In our Innovation Lab, we lead scientific research to restore forest health. This research informs new tools and techniques to help forests cope with climate change. These techniques can boost forest growth after wildfires, for example, or trap more carbon in forest soil.
Some of our “climate smart” reforestation methods include:
- Planting genetically diverse collections of native species
- Planting trees that are better able to thrive under future climate conditions
- Screening seedlings for disease resistance
- Spacing seedlings to mimic natural tree regrowth after wildfire. Wider, natural spacing reduces the risk of future fires
- Planting seedlings in plastic shelter tubes that dramatically increase plant survival in drought-prone areas
A new interactive online tool, the Reforestation Hub, simplifies reforestation planning for policymakers, land managers, companies and anyone interested in growing trees to combat climate change. This tool, which draws on the most comprehensive data on reforestation potential in the U.S. ever produced, will help users make their reforestation projects more effective and cost-efficient.
As the number of commitments being made to plant trees skyrockets, are U.S. nurseries able to meet the demand? Without change, the nation’s nurseries cannot come close. A new study co-authored by 18 scientists from universities, nonprofits (including American Forests), businesses, and state and federal agencies, looks into the the barriers to ramping up seedling production in the U.S.