Cover Computation

In a world moving towards sustainability, improving urban tree cover can provide numerous benefits both environmental and social. Tree canopy in an urban environment will reduce summer peak temperatures, increase efficiency of heating and cooling buildings, improve water quality and curtail erosion. Additionally, lush urban tree cover increases aesthetic appeal and value; all of these factors…

Details

Avian Audit

Beginning on December 14th 2014 and running through January 5th 2015 the Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest running citizen science survey in the world. Thousands of volunteers across the country will contribute critical data on winter bird population trends. This data is entered into the database and is vital to the…

Details

The Issue with Ips-Tree Pests

Ips calligraphus, the six-spined Ips, and Ips pini, the pine engraver beetle, are tree pests of great economic and environmental importance. These pests are commonly found in infesting ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, stands in Montana and have been found across north America. Populations target hosts which have been weakened due to previous infestation by another pest or…

Details

Hardwood Vs. Softwood

The term “hardwood” refers to trees, usually flowering trees and shrubs, which produce dense heavy wood due to their thick-walled, densely packed fiber cells and abundance of tracheids and vessel elements (water conducting tissue). Hardwoods can be further categorized depending on their density into groups such as “medium heavy”, “heavy”, “very heavy” and “ironwood” for…

Details

Reuse Rewards

The 600 acres of crop and forest land in close proximity to the Penn State University campus is interlaced with irrigation pipes carrying and discharging over 500 million gallons per year of primarily treated wastewater. This “living filter” system was developed and constructed in the 1960s and provides a unique opportunity for university scientists to…

Details

Extant Plants

The term “living fossil” was coined by Charles Darwin to describe plants still surviving today that were known to be thriving millions of years ago. Primitive spore and seed-bearing plants which flourished in the ages of the dinosaurs are still found on earth today. When dinosaurs roamed the planet, 65-225 million years ago,  was a…

Details

Fruits Vs. Vegetables

While this  may not seem like an argument, suspend disbelief for one second and indulge me, do you actually know the difference between fruits and vegetables? This may seem subjective, but that is probably because you are thinking about it in terms of what you eat and not botanically. So, gardeners and chefs may define…

Details

Capitol Christmas

The tradition of placing a live tree on the White House lawn in celebration of Christmas was started in 1964 by then Speaker of the House, U.S. Representative, John W. McCormack (D-MA). At that time, the tree was actually planted in its place, it lived for approximately 3 years before succumbing to damage from wind and…

Details