American Forests

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American Forests has been publishing its magazine since 1895. Filled with beautiful photographs and informative articles highlighting our nation’s forests and trees, American Forests features information for everyone from the environmentally conscious to the outdoor enthusiast. Its feature articles take readers into America’s forests to discover new trails and adventures or to uncover the latest science and policy breakthroughs. Other departments include forest policy updates from Washington, D.C.; Q & As with the experts on how to care for trees at home; news shorts addressing current projects and events; discussions on both sides of today’s more complex and controversial forestry issues; and profiles of individuals or organizations who make a difference for forests and trees in their community.

If you are interested in receiving American Forests magazine, simply become a member of American Forests. A donation of $25 or more will help us to continue our work protecting and restoring forests around the world, and you will receive a one-year subscription to American Forests.

Writers and photographers interested in contributing to American Forests should read our Writer’s Guidelines.


  • American Forests Summer 2021 Magazine CoverSummer 2021
    In this issue, take a look at some of the unique jobs generated by, and reliant on, forests and trees. Discover how American Forests is partnering with private landowners to restore native thornforest habitat in South Texas. Plus, see the stunning photography that earned top honors in this year’s Forests in Focus photo contest.
  • American Forests Winter/Spring 2021 Magazine CoverWinter/Spring 2021
    In this issue, learn how “good” fire may be able to help save forests across America from being devastated by “bad” fires. Discover how restoring the forests of Mauna Kea is essential to the continued survival of Hawaiian songbirds. Plus, read about the importance of engaging youth in urban forestry.


  • American Forests Fall 2020 Magazine CoverFall 2020
    In this issue, discover how replanting after the Camp Fire using climate-informed techniques could help forests better withstand the rising threats of climate change. Read about the need to plant billions of seedlings, but U.S. nurseries tasked with producing them face labor, infrastructure and other shortages. Plus, learn how growing trees and building healthy forests can breed jobs during the unemployment crisis.
  • American Forests Summer CoverSummer 2020
    In this issue, venture to the Northern Rockies to learn what is being done to protect whitebark pines and all trees in high-elevation forests. Understand how trees and nature can provide psychological, educational and emotional benefits, and learn how American Forests’ Vice President of Urban Forestry, Ian Leahy, feels that trees have spoken to, and driven, him. Plus, explore how the Canada lynx and ocelot are connected by one river and the dire need for forest restoration.
  • Winter Spring 2020 CoverWinter/Spring 2020
    In this issue, learn how economic inequity and tree cover in cities are inextricably linked, as well as what American Forests does to create Tree Equity. And, discover what American Forests is doing to bridge the gap between urban forestry job shortages and people who need career opportunities the most through our Career Pathways: Tree Equity initiative. Plus, learn how individuals and organizations create access to nature for everyone and how American Forests’ extensive history has shaped the future of forestry. 


  • American Forests Fall 2019 CoverFall 2019
    Learn how climate change is threatening our forests and how American Forests ambitiously plans to reforest those disturbed landscapes across the country. Discover how U.S. states are joining forces to protect and restore our forests to fight climate change. And, how climate change is affecting the iconic sugar maples of New England, maple syrup and the vivacious fall foliage they provide. Plus, discover how the state of Rhode Island is positioning itself as a national leader on how urban forests can help combat climate change.
  • American Forests Summer 2019Summer 2019
    Learn how the MacNab cypress has a rare opportunity to thrive in fire-stricken California. Discover how, in the wake of our changing climate, tree species are migrating and transforming the forests we care about. Explore the majesty of some iconic California recreation destinations, from the summit of Mount Whitney to the movie set landscape of the Alabama Hills. Plus, years of catastrophic wildfires have brought California to the brink — so how are its people responding?
  • Winter/Spring 2019 CoverWinter/Spring 2019
    Read a personal narrative of work to conserve the wolverine population in the Northern Cascades as climate change poses a threat to their habitat. Find out about superlative trees whose characteristics make them champions of a different order than the measures for our National Register. Discover the mysterious, swampy ecosystems of the Wolf River’s Ghost Section and Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee and the cypress forests they cover. Plus, see the stunning photography that earned top honors in this year’s Forests in Focus photo contest.


