All Posts (808)

What do you know about Biomass Fuel?

The Dogwood Alliance has stated, "Utility companies in the United States and Europe are expanding their use of wood as an energy source despite growing scientific evidence that the large-scale burning of wood for electricity—in particular the burning of whole trees—will accelerate industrial logging, increase carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels, and threaten human health with air pollution similar to burning coal.  While the small-scale use of wood waste and residues for energy could play a role in addressing future energy needs, policies in the U.S. and European Union are setting the stage for the large-scale use of wood as a primary fuel source."

The US Forest service is looking into the impact of small woody biomass harvest on our forests.  “Biomass removal is new for the Forest, and currently there is limited research literature for us to use to help explain some of the environmental effects from this type of harvesting,” said Thomas Bailey, forest soil scientist for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

The industry appears to be already ramped up with over 100 plants in the US. The Biomass Power Association is the nation's leading organization working to expand and advance the use of clean, renewable biomass power. The Association represents 80 biomass power plants in 20 states across the U.S. They argue, "Increasing America's use of biomass and other renewable energy is the first step in combating climate change and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Biomass power generates carbon neutral electricity from natural organic waste, providing sustainable energy. America can depend on the biomass industry to provide clean, renewable electricity and create thousands of green jobs in communities across the country. Biomass power is the natural solution for energy independence.

Dogwood Alliance which has started the "Forests aren't Fuel" (see graphic) campaign argue that "we need more forests to capture carbon, burning forests for energy will destroy one of our best defenses against climate change.  A major shift to wood as an energy source could likewise undermine efforts to expand clean, renewable and low-carbon energy sources, such as solar and wind, while also rolling back hard-won victories for forest conservation."

What are your thoughts?

Land owners that grow forests could view it as a source of additional demand for their product, hence additional revenue, which is one reason states might be advocating for it. On the other hand, it is not clear what portion of the wood comes from agriculturally grown forests vs. National Forest land. However, traditionally our forests are considered a sustainable resource that are to be used.  There is the additional question whether removing all the biomass inhibits recovery.  In the field of morticulture, a dead tree sustains more life than a live one.

Read more…

Paul Revell's True Professionals Award from ISA

Paul Revell’s ISA True Professional of Arboriculture Award

Congratulations to Paul Revell, Virginia’s Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator who was named one of ISA’s True Professionals of Arboriculture for excellence in advancing the profession of arboriculture through education, communication and public outreach by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Through his tireless efforts and promotion of arboriculture training, the Virginia Department of Forestry hosts annual workshops across the state and an ISA certification training program at VDOF headquarters.  To date we have had 450 people attend the training. He was also instrumental in promoting ISA certification and training within the agency, the Virginia Department of Forestry currently has 37 ISA Certified Arborists thanks to Paul. Congratulations again!

Read more…

Charlottesville Tree Stewards add to Diversity

We have 33 new trees at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) Headquarters thanks to the local Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (CATS) and a grant for $2,600.00 they received from Bama Works Fund.  VDOF employees joined the CATS group to plant 12 different native species along the entry to VDOF Headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The species that were planted include: River Birch, Ironwood, Yellowwood, American Beech, Kentucky Coffeetree, Tulip Poplar, Southern Magnolia, Black Gum, Hophornbeam, Sourwood, Swamp White Oak and Princeton American Elm. The goal of this project was to plant a diverse array of native species and highlight some of the lesser known species to show other potentially viable options for planting in public and private settings. These new trees were also used as a teaching example to show how to bare-root containerized planting stock and properly plant techniques for those in attendance. We are extremely grateful for the support we received from VDOF staff, CATS and Bama Works.   











Read more…

Volunteer Trees And Fulfilling Dreams

Alliance for Community Trees recently posted an article about Managing ‘Volunteer’ Trees and it reminded of this blog posted over three years ago with another perspective on not managing volunteer trees.

Often I will work in my yard and notice a new tree sprouting up, perhaps a forgotten acorn.  Sadly, more often than not I remove the young tree as it interferes with my overall plan for the yard.  Lately, I have been giving more consideration to the removal of volunteers as they have a potential to not only reach to the sky with their canopy but to also embody the surrounding natural environment.

