Category Archive: Blog


Self-healing for Forests

By Lizzie Wasilewska Forest recovery is an incredibly complex and frequently unpredictable process. It often requires outside help, but there are also ways in which forests heal themselves. Researchers recently discovered that nitrogen — a chemical that plays a major role in the formation of cells in many organisms — is crucial to trees’ ability […]

European Ash to Ashes?

By Marcelene Sutter European ash trees cannot seem to catch a break. Currently, an ash dieback fungus caused by Chalara faxinea has been plaguing Europe, requiring research funds and the efforts and attention of scientists. Now, another threat to these trees looms on the horizon. As readers of American Forests magazine know from the Winter […]

The Rise and Fall of Champions

Relative to humans, most tree species live a long time. Many of the trees we have personal connections to have been around long before us; some of the oldest trees have been here longer than the pyramids of Giza, perhaps even longer than Stonehenge. It might seem like we couldn’t possibly watch these giants rise […]

It’s World Animal Day

By Lizzie Wasilewska On October 4, 1931, a group of Italian ecologists founded World Animal Day with the hope of drawing attention to threatened wildlife. They selected this date because it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, a patron saint of animals. Since 1931, people of many religions and nationalities have adopted this […]

The Serious Business of Leaf Peeping

By Marcelene Sutter At some point in your life, someone has probably informed you that money does not grow on trees, and while this oft-stated truism does make a lot of sense, Megan Smith, Vermont’s commissioner of Tourism and Marketing, heartily disagrees. “I’d like to say that money falls from trees at this time of […]

Divided and Disappearing

It’s well known that when habitat becomes fragmented, wildlife suffers. But now, a study more than two decades in the making has published its findings in Science demonstrating just how rapidly mammals species disappear in fragmented patches of forest. The study found that mammal species whose habitat becomes fragmented can disappear in as little as […]

Forest Conservation and Local Communities

By Lizzie Wasilewska In addition to the ongoing work of environmental researchers, sometimes the knowledge provided by local populations is just as crucial for the conservation of forests. For more than two decades, American Forests has worked with local partners to plant trees around the world through Global ReLeaf; we also encourage people to discover, […]

A Golden Design

By Marcelene Sutter Who could say no to a face like that? Meet the golden lion tamarin, native to Brazil and so beloved by citizens there that it appears on the country’s currency. Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica to locals, is the only place where these tiny primates can be found in the wild. […]

Getting Our Hands Dirty

By Michelle Werts If you’re a regular reader here on Loose Leaf, you know that our forests and ecosystems, while very good self-regulators, sometimes need a helping hand — and a helping hand is what they’re going to get en masse tomorrow. Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day, the largest, single-day volunteer effort for public […]

Following in the Footsteps of Johnny Appleseed

On this day, 239 years ago, John Chapman was born and would go on to change the American landscape and help to instill a certain fruit with national symbolism. Most know him better as Johnny Appleseed. Folklore paints Johnny Appleseed as having walked across the country scattering apple seeds in the wilderness along his way. […]