Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reconnecting People and Forests
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products

How Your Packaging Choices Directly Invest in Our Planet

Make a #forestproud packaging choice. Happy Earth Day
Carbon | Instagram Story | 01_ContentLibrary

Earth Day may only come once a year. Earth Week only lasts a week. But you can #InvestInOurPlanet for the remaining 364 days and 51 weeks by choosing sustainable packaging products that support a circular bio-economy, based on – yep – wood: a renewable, reusable, recyclable resource that keeps forests as forests.

This year's Earth Day theme focuses on encouraging governments, organizations, businesses, and over 7 billion citizens—everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable—to help create a greener, more eco-friendly world by:

  • Acting (boldly)
  • Innovating (broadly)
  • Implementing (equitably)

Enter sustainable packaging: the environmentally friendly (and cost-effective!) packaging options you can use to make a #forestproud choice.

Why Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is a critical component of a more sustainable future. By avoiding waste, conserving resources, reducing our global fossil fuels dependency with the associated carbon emissions, and minimizing environmental impact, sustainable packaging can help create a greener, more resilient global economy.

Sustainable packaging choices can take many forms, including:

  • Biodegradable and compostable materials
  • Recycled or up-cycled materials
  • Reusable or refillable containers
  • Minimizing energy required for production and transportation
  • Ensuring that packaging can be easily recycled or disposed of in a responsible way
  • Creating pathways and products to design out waste and reduce landfill content


How does this work? Carbon 101

All trees capture and store the carbon dioxide (CO2) as they grow. They absorb CO2 during photosynthesis and release oxygen (O2). Mills use wood from various types of trees to make pallets, furniture, paper, paperboard, and other wood pulp products. This transfers the carbon in the trees to the wood products themselves. Meanwhile, new trees are planted, locking away even more carbon as they grow.


The Best Sustainable Packaging Supplies


Yes, the old standby. For a reason!! Cardboard is the most frequently used packaging material because it is renewable, sustainable, and highly recyclable.

Cardboard can be broken down and made into new paper products, including new boxes, cereal containers, pizza boxes, and toilet paper.

DYK: Wood fiber has the capacity to be reused 5-7 times before it breaks down past the point of being structurally sound?


Pallets make the shipping world go ‘round. New or old, pallets keep a-palleting.

Whether you are buying all new pallets for a big shipment or using recycled pallets at work or in your home, there are a ton of ways to add pallets into your packaging portfolio and your home decor. (Reduce! Reuse! Repurpose! PSA: Cardboard boxes are a big hit with cats too, as a bonus.)

Watch the 3 quick clips below to learn more about how pallets are planet-positive.

Brown Paper

Admit it: You love popping the bubble wrap that protects your online orders. Unfortunately, traditional bubble wrap is made from plastic and is not biodegradable, making it a less-than-ideal option for environmentally conscious companies.

Enter brown paper packaging tied up with string…

Brown paper is made by cooking wood chips in a special solution that breaks down the lignin in the wood, separating the cellulose fibers, which are used to make paper. Since trees are replanted and regrown for future needs, brown paper packaging is a more sustainable option compared to materials made from non-renewable resources. It’s also biodegradable and can be easily recycled. If you can’t or forget to recycle it, when disposed of in the environment, it will break down naturally and not contribute to the accumulation of petroleum-based waste in our landfills. basically, anything cellulose.

At a cellular level - one millionth the size of the head of a pin - are the microscopic building blocks of a tree. Cellulose is a basic building block of plant cells and is key to keeping plants and trees upright. (Think: those stringy bits in celery, but very, very small.) A single rod-like cellulose nanocrystal is the tiniest building block of wood.  Cellulose (and it’s even smaller form: Nanocellulose) is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet.

These tiny fibers are as strong as steel, but only one-fifth the weight. Because of their structures, nanocellulose materials have a high rate of biocompatibility - meaning they can easily be added to, or combined with, other materials. When incorporated into other materials, nanocellulose lends incredible strength, requires less emissions-intensive material, and drives innovations that help design waste out of an already-efficient sustainable forest management cycle. By leaning into the unique properties of wood and cellulose, we can reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources and move towards a more sustainable future.

