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)



A Menace to Maples


by Susan Laszewski
Asian longhorned beetleIf it wasn’t enough of a threat to America’s sweet tooth that climate change may affect maple syrup yields in the next 50 years, the sugar maple is facing another threat as well — an invasive pest. We’re wrapping up Invasive Species Awareness Week by shining the spotlight on a tiny pest with big consequences: the Asian longhorned beetle or ALB. ALB is a black beetle between one and one-and-a-half inches long, with white spots and — as its name implies — two antennae that are even longer than its body. In addition to recognizing the beetles themselves, you can also spot them by signs of occupation on the tree. In early autumn, f... (Read More)



Urban Forests and Ecosystem Services Research


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
The Einstein Memorial on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. Last week, I participated in a workshop titled “Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda” at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The workshop brought together more than 100 participants, and many more tuned-in via webinar. What a great turn out! With interesting presentations, discussions and networking opportunities, I was excited to participate and hone in on the workshop’s key objectives to: Explore the role of trees within the greater urban ecosystem and the linkages/trade-offs among different types of ecosystem services within this larger context. Review our current understanding... (Read More)



Urban Trees on the Hill


by Amanda Tai
My Midwest SUFC group in front of the Capitol Building before their first meeting.It’s been a busy week for those in the urban forest community. To start the week, the National Academy of Sciences held a workshop on urban forestry. Experts from around the country gathered to discuss the benefits of urban forests and how to best leverage them to move research and policies forward. On Wednesday, the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC), of which American Forests is a member of the steering committee, held its annual Advocacy Day where participants from across the country met with their members of Congress to talk about urban forests. Once gathered, we got a quick rundown of the political environment on the Hill an... (Read More)