  • Fall 2018 CoverFall 2018
    Explore the ecological and economic importance of American white oak and why conserving the species is so critical. Dive into the evolution of forest carbon measurement and the uncertain future it faces. And, discover the rich forest region of northern Idaho, the heart of the Clearwater Mountains. Plus, learn how American Forests is adapting restoration strategies to meet climate challenges.
  • American Forests Summer 2018 Issue CoverSummer 2018
    Learn about the fight to save the most biologically diverse habitat in the U.S. Explore how the field of urban forestry is helping create jobs across America. And, discover the stories behind Louisiana’s oldest southern live oaks. Plus, how wildfire is impacting the habitats of two seemingly different species in a similar manner.
  • American Forests Winter/Spring 2018Winter/Spring 2018
    Learn how the Endangered Species Act has helped bring back the Kirtland’s warbler and why the tiny songbird’s fate rests in the hands of conservationists. Discover the beauty of winter buds through the perspective — and camera lens — of author and photographer Rutherford Platt. And, follow along on an epic journey to find one of California’s sequoia giants. Plus, see the stunning photography that earned top honors in this year’s Forests in Focus photo contest.


  • Fall 2017Fall 2017
    Learn about the fight to save the whitebark pine, a keystone species on the brink of extinction, and what American Forests is doing to help. Discover how one species can have a profound impact on the entire longleaf pine ecosystem. And, follow a hiker as he traverses the infamous John Muir Trail, a recreation destination transforming in the tumult of climate change. Plus, get a look at a new state-of-the-art platform designed to bring together urban forestry professionals and resources in one place. 
  • Summer 2017
    Learn about the challenges faced by one of the country's most unique ecosystems: maritime forests. Discover how critical healthy forests are to the future of the wildflower species that call them home. Lastly, explore the seven regions across the U.S. where we'll be working through our new forest habitat restoration program, Wildlands for Wildlife. Plus, tag along on the trek to create and preserve California's Condor Trail.
  • Winter/Spring 2017 CoverWinter/Spring 2017
    Explore the lesser-known ways in which trees can provide us with tasty treats and survival resources. Tag along on a journey around Lake Superior, highlighting some of the best sites and attractions. And, learn how a unique forest ecosystem in Oklahoma reveals much of the history of the American West. Plus, see the stunning photography that earned top honors in our second annual Forests in Focus photo contest.


  • American Forests Magazine Fall 2016 CoverFall 2016
    Experience how one small town rallied together in support of one another in the midst of the looming threat of wildfire. Come along on a big tree hunter's journey through one of the most diverse conifer landscapes in the world. And, discover the risky, and oftentimes dangerous, work of the Game Wardens who protect our nation's public lands. Plus, enjoy incredible photography of Alaska from our Artist-in-Residence, Chuck Fazio, learn how the retired associate chief of the U.S. Forest Service found her career path to forestry and see a photograph displaying a breathtaking perspective of the towering redwoods.
  • Summer Issue CoverSummer 2016
    Explore the profound and personal relationship between one of America's greatest writers, Henry David Thoreau, and trees. Go on a big tree hunting narrative adventure through the forests of Colorado. And, get to know some of the most adorable, and hardworking, conservationists — dogs — and how they're impacting conservation efforts. Plus, discover new innovations in the field of urban forestry, hear how one professor hopes to change the way people view forest management and behold an absolutely breathtaking image that captures the beauty of nature.
  • Winter/Spring 2016Winter/Spring 2016
    Experience one of the most eloquent seasonal transitions in Washington, D.C. Understand the complexities behind, and challenges faced by, the distribution of urban forests and green space. And, come along on a journey through a breathtaking California old-growth forest to understand the importance of watershed protection. Plus, discover how technology is changing the field of conservation, hear the story of a woman's mission to protect our country's old-growth forests and get to know our new Artist-in-Residence, Chuck Fazio.


  • American Forests magazine Fall 2015Fall 2015
    Get to know the spotted owl in its Olympic Peninsula habitat through the experiences of a devoted researcher. Take a journey through the Kentucky Bluegrass region guided by its ancient trees. And, discover the unique connection between U.S. Army soldiers and forests. Plus, learn about the natural alternatives to traditional burials, see the breathtaking images that earned top honors in our Trees Please photo contest and hear the story of a woman who helped Atlanta embody its name of "The City in a Forest."
  • Spring/Summer 2015
    In our special edition anniversary issue commemorating American Forests' 140th anniversary, discover how two images on the front page of The Washington Post ignited the transformation of our nation's capital through improved care of the city's trees. Also, see how we're still cherishing some of our forests' most venerable champions. And explore the sites where we're changing the world through our Global Releaf program.
  • Winter 2015
    Witness Boston's battle with the Asian longhorned beetle. Get a glimpse into the minds of the birds in your backyard. And, explore the subtle beauty of John Muir's boyhood home. Plus, spend the night with nature in a treehouse and meet WildEarth Guardians, a champion for the West's wild places.