The Georgia Town I live in, Decatur, is one of the most densely populated in all of Georgia.  Roughly 18K people live in 4.5 square miles, yet our canopy coverage remains around 50%.  Our Urban Forest is changing rapidly as the large oaks slowly succumb to development and storms.  I speculate that most the of these trees, aka, grandfather trees were volunteers that were either encouraged or overlooked over a 100 years ago.  Because summers were hot (AC did not exist), lots were larger, and land was not as intensively developed, owners were more likely to let trees grow.  Today, trees suffer, particularly those placed through non-human means, in an environment where many lots have been subdivided, homes have become larger, and shade is not as relevant.

More and more of our trees are intentionally planted to offset tree removals. In a world where so much retains a human finger print, there is something special about a tree that came up due to forces outside of direct human intervention. Volunteer trees have the advantage to customize their first year to their exact surroundings giving them an ecological edge in adaption over a tree that was transplanted from another location. Volunteers  also will have a genetic connection with the trees that surround them, making them more of a family of trees.

Nurturing the volunteer tree makes you a willing participant in the natural world.  The volunteer incorporates a complex web of interactions and consequences that often express the intelligence of nature.  In participating in that natural world, trees go beyond being a resource and become a source of life and wonderment.  We can take solace in living with the tree's beautiful embodiment of time and nature.  Joan Maloof, author of Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest, states it best when she says; It's good to have dreams, but sometimes it good to let dreams have you too."

Read more…

Working with Nature & Trees

Tree destruction is probably visiting a location near you.  Many tree ordinance attempt to plant themselves out of the destruction, but do not account for the time and conditions  it takes to grow mature trees. It truly takes a team to tackle the issue of tree removal in urban areas and requires people coming out of their shells. There are many forces that will work against you, but in the end it comes down to wanting to work with nature rather than against nature. When our impact was but a small percentage of the planet we could afford to work against nature but given how that tide has shifted and the human imprint is everywhere, my aspiration is to always try my best to work with nature. Trees are the perfect metaphor as they share the earth with us and represent nature. Once we learn to work with trees, it will be a sign that we are learning to work with nature in a symbiotic way.


Read more…

Shoreline, WA 'Tree City'

On a Citizens Mind

The security fence is now up and these old trees will come down to build a 6-story, low-income apartment building. There are 2 issues within that last sentence; preservation vs. progress, and needed housing assistance for families. Ronald Methodist church has combined these two issues but lets separate them for a moment.

HopeLink and Compass want to help the latter issue and so would any decent citizen. The apartment building will be built with taxpayers’ money. This is the kind of thing most people are happy to see their money being used for. As a wealthy nation, we are obligated to help those in need.

Homeowners in the area surrounding this church are also concerned about the former issue. Some councilmembers use the words community and walkability when discussing Shoreline’s future. Currently, my neighbors walk their dogs to use this fenceless green space as a small dog run. It has offered walkability and served the neighborhood wonderfully. Unless we get in our cars, it is the only nearby option.

So what is Shoreline’s future? In this section of Richmond Highlands, it will get a bit more crowded and less green. What makes many neighbors disheartened is that if you hit a golf ball in either direction up or down the Aurora corridor, you will hit an empty or blighted lot. Any of these locations would be welcomed by the community to build something nice upon; instead, the city council granted the church an exemption to divide their property and even changed the building setback rule, building 15 feet from the curb to 0 feet. (Will Hall admitted the setback change was a mistake and the council modified it…but by doing that, the church got grandfathered in to build at 0 feet)

So what’s the point citizen? The damage is done. My answer is that this will be coming to your neighborhood someday and if you are comfortable living amongst buildings as tall as the trees they will replace, then, all is well. If not, then you should stop reading and start doing...oh, and remember to vote. Make your voice heard and fight for what you want this city to become because trust has been lost with the current city council. The council’s motives are being questioned and the fact that one councilmember is now a real estate broker, some motives seem selfishly obvious.

Well, it all starts tomorrow in Echo Lake at the ELNA meeting.

To Echo Lake, think of all the buildings the city could put up if we drained the lake. That was a joke. It would be silly to needlessly kill off nature when useable options exist a 3-wood away. Exactly.

Read more…


The Great American Tree for 2015 is...

That Tree in Platteville, Wisconsin!

About the Winner:

That Tree is a famous Bur Oak located across from 1276 Airport Road in Platteville, WI. 53818. 53' tall, with a canopy 75' wide, this tree is special because it has survived almost 200 years residing in the middle of a Wisconsin cornfield. This tree is featured in the book That Tree by Mark Hirsch, who photographed it every day for a year resulting in a book that chronicles a year in the life of the tree. He has continued to photograph the tree and posts the photos on his Facebook page at Featured in news articles and broadcast stories by some of the most noted media outlets in the world, it has also been featured by The Sierra Club and most recently by The Nature Conservancy. 41,000 people following That Tree’s photo and news posts on Facebook.