Cellulose and its derivatives can be used for a wide range of packaging applications, including:

  • Paper: Paper is made by breaking down cellulose fibers and then reconstituting them into a sheet. While paper production does require some energy and water, it is a relatively low-impact process compared to other industrial processes.
  • Food Packaging: Cellulose-based materials like cellophane and parchment paper are commonly used to wrap and store food products. Many food manufacturers are exploring the use of cellulose-based materials as an alternative to plastic packaging, which would reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by the food industry.

As just one example of packaging innovation, here’s a new eco-bubble wrap. It doesn’t pop but it’s really cool.


Also, let's talk new beer rings made of cardboard. Yep. You can have your beer and recycle it all.

As a bonus, the sustainable packaging world is continually innovating to come up with cool new ways to design waste and fossil fuels out of the supply chain and create more efficient packaging strategies. Check out the Pack It! The Packaging Recycling Design Challenge, a two-episode series hosted by Netflix’s “Nailed It!” winner, social influencer and art teacher, Cassie Stephens.

Happy packing. Thanks for reading this far. We appreciate you making choices that affect people and planet, today and tomorrow. We all have a part to play in keeping forests as forests - and it starts with you. So keep the 5Rs of #forestproud in mind, today and every day.


Tyrone Williams
Natural Climate Solutions
Forest Benefits, Forest Management

Forest Champion Spotlight | Tyrone Williams

As a 3rd generation North Carolina landowner, Tyrone Williams opens up about the importance of keeping forests as forests and passing on his responsibility to future generations.

Watch this next
Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Big Green Health Machines

Why Urban Trees Are Good For People + Planet

© Photo by Hans Isaacson for the National Association of State Foresters

Carbon | Instagram Story | 01_ContentLibrary

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and tree management software firm.

Big Green Health Machines

TL:DR: Urban forests are good for people and planet. Read on for exactly how the tree outside your window makes you - and the planet - healthier.

Have you heard of a nature prescription? In countries around the world, doctors are prescribing time in nature as part of their treatment plan for patients. The practice has been spreading as study after study links nature and positive human health outcomes. The results of trees on health are both physical and mental. Modern science is defining many of the correlations, while some of the causes may be traced back to humanity’s origin.

The proven connection between nature and human health is also becoming a serious motivator for cities to support their urban forests

Big Green Air Filters

There is a reason you don’t see city-scented candles. (Okay fine, I did check and there are some companies smartly marketing city-themed candles, but I have been to NYC and my strongest nose memories were not bergamot and jasmine.)

My point is, breaths of fresh air can be hard to come by in cities. The concentration of engines and industry loft pollutants into the air while traffic stirs up fine particulates. Trees are a proven method of combating urban air pollution, a major source of respiratory diseases.

Tiny pores in tree leaves, called stomata, take in air that includes pollutants like ground-level ozone and carbon monoxide. These gasses then diffuse and react with the inner leaf, removing them from circulation. Particulate matter (PM) is another common and harmful air pollutant. Trees temporarily “catch” PM on their leaves and stems where the next rain can wash them down to the soil.

For example, the urban forest of Greenville, North Carolina removes an estimated 648,000 pounds of pollution annually. The avoided health effects and other economic costs of that pollution are valued at over $1.2 million USD!

Pollution in cities contributes to increased asthma rates and is a leading contributor of global emissions and climate change. Bad air quality is bad for people, bad for planet. Urban trees lower asthma rates, clean the air, and help make the places where many of us live, work, and play healthier. 

Big Green Carbon Machines

Trees are without a doubt the best carbon capture technology in the world.  When tree leaves breathe, they take in carbon dioxide, release oxygen and store carbon in their trunks. 

Wood is an incredible carbon sink because it is mostly made of carbon (about 50% by dry weight.) In addition to cleaning the air, releasing oxygen, and helping stop pollutants from washing into the water, trees lock away carbon as they grow. Keeping harmful pollutants out of the atmosphere and out of our lungs is a win-win. 


