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Trees

Chicken of the Woods on an oak log. © Anna Fialkoff.
 

Think Like a Forest

By Anna Failkoff

Forest trees are not singular specimens but are interdependent players in a dynamic natural community. The tree canopy casts critical shade, moderates moisture and temperature, drops leaf litter to help build living soil, and provides sustenance for a diversity of life on roots, trunks, branches and leaves. Using forest ecosystems for inspiration, we can bring maximal biodiversity, resilience and biomass back into human landscapes. 

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<em>Cercis canadensis</em>( Eastern redbud) Photo credit Hoodedwarbler 12 Wikimedia Commons. 

Notable Natives: Large Shrubs and Small Trees

by Sarah Middeleer

Proponents of ecological gardening are urging gardeners to reduce lawn areas and add native plants. Native shrub borders are lower maintenance than perennial borders, making them an excellent solution to this challenge. These plants often provide multi-season interest, including showy flowers, fruit, and fall foliage. Perhaps their best feature is the habitats and food they offer birds and pollinators.

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CSummers Carolina silverbell 

Why Aren’t These Plants in Every Garden? Three Great Plants to Know and Grow

by Carolyn Summers

Throughout her career working with people, plants, and landscapes, author/designer and gardener extraordinaire Carolyn Summers has often been puzzled by the lack of interest in certain plants that she finds exceptionally useful.  These plants bridge the gap that sometimes exists between what humans want and what wildlife needs. Carolyn introduces us to three underused plants that are a must-have for native gardeners. 

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Wild Seed 3 

Planting Native Shade Trees

by Julia Frederick 

Shade trees are more important than ever as we face rapid development and suburban sprawl, deforestation, and desertification. These gentle giants help combat rising temperatures, habitat loss and declining air and water quality. Additionally, native canopy trees provide abundant food and shelter for insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals.

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Figure 1b 

The Birds and the Trees: Managing the Urban Forest for Wildlife

by Dr. Susannah Lerman 

Trees and shrubs provide ecosystem services and societal benefits in urban and suburban environments. They also provide vital habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. A new tool correlates habitat requirements for songbirds, evaluates the bird habitat potential at ecoregion scales, and can guide habitat improvement plans.

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Managing Forests as a Natural Climate Solution: Understanding the Contributions of Heterogeneous Landscapes

by Ian A. Smith and Lucy R. Hutyra Constraining the global average temperature rise to below the targeted 2°C (3.6°F) will require both a reduction in greenhouse gas emission rates and natural climate solutions through land stewardship practices that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (1). Forest management is at the heart of many natural…

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Urban Trees

A Pathway to Meeting Forest Sustainability Goals and a Vehicle To Get You There by Laurence Wiseman A few weeks ago, government officials from nearly 100 nations met to discuss progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It’s fair to assume that most who attended the meeting were both committed, and professionally competent. Ordinarily, you’d…

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