2nd Place: Darien Oak – Darien, GA

Darien is known for its iconic sprawling oaks. Many are noteworthy, but at 250 years old, this oak tree, with its 100-foot crown spread, has seen many historically significant periods of time, including Scottish settlement of the area, Spanish-Indian wars, and antebellum port days. Darien was built in the early 1800s; later, the Union Army burned it during the Civil War, but the then-100-year-old tree survived. Eventually, the Darien Live Oak shaded sawmill workers taking breaks when Darien became a lumber center and trees were cut inland and rafted down the Altamaha River. For the past 47 years, it has shaded many of the 30,000 who come every year for the Blessing of the Fleet, and its limbs overhang bleachers in front of a concert stage.

Third Place: Angel Oak – Charleston, SC

An icon of the coastal South Carolina Lowcountry, the Angel Oak serves as the focal point and raison d’etre of a small park owned and operated by the City of Charleston. The park and tree are located on Johns Island, one of the sea islands that buffer the mainland from Atlantic storms. Local mythology claims the tree to be over 1400 years old and the “oldest living thing, east of the Rocky Mountains”. A more reasonable guess of the magnificent tree’s age would be between 300 and 500 years old. Regardless of its age, the Angel Oak is one of the most beautiful, inspiring and often-visited trees in the southeastern United States. The tree is 65 feet tall with a diameter of 8.5 feet and has a shade area of approximately17, 000 square feet. The longest limb is 89 feet long and it has a circumference of 11.5 feet.  The City of Charleston acquired the Angel Oak and surrounding property in 1991. The Angel Oak is cared for by the City of Charleston Urban Forestry Division and is visited and appreciated by people from around the globe. 

The first place winner of the Great American Tree contest will receive $500 and a complimentary scholarship to the Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) Conference in Denver, CO, November 18-19, 2015. Second place is $250 and a PCF scholarship, and third place is a $100 Visa gift card. The PCF Conference is designed to provide inspiration and tools that help strengthen community forests.

Congratulations to our 2015 Great American Tree Competition winner and our second and third place winners, and kudos to all who nominated your own outstanding trees. All thirty-eight trees are truly remarkable and a gem in the crown of their respective states! 

The nomination period for next year’s Great American Tree Competition will be announced in April 2016. 

Read more…

A massive live oak tree that could be more than 300 years old has been added to Georgia's "Champion Tree" register. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), the tree stands 89-feet tall with a crown spread of 147-feet near Iron City, GA.

"The tree is spectacular," said Mark McClellan, Champion Tree Manager and Forest Specialist for the Georgia Forestry Commission. "It is especially notable because it has a single stem, as opposed to many live oaks that grow in multi-stems."

The tree was measured twice to ensure accuracy of its dimensions. The GFC and American Forests confirmed the tree is a co-champion in Georgia's Champion Tree program, earning a place next to Waycross' "Village Sentinel" live oak.

"For the state and national champion tree programs, measurements are taken on height, crown spread and circumference-at-breast-height," said McClellan. "This tree's circumference is just over 32-feet. Trees are given a total rating, and this one rates 511 points." McClellan said the Waycross live oak has a slightly higher total rating of 536.

The new co-champion live oak is named the "Spooner Oak" for the long-time Seminole county family on whose property it is located. While GFC experts say it is difficult to establish the age of the live oak species, Quercus virginiana, this tree could be in the 300-400 year old range. If cared for properly and severe weather doesn't strike, McClellan said it could remain healthy for many decades to come.

A YouTube video documenting early measurement proceedings can be seen at

For more information about Georgia's Champion Tree program and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit

See more Great Georgia Trees here: GFC Tree Talk

Read more…

Great American Tree Finalists

Voting is now closed. Thank you to everyone that voted! The five finalists have been determined by your vote and  a national panel is currently reviewing the five trees with the most votes and will select the 2015 Great American Tree. The winner will be announced September 15th. The top five vote recipients are:

  1. That Tree – Platteville, WI (130 votes)
  2. Darien Oak – Darien, GA (75 votes)
  3. Angel Oak – Charleston, SC (43 votes)
  4. Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress- Arkansas County, AK (27 votes)
  5. Morty – Santa Monica, CA (25 votes)