Big Green Air Conditioners

Extreme heat is a major health threat for many cities. Climate change and the urban heat island effect are sending urban thermometers soaring, particularly in low-income and nonwhite neighborhoods. Consistent, high heat aggravates existing health conditions and is lethal in its own right.

It's a problem so severe some cities are appointing chief heat officers to lead the charge against rising temperatures. Urban trees are a key defense in any heat mitigation battle plan. Through shade and evapotranspiration (exchanging water vapor with the air) surface temperatures under a tree can be 20-45℉ cooler than adjacent unshaded areas.

Big Green Mood Boosters

There are abundant studies connecting greenspace with a range of mental health improvement. The COVID pandemic amplified the importance of urban greenspace as vital spaces for diversion and decompression. But why do large leafy things make us feel better?

Evolution probably plays a part. This four-walls-and-a-roof life is relatively new in the course of human history.  The theory is that over millions of years, our ancestors who had stronger connections to nature held an evolutionary advantage (i.e. better at seeking shelter, food, and water) and that relationship has carried through to today.

A more recent explanation is that trees correlate or cause many factors humans benefit from, such as increased wildlife, comfortable environments for gathering and relaxing, and appealing aesthetics. These all have proven to ease our minds and boost our well-being. The street-side trees and park groves that make up the urban forest are the closest form of nature for most urbanites. Therefore keeping a healthy urban forest is invaluable for public health.

Big Green Health Rebalancers

Tree equity (balanced distribution of tree canopy across cities) is important. Residents who live in poorly forested neighborhoods are being denied a benefit all humans deserve: health.

Urban foresters have a lot of factors to weigh when planting new trees, and health impacts are becoming a common part of any prioritization plan. New data tools are emerging to push these efforts forward, such as NatureScore™, which scores the health impacts of surrounding nature based on any address in the continental United States.

For more on the importance of urban forests, check out our blog series on urban forests + poke around the site. Have a favorite street tree you want to give a social shout out to? Snap a selfie & tag us #forestproud.

Reimagining Our Cities
Urban Forests

RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project

The Urban Wood Project began as a quest to reclaim wood from abandoned city homes. It very quickly became about so much more.

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Natural Climate Solutions
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Urban Tree Canopy. AKA the urban forest from above.

What is it, why do we measure it, and why does it matter for climate goals?

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and tree management software firm.

When people talk about urban forests or urban forestry, they mention urban tree canopy - and they mention it soon, and mention it often. I only lasted 12 words before typing it. Point proven? So, what exactly does it mean when we refer to urban tree canopy, and why are cities around the world so focused on tracking it?

For an individual tree, the canopy refers to the spread of leaves and branches. In the context of urban forestry, the term urban tree canopy refers to the collective canopies of all trees within a defined area, like the city limits. When viewing a city from above it essentially measures how much of that view is covered by green vs. gray assets, such as roads, buildings, or parking lots. There is a careful science to getting this measurement as accurate as possible, one that has been improving in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years.

Picking Plants Out Of Pixels

The process is called an urban tree canopy assessment. Imagery (either from satellites or plane flyovers) is run through a computer analysis to classify each pixel into certain categories. The categories can include tree canopy, non-canopy vegetation (grass, shrubs), open ground, impervious surfaces (buildings, roads), and water (ponds, rivers).

Then other geospatial datasets are blended in to further improve the accuracy. For the purpose of urban forest management, the final product is often simplified down into three types: where trees are, where trees could be, and where trees shouldn’t be (like impervious surfaces or sports fields). For example, an urban tree canopy for Washington, DC found the city was 37% tree canopy, 24% possible planting area, and 39% impervious surfaces

But wait! There’s still a couple layers left on this data onion. Thanks to the census and other surveys there is a ton of socioeconomic information tied to every block and neighborhood in the country. By overlaying tree canopy data on top of demographic data, urban foresters can identify significant trends, such as the disproportionate concentration of canopy in whiter, wealthier neighborhoods (a widespread pattern at the center of the tree equity movement) or the correlation between sparse trees and higher rates of asthma, heart disease, and skin cancer.

Why Measuring Tree Canopy Is So Helpful

There are three chief reasons tree canopy data is invaluable for cities.

