Building the supply chain for native landscapes.
By Carol E. Becker
The oak is our national tree for a reason. Oaks are endemic to our native landscapes in all regions of the United States, easily identified by their leaf shape and gnarly branches. The size of the mature white oak (Quercus alba), spreading up to 120 feet, is one reason we associate oaks with strength, along with the density of the wood and an oak fire’s burning hot and long in the woodstove. Native oaks fall into two taxonomic groups, white and red, and their landscape uses vary depending on soil moisture. But most important today, as Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, points out, oaks are the “quintessential wildlife plants.” They provide food to more than 500 species of caterpillars and other insects. In this fact lies the oaks’ value to the entire food chain, from the birds that eat insects to the humans who rest in the trees’ shade. Continue reading The Chain of Demand
The planting of Jatropha could help build the economy of a Haitian town.
By Kevan Williams
When I meet Robinson Fisher at a coffee shop in downtown Athens, Georgia, on a cold and rainy day, he hands me a bar of soap. Continue reading Tree of Life
The shagbark hickory’s “hard sinewy limbs and rude, shaggy coat” are like “the pioneer himself in fringed deerskin hunting shirt.”
By Constance Casey
One of the grandest North American trees is the shagbark hickory. Continue reading A Tree for a New World
Some imperiled plants need help moving to places where they can thrive.
By Kevan Williams
For more than 200 years, naturalists and plant enthusiasts have come to the woods along the Altamaha River in south Georgia, searching for a horticultural holy grail: a wild Franklinia alatamaha, William Bartram’s “lost camellia.” Continue reading Have Tree, Will Travel