FINAL VOTE TALLY  (Voting ended 7/31/15 @ midnight)

Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress- Arkansas County, AK (27 votes)

American Elms - Johnstown, PA (10 votes)

White Oak Alabama - Morris, AL (10 votes)

Dodge City Red Oak - Dodge City, KS (3 votes)

Longleaf Pine - Garner, NC (20 votes)

Black Walnut - Dickson, TN (3 votes)

The Carrboro American Elm - Carrboro, NC (2 votes)

Homestead Oak – Hall County, GA (19 votes)

Big Oak Alabama – Geneva, AL (23 votes)

That Tree – Platteville, WI (130 votes)

Swamp White Oak – Elmwood Park, NE (16 votes)

Bessemer City Deodar Cedar – Bessemer City, NC (11 votes)

Bebb Oak – Northbrook, IL (11 votes)

Amazing Butternut Tree - Forest Grove, OR (24 votes)

Endicott Park Tree - Danvers, MA (1 votes)

Texas Pecan – Anna, TX (1 vote)

Elma American Chestnut – Elma, WA (14 votes)

Great Oak of Collinswood – Collinswood, NJ (4 votes)

Survivor Tree - Oklahoma City, Ok (16 votes)

Austin Live Oak - Austin, TX (3 votes)

Ancient Tree - Oak Harbor, WA (23 votes)

Sentinel Oak - Waycross, GA (9 votes)

Friendship Oak - Long Beach, MS (16 votes)

Celeste - Celeste, TX (2 votes)

Live Oak – Anna, TX (3 votes)

Angel Oak – Charleston, SC (43 votes)

Moon Tree – Athens, GA (15 votes)

Morty – Santa Monica, CA (25 votes)

Jack’s Oak – Glen Ellen, CA (16 votes)

The Birthing Tree – McMinnville, TN (6 votes)

Darien Oak – Darien, GA (75 votes)

American Chestnut – New York, NY (2 vote)

Florida Ficus - Coconut Grove, FL (6 votes)

Wiltondale Oak – Towson, MD (14 votes)

Champion Osage-orange – Charlotte County, VA (8 votes)

Alwood Oak – Blacksburg, VA (8 votes)

Yarbrough Oak – Oxford, GA (6 votes)

Allegheny Chinkapin – Tallahassee, FL (6 votes)

Read more…

Atlanta is known as the “City of Trees,” and for good reason: it is the most heavily forested city in the United States. With nine million trees in the metro area, Atlanta has close to twice as many trees as any other metropolitan area.[1] I often share with my tree inspection clients whose homes are surrounded by trees that they have “forestfront” property, the equivalent of beachfront property by the sea.

Like the ocean, urban trees can have a calming effect on us. Studies have found that seeing nature affects worker attitudes and well being, reduces stress, and increases women’s fertility. Dr. Rachel Kaplan has found that workers who can see nature from their desks experience 23 percent less time off sick.[2] Desk workers who can see nature also report greater job satisfaction.[3] Hospital patients with views of trees have been found to recover significantly faster than those who are surrounded by walls.[4]

Trees are an important component of real estate value. Like beachfront property, forestfront property sells for a premium. The presence of larger trees in yards and as street trees can add from 3% to 15% to home values throughout neighborhoods.[5] In another study, 83 percent of realtors believe that mature trees have a “strong or moderate impact on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%.”[6]

With benefits comes responsibility, however. The question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?” does not apply in the urban setting. Tree failure usually causes damage to property and sometimes loss of life. These accidents are widely reported in the news, often creating a fear about trees. The easiest way to alleviate those fears – and mitigate risk wherever possible -- is to have a certified arborist look at your trees to evaluate their health. Tree evaluations -- especially for trees close to the home and along busy roads and walkways -- should be performed prior to new home purchases and for established homeowners every so often.

A certified arborist is a tree professional who is educated in the science of trees and tree care. Many certified arborists are also TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification)-certified. TRAQ is a training program put on by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the professional organization for tree workers, which teaches certified arborists a systematic method for evaluating trees.

You can find an independent arborist or a tree service by going to the website of the Georgia Arborist Association, Certified arborists are also listed by location on the website of Trees Are Good,, the ISA’s educational website for the public.

Trees and humans have a reciprocal relationship.Your trees can help you relax and breathe; you help maintain their health.  Be a good steward of trees by enjoying their many benefits, maintaining them responsibly, and planting new trees whenever possible.