  • Trees grow, and trees go, and we need to know.

Urban tree canopies are in perpetual motion. Tree growth and regeneration add canopy, while the destructive forces of development, disease, pests, and storms take it away. It’s hard to gauge from the ground, but taking a top-down view allows urban forest managers to track the change of canopy in every nook of the city, including both public and private lands. In fact, for most cities, the majority of their urban forests are on private residential land, so having this comprehensive perspective is vital.


  • Invest in the right trees in the right place, for max impact

Maps are a powerful storytelling tool. All of the data points from an urban tree canopy assessment can be combined into a clear, visual story on a map. Urban forest managers use software to map out tree canopy, and then mix in other metrics, such as available planting space and prevalence of urban heat, to develop a priority planting plan


  • Data rules. Back it up for the boss and the budget.

Urban forestry departments need to make the most of a limited budget, so it’s crucial to invest their available resources for new trees in the best possible areas.
Frequently, trees and landscaping are treated as an afterthought instead of an essential piece of the urban fabric. “Leadership within community forestry programs will always struggle to get outside agencies to buy into the value of trees without having canopy assessment data,” said Rob Davis, City Forester of Grand Junction, Colorado. Tree canopy data helps urban forest departments build buy-in from government leadership so they can justify their budgets, increase investment in tree planting, and upgrade city policies. Having maps and data that document exactly how tree cover is changing and how it is distributed across a city moves conversations into a discussion of reality instead of hypotheticals.

What’s Your Community’s Canopy Cover?

Find yourself a high vantage point, a plane or hot air balloon, or hop on Google Maps and take a look at your town from above. Try to make a rough estimate of how much of the view is covered by greenery. It’s worth checking to see if your community has completed an urban tree canopy assessment with a quick web search.

There is no magic number all cities should be seeking for canopy coverage. Climate, development pressures, and available space has a huge impact on existing tree canopy. Cities in the Southwest are often in the 5-15% range, while East Coast cities tend towards 30-40%. What is consistent is urban forests and their canopy are a key piece of the puzzle for addressing many of the top challenges facing cities today.


Reimagining Our Cities
Urban Forests

RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project

The Urban Wood Project began as a quest to reclaim wood from abandoned city homes. It very quickly became about so much more.

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Reimagining Our Cities
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Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation

Climate Resilience: An urban case study

ft. the Boise City of Trees Challenge - an ongoing story of community, collaboration, and forest climate solutions

Facing a changing climate and a rapidly urbanizing population, cities across the world are searching for solutions to turn the cities of the future into carbon repositories, not carbon problems. Frequently, trees are treated as an afterthought instead of an essential piece of the urban fabric. Not in Boise, Idaho.

The City of Boise is leading a new movement for community recovery and climate resiliency. While there is no single silver bullet for solving climate change, forests offer powerful carbon benefits and climate solutions. Long known as concrete jungles, it’s on us to fundamentally reimagine our cities, growing them into climate solutions, not part of the problem. The City of Trees Challenge, launched in partnership with the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Idaho, the Arbor Day Foundation, USDA Forest Service and Treasure Valley Canopy Network in 2020, has an ambitious goal: to plant 100,000 trees, one for every household in Boise, over the next 10 years.

That's one tree for every household in the city; one seedling for every person in the city. Why? Hear from Lance Davisson, Director of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network in this case study on urban climate resilience.

In Boise, climate action isn’t just an environmental issue. It’s a public health and economic development necessity. Climate change is continuing to shift the Treasure Valley's seasons, rainfall, snowpack, air quality and water availability. These changes impact the health, quality of life, and yes, the livelihoods of everyone in the city. By harnessing the power of trees as a climate solution, and the passion of the city’s residents, Boise is positioned to grow its urban forests, and showcase the true treasure of Treasure Valley: its trees.

“We’ve got to act now if we’re really going to impact climate change. And trees are such an important part of that,” says Elaine Clegg, Boise City Council President, in this inspiring film by #forestproud friends + partners at the collaborative US Nature4Climate.

