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Cool Gray City of Trees Interview with Mei Ling Hui

Mei Ling Hui has been with San Francisco’s Department of Environment since 2007, first as the Urban Forestry and, more recently, the Agriculture Coordinator. Along with her main role in those programs, she provides support to the Climate, Environmental Justice, and Toxics Programs, serving at the intersection of many public stakeholders. She provides staff support to… More

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From Shovel to Master Plan Interview with Regional Forester Alan Siewert

“Right tree, right place” is easier to do in Ohio thanks to the Urban Site Index (USI), a tool for assessing soils and planting sites developed by OHDNR regional urban foresters Alan Siewert and Stephanie Miller. By observing various tree species in various sites, site ratings for different tree species can be developed for various… More

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Inspiring the Next Generation Interview with Russell Horsey

Russell Horsey is the Development Director at the Institute of Chartered Foresters in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining the Institute, Russell was Senior Arboricultural Officer (similar to Head Urban Forester in a U.S. city) for the City of Bristol, England. He is a graduate of the Universities of Brighton, UK, and gained a Masters… More

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Success Factors For Civilian Urban Tree Care

A natural forest depends on a variety of partnerships between plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms. An urban forest depends on a similarly complex series of partnerships, albeit mostly between humans. Many biological factors affect the survival of an urban tree. I want to compare two studies involving community forestry programs about young urban tree establishment… More

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What Kind of Arborist Do You Need?

If you’re involved with an urban development project, chances are trees are also involved in some way, depending on the local municipal codes. Existing trees may need to be protected or require a permit for removal. Many municipal codes require a Certified Arborist to evaluate all or some of the trees on site and write… More

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Buried Treasure: Conserving Urban Soil in Place

It’s not unusual to find a piece of art or jewelry over 500 years old in a museum’s collection. These precious artifacts are (rightly) treated with great care commensurate with their value. Yet an inch of topsoil, which may have taken more than 500 years to develop, is commonly abused, mismanaged or discarded in the… More

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What is “Good” Soil?

What does “good” soil mean? It depends on your point of view. If you are engineer, you like soil that drains well or compacts easily to bear weight. If you are a farmer, you want soil that is fertile, easy to till, and soaks up water without runoff. If you are a tree… well, what… More

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If Not Now, When?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 years, you know that California is having a major drought. According to the Institute for Public Policy, the three-year period between 2011 and 2014 were the driest on record since record keeping began in 1895, made worse by record high temperatures in 2014. It’s… More

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Don’t Believe the Hype (Unless It’s Supported by Science)

Humans have been managing plants for thousands of years – watering, saving seeds, protecting plants from herbivores. We began learning about horticulture initially through observation. Some of our observations were correct, such as which plants needed lots of sun and which could grow in the shade. Others, such as adding sugar to the soil for… More

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Tweet This! Resources for Tree Professionals About Bird Safety

The sound of birds in trees is so ubiquitous we may not think about the strong connections these organisms have with one another. Birds need urban trees for food, nesting and protection. Those who work with trees may not be aware that certain tree pruning activities can endanger nests and remove habitat for our feathered… More

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