Neil Norton is a certified arborist in the Atlanta area. He works for, LLC.  He can be reached at or 404-271-6526.

Photo by Tobi Ames

[1] Nowak, David. “A Ground-Based Method of Assessing Urban Forest Structure and Ecosystem Services.” Arboriculuture & Urban Forestry 2008. 34(6):347-58

[2] Kaplan, R. 1992. Urban Forestry and the Workplace. In P. H. Gobster (editor), Managing Urban and High-Use Recreation Settings. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report NC-163. Chicago, IL: North Central Forest Experiment Station.

[3] Wolf, K 1998 Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants, University of Washington College of Forest Resources, Factsheet #1.

[4] Wolf, K 1998 Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants, University of Washington College of Forest Resources, Factsheet #1.

[5] Wolf, K.L. 2007 (August). City Trees and Property Values. Arborist News 16, 4:34-36.

[6] USA TODAY , Vol. 123, No. 2590 , July 1994, Survey conducted by Arbor National Mortgage Inc.

Read more…

Here they are! A list of 38 Great American Tree nominees from 23 states and the number of votes to date. Click on your favorite and vote to help decide which one will be named the 2015 Great American Tree.

American Elms - Johnstown, PA (5 votes)

White Oak Alabama - Morris, AL (9 votes)

Dodge City Red Oak - Dodge City, KS (3 votes)

Longleaf Pine - Garner, NC (11 votes)

Black Walnut - Dickson, TN

The Carrboro American Elm - Carrboro, NC

Homestead Oak – Hall County, GA (9 votes)

Big Oak Alabama – Geneva, AL (10 votes)

That Tree – Platteville, WI (76 votes)

Swamp White Oak – Elmwood Park, NE (13 votes)

Bessemer City Deodar Cedar – Bessemer City, NC (5 votes)

Bebb Oak – Northbrook, IL (7 votes)

Amazing Butternut Tree - Forest Grove, OR (12 votes)

Endicott Park Tree - Danvers, MA

Texas Pecan – Anna, TX

Elma American Chestnut – Elma, WA (8 votes)

Great Oak of Collinswood – Collinswood, NJ (4 votes)

Survivor Tree - Oklahoma City, Ok (9 votes)

Austin Live Oak - Austin, TX (1 vote)

Ancient Tree - Oak Harbor, WA (14 votes)

Sentinel Oak - Waycross, GA (7 votes)

Friendship Oak - Long Beach, MS (9 votes)

Celeste - Celeste, TX (1 vote)

Live Oak – Anna, TX (3 votes)

Angel Oak – Charleston, SC (13 votes)

Moon Tree – Athens, GA (9 votes)

Morty – Santa Monica, CA (15 votes)

Jack’s Oak – Glen Ellen, CA (12 votes)

The Birthing Tree – McMinnville, TN (3 votes)

Live Oak – Darien, GA (22 votes)

American Chestnut – New York, NY (1 vote)

Florida Ficus - Coconut Grove, FL (2 votes)

Wiltondale Oak – Towson, MD (8 votes)

Champion Osage-orange – Charlotte County, VA (3 votes)

Alwood Oak – Blacksburg, VA (3 votes)

Yarbrough Oak – Oxford, GA (3 votes)

Allegheny Chinkapin – Tallahassee, FL (4 votes)

Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress – Arkansas County, AR (16 votes)

Read more…

I want to link observations made by two group that share an interest in imperiled trees; Santa Catalina Conservancy and The American Chestnut Foundation.  The Santa Catalina Conservancy reports that their staff monitor 14 Cercocarpus trees know to exist on the island each summer.  Conservancy biologists visit the gully to assess the health and growth patterns of the individuals. They report that only 6 of these are pure Cercocarpus traskiae. Five individuals are hybrids meaning genetically they are a combination of Cercocarpus trakiae and Cercocarpus betuloides blancheae. The genetics of the 3 remaining individuals has not been tested so it is unknown if they are pure or hybrids.