Urban forests put trees to work for our cities, connecting people with outdoor spaces, sheltering wildlife, lowering urban temperatures, and driving climate resilience by storing carbon and filtering our air and water. One tree is needed to offset emissions for every 2 gallons of gas.

Urban forests are a scalable solution to today’s most pressing urban challenges. It’s essential that our urban trees grow alongside our cities. Collectively, our urban forests are climate solutions. It’s up to us to plant, steward, and build a climate resilience urban forest.


New to the urban forestry conversation? Wondering why urban trees are so critical to helping us reimagine our cities and rethink our carbon future?

Check our blog posts ft. urban forests:

Want to hear more from Lance?

Check out his podcast episode "To Tree, or Not To Tree - Important Projects to Protect Our Canopy & Climate and learn more about the critical role that urban trees play, now + tomorrow.

Reimagining Cities Illustration
Reimagining Our Cities
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products, Urban Forests

FORESTS: Reimagining Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in a city.

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Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Urban Forestry: The Need for Green Among The Gray

Communities need to balance economic, environmental, and climate goals.

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and tree management software firm.

The positive impact urban trees and forests have on our cities and communities are not only becoming better understood, they’re becoming an essential part of our strategy to achieve meaningful climate goals.

In our previous post, we talked about the origins of Urban Forestry and why urban forests are so important to the health of our cities, communities, and climate. Now we’re going to go one step further and explore what actually goes into managing urban trees and forests and how communities are balancing economic, environmental, and climate goals.

How Communities Manage Urban Forests

The urban environment is a harsh place to thrive as a tree. Like us, the more stressed trees are, the more likely they are to get sick. Trees in urban spaces have a lot of stressors. They have to overcome limited root space, poor soil, heat, and pollution, flood and drought, and lost cat signs nailed to them at 2am.

Yet, there is perhaps an even greater threat to urban forests: development.

Space is always a hot commodity in cities. New housing projects or highway expansions are rarely possible without uprooting some trees, if not whole swaths of forest. (We call this the WUI  (woo-wee) or the “Wildland Urban Interface '' where wild lands meet urban.) Land conversion via development is one of the leading causes of deforestation - the permanent clearing of forested land for a new purpose.

In spite of these challenges, urban forests must be maintained, protected, and expanded if they are going to offer vital benefits to communities.

Pulling that off requires careful planning and a skilled workforce. Urban forestry is a multidisciplinary field with professionals in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The U.S. urban forestry industry employs over 500,000 people, including municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, city planners, consultants, educators, researchers, and community organizers.

Fundamentally, the work of urban forest managers is to monitor the urban forest and then evolve their plans and take action based on that feedback. There are two main methods of monitoring the urban forest, one from the bottom up, the other from the top down:

  • A tree inventory is completed on the ground by arborists who assess individual trees on a set of criteria and plot their location.
  • An urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment measures a community’s tree canopy cover through the analysis of aerial and/or satellite imagery and other geospatial data.

Communities use this information to guide their actions through long-range plans, such as an urban forest management plan (see an example plan). These plans create a framework for asking what kind of urban forest a community wants to see and envisioning the actions, goals, policies, and metrics to get there. It’s also an opportunity to collect input from many diverse stakeholders (city staff, elected officials, and the community) to develop a shared vision for the future.

With a plan in hand, it’s time for action. Urban forest management is part proactive and part reactive. Urban forest managers can plan out tree plantings, removals, and schedule maintenance, but they will also have to contend with unexpected events, such as storms and pest outbreaks, that require emergency action. These are usually initiated by requests from the public, and an urban forestry program may receive hundreds to thousands of requests every year!


A Green Commitment Worth Keeping

It takes committed professionals, frequently updated data, and evolving plans to support a healthy urban forest. It can be a daunting task, but there are tremendous rewards when done successfully. Unfortunately, a nationwide analysis found 36 million urban trees are removed annually, equating to a loss of $96 million in ecosystem services.

We should not have to pick between living in an urban area or having access to green space. Climate change, and the increasing stress it puts on cities, is only raising the need for healthy, equitably distributed urban forests. Integrating trees, along with other green infrastructure, into our communities is a solution that supports both people and the planet.