  • Fall 2014
    Gaze upon the giant elders of the eastern forests. Get up close and personal with a little critter with some big influence. And, get a glimpse of the future as we explore how nanoparticles from trees could shape our lives. Plus, we travel to the Pacific Northwest to uncover the home of the northern spotted owl — in pictures — and to New England to meet with Bob Perschel, a forester who took a stand.
  • Spring/Summer 2014
    Encounter elephant seals and island foxes native to the Channel Islands. Take a stroll through the "garden of graves" — the first urban parks. And, tag along on our first Forestscape as we journey to Mexico to witness the monarch butterflies. Plus, we celebrate Smokey Bear's 70th birthday and discover treehab — rehabilitation and therapy through trees.
  • American Forests, Winter 2014, Vol. 120, No. 1Winter 2014
    Unearth what's coming between the whitebark pine and Clark's nutcracker in the Mountain West. Journey into the woods to discover a hidden cache and an outdoor recreation craze. And, investigate the influence a 50-year-old document still holds on the National Park Service today. Plus, we take a magnifying glass to the fascinating relationship between ants and trees and pay a visit to a place where palms grow in peace.


  • American Forests, Fall 2013Fall 2013
    Embark on a 2,800-mile journey by bicycle along the Continental Divide. Witness the toll a changing climate is taking on a circumglobal super species. And, discover elk in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Plus, we ponder our relationship with trees throughout the ages, and we visit the unofficial black walnut capital of the world.
  • Spring/Summer 2013Spring/Summer 2013
    Witness the epic battle for Hawai'i's native forests. Travel from Georgia to Maine along the world's longest continuous footpath. And, drop in on a funeral parlor where the mantle has a story to tell about an extraordinary tree. Plus, get the scoop on the Canadian Boreal Forests Agreement, and meet a man continuing the centuries-old tradition of a fire lookout.
  • American Forests Winter 2013Winter 2013
    Enter the race to save the Midwest's ash trees from the destructive emerald ash borer. Journey into Cook Forest State Park and Mohawk Trail State Forest, where they're growing some gigantic trees. And, discover how to identify a tree by its bark. Plus, we delve into the experiments being undertaken at Harvard Forest, and we meet some partners who are helping promote sustainable farming in Central America.


  • Fall 2012
    Explore New York's Finger Lakes region, where a national forest offers hiking, horseback riding and more. Discover the toil hurricanes, floods, ice storms and more take on forests and how they recover. Travel to the Greater Yellowstone Area, where our forests are being ravaged by pests and disease, and learn how American Forests is working to save this iconic landscape. Plus, we visit Texas' capital to explore its urban forest, and we meet a woman who has helped preserve the legacy of a tree that pre-dates the Civil War.
  • Summer 2012
    Enter Alaska's Tongass National Forest and encounter the controversies over the management of this old-growth forest that have been brewing for decades. Discover how humans have altered North American forests over the last 15,000 years. Head into the forest and go camping in any number of forests across the country. Plus, we take a walk through a unique forest in the middle of the New Mexican desert and remember the people who preserved Maine's Acadia National Park.
  • American Forests Magazine Spring 2012Spring 2012
    Go on a big-tree adventure in Washington state on a search for a champion silver fir. Uncover the birding, biking and kayaking that awaits visitors to Maryland's Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Discover what North American forests looked like tens of millions of years ago when the landscape was shaped by climate and ice. Plus, we investigate how mercury leaking from abandoned mines is affecting America's forests and visit a Wisconsin forest that has been sustainable managed by a Native American tribe for more than 150 years.
  • American Forests Magazine Winter 2012Winter 2012
    Go beyond the canoe runs and underwater springs to discover the scrub pine ecosystems and threatened bird species of Ocala National Forest. Discover the restoration efforts underway to revitalize California’s Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Visit some of America’s private forests to uncover how they’re working to protect threatened species living there. Plus: We explore the many roles of mangrove forests and investigate outdoor schools that are immersing their students in nature.


  • Autumn 2011
    Take a journey through America's champion big trees. Explore Superior National Forest's various recreation opportunities. Discover the art and science of dendrochronology, the study of tree rings.
  • Spring 2011
    Explore the benefits of green infrastructure in Portland, Oregon, where the city’s Grey to Green program is having a positive impact on the community. Take a look at how would-be champion eastern hemlock trees are bringing attention to a disease that’s wiping them out. And learn how a Missouri man’s efforts are helping to bring back an unusual tree species, once thought to have vanished from the landscape.
  • Best of American Forests
    From new urban forestry methods and visiting champion trees, to fighting invasive species and learning about the many incredible creatures that make their home in forests, these articles offer some of the best that American Forests magazine has to offer. More will be added as time goes on, so check back to discover more archived articles.