Having been involved in both eDNA testing and statistical analysis I want to sound a note of optimism.  I have no access to the raw data but I want to suggest that it is reasonable to think that during genetic sequencing researchers may have selected the wrong probe for the genetic testing.  PCR probe selection is both tricky and critical to good speciation.  If one looks at the statistical analysis from The American Chestnut Foundation article on Out-Crossing Restoration Chestnut 1.0 Trees  they feel that hydridization is not a significant issue if their 1.0 chestnuts are planted in the forest.  While the circumstances affecting these two species are different, we can say three things.  
1)  Santa Catalina mountain mahogany trees exist in a secluded area surrounded by other pollen producing trees located in the immediate area.  
2)  This population occurs on a Pacific island significantly influenced by westerly winds.  
3)  The current genetic stock has developed over thousands of years with the exact same presence of Cercocarpus betuloides blancheae populations occurring on the mainland.  
That 5 of the 11 trees tested are believed to be hybrids of trees growing in California certainly seems to warrant a degree of scientific skepticism and a second look.
Read more…

Celebrating Endemic Tree Species

From the huge tree ranges of the willows and the common juniper, let’s consider the endemic tree species with very small ranges.  The smallest tree range in the continental US must go to Franklinia, today it has a native range of zero square miles.  It is a tree with a range that is lost in time. The species has not been seen in nature since 1790.  Seeds taken by the discoverer have been propagated in the Northeast.  Has anyone ever seen a specimen of … the dendrologist’s Ivory-billed Woodpecker?

Next week I will be in California with a trip planned to Catalina Island.  Hoping to get a glimpse of one of the rarest North American trees that I will likely ever see; the Catalina Mountain Mahagony.  There are believed to be only seven trees left that are mature enough to produce viable seeds.  I will take a camera and try to post a picture when I return.  
Another tree with an incredibly limited range that is on my list is the Georgia Oak.  I have three sibs that live in the Atlanta area, so I will certainly get a chance to visit Stone Mountain and ‘check this one off.’   
Read more…

Trees by the Numbers

Back in 1992 I developed a Local-Native-Tree database to permit people to identify the quadrant where they lived in the continental United States.  They could then get a list of all the native trees known to occur in their location.  My original idea was just to permit people who might want to plant, water and protect a tree to select a species that is a natural part of the local environment rather than a non-native, a cultivar or worst of all an invasive species.  Eventually, I started to think beyond that single capability and wondered “What else could I learn from this unique collection of more than 80,000 quadrant-species associations that make up the database that I had available?”  Looking at this large and daunting dataset, the first simple question I asked was “What species of tree has the largest range in the continental US?”  

Coyote Willow (Salix exigua) is also called basket, sandbar or narrowleaf willow and it occurs as a shrug to a small tree reaching approximately 25 feet high.  This unobtrusive tree is so under appreciated that it earned just two sentences in Dirr’s massive Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs.  The local native tree database tells a more interesting story.  This willow is capable of growing in a range that covers approximately 2,385,000 of the 2,959,064 square miles of land area comprising the continental United States!  When one looks at the full range of  S. exigua, the tree is even more impressive.  The species can grow from northern Alaska, throughout most western Canadian provinces, the majority of the continental US and reaches as far south as Mexico.  This incredibly large range suggests this humble tree has a tolerance to temperature extremes that is a wonder of the world.  Moreover, the trait isn't limited to this species.  Other members of the genus Salix also have impressive ranges.  In descending order of range size, these include S. rigida, S. interior, S. amygdaloides and S. nigra. What could we learn about temperature tolerance if we investigated the genome of this extraordinary genus?

Read more…

Tree Poem about Planting Trees

How to Plant a Tree

Allow for growth; dig twice as wide and deep.

Add soil amender to the raw red clay.

Remove the rope. Take burlap bag away.

Surround the root ball, mulch and go to sleep.

And as the roots unfold and slowly creep,

you’ll dream of branches long that lean and sway.

And after many years, you’ll see—one day,

against the sky, bright leaves that softly sweep.

No matter where you roam, it will remain.

And it will stay and wait for you, alone.

Out there, it will withstand the cold, the rain,

and, in December, winds that cry and moan.

And when you then return, one day, in pain,

you’ll find there shade—a shelter and a home.

-- Alan Sugar

Read more…

Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress Tree

Contributed by Alison

#greatamericantree This is the state of Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress Tree. the tree has a circumference of 516 inches, a crown spread of 93 feet, height of 120 feet, with a bigness index of 638. The land is owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. This tree is special due to its size, age and the tree is majestic, photos do not do it justice. The Tree is located in Arkansas County on US Fish and Wildlife property. Think of the stories this tree could tell. This tree likely survived the logging in the past from being in a swampy location.

Read more…

Some of our Favorite Books

Upcoming Webcasts