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Wooden skyscrapers could help cool planet

An article in Nature says that tall timber buildings are becoming more feasible and could cut global CO2 emissions by as much as 31% increasing demand for sustainablly managed forests. An ecologist at Woods Hole describes this as “the plywood miracle.” Currently the tallest wooden building in the worlds it the HoHo Tower in Vienna, Austria.

American Chestnut restoration

The American Chestnut foundation, in concert with other researchers, has said that although the return of this beautiful tree to our nation’s forests is on the path to success, full restoration will take longer than many people expect.  For a full history of the American Chestnut, https://www.acf.org/the-american-chestnut/history-american-chestnut/


Arlington completes town tree Inventory after receiving $15K grant

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Arlington Tree Committee and the Town’s Forestry Division, Arlington received a $15,000 Urban & Community Forestry Challenge Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation  and Recreation for the creation of a Town-wide public street tree inventory covering roughly 100 miles of Town roads.  The inventory was successfully completed the Summer of 2017.

The tree inventory collected data on the diameter, species, health (including pest infestations), and precise location of existing trees and potential tree planting sites. The inventory was performed by volunteers and paid interns and is available to the public. The data will be used to develop a forestry management plan for the Town’s public street trees.

“Having a complete inventory of public trees will be instrumental in a successful forestry management program and helps the Town maintain its Tree City USA status,” said DPW Director Michael Rademacher. “The plan will also assist the Town to spend the generous donation left by John F. MacEachern.”

A full inventory was undertaken the summer of 2017.  Thank you to all the volunteers who helped map Arlington’s trees!

For additional information about the inventory, see the Tree Inventory section of this site.

Use your ears to ID trees!

Biologist David George Haskell teaches students how to identify trees by the sounds produced by air moving through their leaves or raindrops spattering on them. “Depending on the shapes and sizes of their leaves, the different plants react to falling drops by producing ‘a splatter of metallic sparks’ or ‘a low, clean, woody thump’ or a ‘speed typist’s clatter.’ Every species has its own song. Train your ears (and abandon the distracting echoes of a plastic rain jacket) and you can carry out a botanical census through sound alone.” Full story is available in The Atlantic.

May edition of Citizen Forester

In this edition: Spotlight on Pagoda Dogwoods, a book review of Branching Out, a compilation of articles on managing ornamental trees and shrubs written by Cornell University, information on making tea from Yellow Birch roots, information on scholarships for at tree care program designed for high school students, and much more.

Best European Tree of 2017: Gnarled oak that sheltered two brothers from Nazis

A huge Polish oak tree in which two Jewish brothers hid to escape the Nazis won the contest this year (see photos below). “The hollow in which they hid was huge. People say it had two levels, the lower was used as a hideout and the upper – as a lookout. Both brothers survived the occupation but their fate after the war is unknown.”

The Brimmon Oak in Newtown, Wales, was the runner-up. Read more about these trees in the  Daily Mail article.


April edition of Citizen Forester

In this edition: A detailed essay on pruning practices, spotlight on the Osage orange tree (fun fact: this tree is a remnant from before the last ice age whose fruit was thought to be eaten by Pleistocene horses or mastodons), a warning that gypsy moth defoliation may be a problem again this year, and more.