed in cities and towns to be replaced by new apartments, shops and other developments? That’s the very dilemma facing James Island in South Carolina. A developer has plans to cut down 60 grand trees in the area to make way for adult retirement apartments. What is a grand tree according to Charleston? It’s a tree with a trunk at breast height of 24 inches or more, excluding pine trees. The 60 trees at... (Read More)

The First Cut Is Unexpected

by Loose Leaf Contributor
By Luo Yang, Guest Blogger Last week, I mentioned we did four months of classroom work when we arrived in the U.S. We conducted our classroom training in New York, living on Long Island. There are many oak trees in that area, and the house where we were staying had a large backyard, where I witnessed something unexpected. Just two or three days after we moved into the house, the landowner hired some people to cut down the oak trees in the backyard and left several high stumps. The trees they cut down — more than 15 inches in dbh (diameter breast height — the measurement of the tree trunk’s outside bark diameter at breast heigh... (Read More)