The Energy Savings of Trees


by Loose Leaf Team
Illustration of how to properly place trees to save energyBy Michelle Werts Last week, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a new act to Congress: The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), focuses on a very specific ecological service provided by urban forests: energy savings. The TREES Act would set up a grant program to help electric utilities establish tree planting programs designed to reduce residential energy demands. The science behind this idea is pretty clear. According to research, just three large trees planted at a proper distance around your home —... (Read More)



Announcing Community ReLeaf


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Atlanta, Ga.I am excited to announce that American Forests is launching a new urban forest program called Community ReLeaf. American Forests Community ReLeaf will directly work with urban communities to first assess and then restore their forests. This work will help develop new information and research about the relevance and importance of urban forests locally and nationally. Reaching geographically distributed communities across the country, American Forests aims to bring national attention to the value of our urban forests and the importance of strategic urban forest restoration to community well-being and ecological health. Thanks to a genero... (Read More)



This is Your Brain on Nature


by Susan Laszewski
A walk in the parkIt’s not news that time in the great outdoors is good for your brain. We’ve written before about how exposure to nature is good for creative problem solving and mental health. But how can we determine how much of this relationship is causal when there could be other reasons for correlation? Well, a new study released from researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh published in the British Journal of Science has begun answering that question with some pretty high-tech tools. The 12 study participants were given portable electroencephalograms (EEGs) called Emotiv EPOC to wear under hats against ... (Read More)



Backyard Biodiversity


by Loose Leaf Team
native plant nurseryBy Josh DeLacey “Conservation is about waiting for a long time,” says Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. So, in a society that wants speed and short waits, Ashe explains, conservation too often gets neglected. Ashe was one of four plenary speakers at the 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, a week-long event coordinated and administered by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). Held in Arlington this week, the annual conference brings together environmentally-minded scientists, administrators, managers and educators from organizations across the country, including the U.S. Forest Se... (Read More)



Have You Hugged a Tree Lately?


by Loose Leaf Contributor
Northern Flicker That's the question our director of urban forests, Melinda Housholder, asks in a guest blog on the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Promises blog. To quote Melinda: When I did field work with the National Park Service a few years ago along the National Mall, I hugged trees on a daily basis. Well, by that I mean, when checking for the DBH (diameter at breast height) of specific trees, I often had my arms wrapped around trees. Not in a uniform, I am sure it looked like I was just a visitor to D.C., taking some time out of my day to embrace the tree for a moment of gratitude. And, well, why shouldn’t I? Why not indeed! ... (Read More)