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Is Your Relationship with Trees on the Rocks?

In the West, our forests need more frequent, low-intensity controlled burns performed by fire experts to mimic the natural cycle. This will help keep the “kindling” on the forest floor in check, reducing the risk of explosive megafires.

And in my town, it means clearing out unhealthy trees and planting some new ones, so our beloved shady neighborhood can persist for the next generation.

To re-create a bit of the natural processes for healthy trees where you live, consider:

  • Removing dead wood/trees before they become storm hazards
  • Clearing underbrush to discourage pests and reduce fire risk
  • Keeping invasive species, like English ivy, in check
  • Planting new trees in your backyard, especially as older ones die off, and/or participating in a local tree planting initiative.

Bottom line: to sustain our love of forests, take a cue from the ways in which nature has maintained forests over time, including letting some trees go—an important part of the cycle of life.

[Image: A crew works to remove a hickory uprooted by a combination of ivy, termites and Hurricane Irene. Credit: Sarene Marshall]

Sarene Marshall is the managing director for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Climate Change Team. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an MA in International Studies from University of Pennsylvania, and is fluent in Spanish. Sarene, a mother of two, enjoys gardening and gourmet cooking.

Read more: Environment, Green, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, , , , , , , ,

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6:10PM PDT on Apr 13, 2015


5:36PM PDT on Apr 13, 2015

I have a petition for this and to make it more affordable. It's on those 2 links...

2:18AM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

There's such a variety of trees, all beautiful, some majestic, and who could imagine a world without them? They will still be here when the last humans have finally destroyed one another.

What better way to spend a hot afternoon than to read a good book, sitting on the ground with your back against the trunk of a tall tree with its branches shading you from the sun and a breeze whispering through its leaves. And if you nod off, what wonderful dreams you'll have.

7:07AM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

Plant a tree. Plant a garden. PLANT!

7:05AM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

I love the trees in my yard, even the sweet gum which, after stepping on a dry seed pod you sometimes think horrible thoughts about the trees worth. I have planted one that I will enjoy for years to come but now I will plant more. Maybe move the house up in the trees and we can all go together when its our time.

6:22AM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

Trees are not only beautiful but they provide shade and are Earth's lungs. We need trees, that is why God gave them to us.

2:47PM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Had a good comment ready to send...hit the wrong key...poof!
I throughly enjoyed your article ..Nature Conservacy..Sarene M. I gave away 14, 2'-4' spruce trees that started from seed themselves from my nearby spruce trees. Hubby wants to cut them down, as is afraid if a bad storm they could hit the house. They are healthy, and I am not letting these go yet!??

1:16AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Very good and interesting article. Here in Brazil we have a website for those who are fans of trees. Every new member subscribed a tree is planted. I invite everybody to join this group. The website is

10:11PM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Plant more trees! We need more trees! Trees are the earths lungs, therefore they become ours too. Earth is battling to breath as there are so few trees! That's way we have so many respiratory diseases. Asthma is increasing in children. Sure pollution is a huge problem but trees will reduce that, plus they are very cooling, and their benefits go on......

6:25PM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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So cute. She may be dreaming she plays with a ball !

Not to mention that massive fishing operations that sell to the companies that make such useless sup…

Thanks for sharing.


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