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)



One Generation’s Trash, Another’s Treasure


by Susan Laszewski
City trees in Samara, Russia Through our multi-year Partnership for Trees collaboration with Alcoa Foundation, hundreds of thousands of trees are being planted on damaged and degraded sites throughout the world, but one project in particular represents the epitome of “degraded”: a garbage dump. In Samara, Russia, American Forests and Alcoa employees are working with the Training Center for Ecology and Safety on Trees in the City — planting 180 trees in the city’s Kirovskiy District, including the spot that has served as the area’s household waste dump for a decade. It may sound like a stinky job, but around 60 local students and Alcoa volunteers are will... (Read More)



Animals Gone Urban


by Loose Leaf Team
Red-winged blackbirdsBy Michelle Werts One of the many benefits that urban forests provide is habitat for wildlife. But in keeping true to the stereotype of overcrowded cities, it appears that a few communities around the country are experiencing wildlife overpopulation — to somewhat detrimental results. In Kentucky, the residents of Hopkinsville are suffering a bird invasion. Millions of blackbirds and European starlings have set up roost in the Kentucky community of 35,000, creating a literal black cloud in the sky throughout the day. Local experts tell Reuters that the inundation is most likely due to the unseasonably warm winter in Kentucky, where... (Read More)



EAB Goes Global


by Susan Laszewski
An adult emerald ash borer feeding on a leaf. The beautiful, but deadly, emerald ash borer (EAB) doesn’t look to be slowing down. In fact, this army of tree pests is taking its attack on ash trees global. Last month, four Russian scientists — three from Moscow and one from Siberia — paid a visit to the U.S. to learn more about a pest that has recently become all-too-familiar to them. Yury Ivanovich Gninenko and Yulia Anatolievna Sergeeva, researchers in forest protection against invasive insects from the Russian Research Institute for Silviculture and Mechanization of Forestry (VNIILM) in Moscow were joined by forester Aleksandr Evgenievich Droskov and head of the V.N. Sukac... (Read More)