Category Archive: Blog


Beetles Cultivating Disaster

Avocado lovers, beware. A study recently published in Fungal Genetics and Biology suggests a threat facing avocado crops in California and Florida could take a new turn. Ambrosia beetles of the Euwallacea genus bore into avocado trees to farm Fusarium fungi, which they use to feed their young. It’s well-known that these fungi can damage […]

The Cannabis Conundrum Continues

By Michelle Werts If you had told me two years ago when I started at American Forests that I would have a series on our soon-to-launch blog about marijuana, I definitely would have had a big laugh, but as it turns out, pot is no laughing matter when it comes to the health of forest […]

Community ReLeaf in Detroit

Last week, Melinda Housholder and I, aka American Forests’ urban forest team, traveled to Detroit, Mich., the site of one of the Community ReLeaf 2013 projects. We had the opportunity to meet a lot of folks working on greening initiatives in Detroit and saw a lot of the city. It was a very interesting time […]

Take Part in Tree Check Month

Earlier this week, American Forests joined the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to spread awareness about an invasive pest destroying hardwood trees, especially maples: the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). The beetle was first found in the U.S. in 1996 and is thought to have been transported in wooden packing material from Asia. They […]

Keeping Up With Climate Change

Wildlife will have to evolve 10,000 times faster to keep up with climate change finds a new study published in Ecology Letters. Researchers at the University of Arizona and Yale University estimated the rate of evolution for 17 vertebrate groups — comprised of 540 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians — by looking at […]

Run, Salmon, Run

By Michelle Werts It’s farmer vs. fisherman in California. The battleground is the Klamath River and at stake are the abundant agricultural fields of California’s Central Valley and the lives of thousands upon thousands of endangered Chinook salmon. No pressure. The instigator of this conflict is ages old and drought is its name. As you […]

Keep Cool, Keep Clean

New research published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics has found that an estimated 460 lives in the U.K. could have been saved from premature death if only trees and plants had been less stressed by a heat wave-induced drought. Trees clean our air: In addition to absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen, they also play an […]

At Home in the Trees

By Michelle Werts Everyone knows that birds and trees have a special relationship. For birds, trees provide shelter and food, and for many trees, birds help them reproduce by distributing their seeds. But this relationship can’t be taken for granted, and to protect one, we must protect the other. During my Michigan adventure last week, […]

A Burning Alaska

Since it seems the media only highlights the forest fires that take place in the lower 48 states, many people would be surprised to know that millions of acres of forestland is burned in Alaska each year. Yes, you read correctly, Alaska. The National Interagency Fire Center reports that Alaskan fires have burned 1,043,908 acres […]

Dreaming Big

Big, bigger, biggest. It’s no surprise that here at American Forests, the headquarters of the National Big Tree Program, we have big trees and champion trees on the brain quite a bit. But we’re not the only ones. People take a lot of pride in their local big trees, and big trees make for quite […]