How to get involved with your local urban forest

If you would like to support your local urban forest, there are often ample local volunteer opportunities. Try a quick Google search to see if your community has a tree board, forestry-focused nonprofit, or a tree planting event near you and join their next volunteer event. Take a selfie with your tree and tree friends + tag it #forestproud.

Reimagining Our Cities
Urban Forests

RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project

The Urban Wood Project began as a quest to reclaim wood from abandoned city homes. It very quickly became about so much more.

Watch this next
Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Urban Forestry: An Origin Story

Managing an urban forest is complicated! Why? Read on.

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and tree management software firm.

To answer the question “what is forestry?'' we need to go back - way back - to the 1800’s when forestry first emerged on the scene as a profession. The goal then - much like it is today - is to manage for the current and future health of forests, and strive to ensure that forest benefits will be available for future generations.

Urban forestry on the other hand would take another 150 years before it was recognized as a distinct practice within the larger forestry family. Believe it or not, there are a lot of differences in managing rural trees and wilderness forests vs those in bustling downtown parks or along crowded streets.

The growing cities and urban sprawl of the 1960’s and 70’s proved to be the tipping point and marks the birth of urban forestry. Its focus was on setting new objectives, identifying new personnel, and implementing new management strategies to steward forests in the built environment.

What Is An Urban Forest?

Every tree in this photo is part of the urban forest!


The urban forest encompasses any tree, on public and private land, that lives where we do, from a small town to a crowded metropolis. It includes the trees that line our streets, shade our parks, and fill our backyards. It also includes dense, more natural stands of trees near our communities, such as nature preserves, river corridors, wetlands, and greenways.

One-third of U.S. land is forested and 18% of that land, about 141 million acres, is considered urban forest. 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas so the actions of urban forest managers have a profound effect on where people live, work, and play. If you want to have a direct impact on the well-being of your community, working in urban forestry is one way to do it.

Why Are Urban Forests So Important?

Like storm drains, street lights, and sidewalks, the urban forest is an essential part of our city – and our climate - infrastructure. Trees create a host of meaningful, measurable benefits. Collectively known as “ecosystem services”, trees and urban forests are critical to making our cities livable and sustainable.

A full list of urban forest ecosystem services runs quite long, but here are some of the essential benefits:

  • Carbon Sequestration & Storage

A healthy tree canopy pulls carbon dioxide from the air (sequestration) and stores it in roots, trunks, leaves, and soil (storage). Just like products made from rural forests, products made from urban forests continue to store that carbon for the life of the product. Urban forests are just starting to catch up to their traditional forest counterparts in efforts to track and reward this function through carbon credit and offset programs.

  • Cooling Our Cities

Trees are on the front lines of the battle against extreme urban heat, which as of 2022 is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Trees can drastically lower surface and air and surface temperatures through shade and evapotranspiration (the exchange of water with air).

  • Better Air Quality

Trees are sometimes known as the lungs of a city, but they can act as the liver too. Urban forests can remove tons (not metaphorically, literally thousands of pounds) of air pollution every year by absorbing gasses through leaves and trapping particulates out of the air.

  • Water Quality and Stormwater Control

Trees improve water quality and support stormwater management through rainfall interception and infiltration (water absorbed by the soil). Stormwater infrastructure is not cheap. Cities, especially those with combined sewer systems, are turning to trees and urban forests as an effective, affordable answer to handle heavy rains as seen through the installation of rain gardens and bioswales.

  • Improved Mental and Physical Health

Trees support physical health via improved air, water, and urban temperatures, but they also offer well-evidenced mental health support. Having easy access to trees or even views of trees helps reduce stress and enhance our well-being. The COVID pandemic made this connection especially clear.


Which sidewalk would you prefer to walk down?


Simply put, our cities, communities, and climate are better with trees around. Thanks to decades of research, we’ve become quite skilled at quantifying the benefits created by a single tree or an entire urban forest.

You can try it right now and get a benefit estimate for a tree in front of your home using the free MyTree tool. Urban forest managers often use software to estimate and track this information because it's invaluable for helping government leaders and community members accurately value the services provided by their urban trees.


Reimagining Cities Illustration
Reimagining Our Cities
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products, Urban Forests

FORESTS: Reimagining Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in a city.

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Natural Climate Solutions

2021 Earth Day Pledges We Love

North Face

By 2025, 100 percent of its top materials used will come from recycled, regenerative or renewable sources

Why we love it:  Recycled, regenerative, and renewable = forests and forest products. 

Ninja Tune and Beggars Group

The two indie label groups – which house imprints like Big Dada and Technicolour, and Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings, and Young (formerly known as Young Turks) respectively – announced their pledge to go carbon neutral by 2024

Why we love it: Offsetting and reducing carbon emissions means investing in forests and forest solutions. 

HP, Inc.

In advance of Earth Day 2021, HP set ambitious climate action goals including: carbon neutrality and zero waste by 2025 as well as net-zero deforestation. 

Why we love it: Deforestation isn’t an issue in North America, but it is a leading cause of climate change globally. We hate climate change. 

Procter & Gamble

For Earth Day this year, P&G have launched a campaign to reinforce their commitment to becoming carbon neutral this decade. 

Why we love it: P&G is partnering with Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to identify and fund a range of projects designed to protect, improve and restore critical ecosystems like forests. We love forests. 

Carl’s Jr. 

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, Carl’s Jr. has partnered with Beyond Meat for the fast-food chain’s first-ever plant-based meat menu and plans to give away free plant-based burgers at one of its Los Angeles locations.

Why we love it: Livestock agriculture is one of the leading causes of carbon emissions and deforestation globally. We love free burgers, but we love forests and clean air more. 

Tyrone Williams
Natural Climate Solutions
Forest Benefits, Forest Management

Forest Champion Spotlight | Tyrone Williams

As a 3rd generation North Carolina landowner, Tyrone Williams opens up about the importance of keeping forests as forests and passing on his responsibility to future generations.

Watch this next
Natural Climate Solutions
Forest Benefits, Forest Management

Forest Champion Spotlight | Tyrone Williams

Fourtee Acres Farms

Tyrone Williams opens up about the importance of keeping forests as forests and passing on his responsibility to future generations. As a 3rd generation North Carolina landowner and a nationally recognized tree farmer within the American Forest Foundation's American Tree Farm System, Tyrone's story connects the dots between forests, sustainable management, and the harmonious economic and environmental benefits that come with being a responsible steward of the land.

The Williams' family story starts in 1916 when his grandfather purchased 38 acres of land for $864. As Tyrone describes, "This was a great feat for any man at the time, but particularly so for an African American."

Initially, the focus was on clearing the land for agriculture - as the old saying goes, "Money doesn't grow on trees".

Organizations like the Sustainable Forestry & African American Land Retention Project (SFLR) are working with small landowners - like Tyrone, his wife Edna, and their three sons - to introduce them to sustainable forestry as a tool to increase family income and land value, with a broader goal of providing future generations with a better quality of life through forestland ownership and retention.

Not originally from a forestry background, Tyrone credits foresters and others in the SFLR community for their ability to help them fully understand the scope and worth of his land. Tyrone says, “When people trust other people, they tend to move quicker towards a common goal.”

Hear more about Tyrone and Edna’s forest journey and legacy in this podcast episode from Leadership Nature, digging deeper into Tyrone's work with SFLR and how he builds trust in his community. Talking Forests podcast host Candra Burns chats with Tyrone and Edna about building community, and growing a legacy through forest and family.

Zooming out, Katie Fernholz - the CEO of Dovetail Partners, an environmental non-profit - puts Tyrone's story in the larger context of the role sustainable forests play in helping to address the challenges that come with a changing climate.

Katie explores how the vast majority of forestland in the United States is privately owned and how, as a result of this dynamic, the majority of timber harvests come from privately owned forests like those owned by the Williams family.

Katie takes us one step further, and outlines how strong markets and demand for forest products are powerful incentives for landowners to replant trees and regrow forests, and a critical component of keeping forests as forests for the long-term.


FourTee Acres

As a 2nd generation North Carolina landowner, Tyrone Williams opens up about the importance of keeping forests as forests and passing on his responsibility to future generations.

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