Category Archives: Trees

Plants We Love: River Birch

A recent stroll along the James River reminded me of my love for the river birch. As I neared the end of my walk in downtown Richmond, I happened upon a few stately specimens, their bark in full peeling splendor. 

You?ll know the river birch, or Betula nigra, when you see it. The bark peels up from the trunk in layers, revealing a rainbow of tans, reds and browns (?cinnamon? is a good description). These colors are more vivid in older trees. Oval or triangular leaves have double-toothed edges, and the trunk is typically divided into two or three trunks. 
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An Early Lesson on the Importance of Plants

When I was in my mid-20s, I accepted a job in Nepal, working on a natural resources project. We were going to live in a village without roads, electricity or running water and manage a project that partially involved reforestation. We were to set up tree nurseries, replant forests and distribute some plants to the villagers. Continue reading

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2011 Stihl Tour des Trees Rolls Through Virginia's Capital

Many people are familiar with the Tour de France, but few probably have heard of the Tour des Trees.

Tour des Trees is an annual long-distance cycling excursion that raises money for tree research and education. It started in 1992, so it's considerably younger than its more famous French counterpart, which began in 1903. Continue reading

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Make a Day of It at Norfolk Botanical Garden

Garden lovers should mark their calendars for Sept. 22, when the Norfolk Botanical Garden will host two great events focused on conservation landscaping.

Start the day off with the Garden Symposium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme of this symposium is "How Sustainable Gardening and Landscaping Projects Improve the Health of Your Garden." Guest speakers will explain how gardeners can create nature-friendly landscapes and improve the health of their gardens at the same time. Lunch will be served, and door prizes will include a rain barrel and gift certificates for professional landscape consultations. Continue reading

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Working Together to Protect Riparian Buffers

In 2010, the Chesterfield County Environmental Engineering Department and Friends of Chesterfield's Riverfront launched the Riparian Stewardship Program. The program encourages county residents to cherish and protect the riparian buffers on their land. Riparian buffers are areas of vegetation along waterways that protect water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff, preventing erosion and providing shade and wildlife habitat. Continue reading

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An Arborist's Favorite Time of Year

It's spring time and a young man's thoughts turn to...Planting trees!

As an arborist for the City of Richmond, I always look forward to spring and the rebirth of our natural world after a long, cold and dreary winter. The early buds of maple and elm daring a heavy frost to nip them back. The burst of color from saucer magnolias, followed by redbud's delicate purple flowers. These are a few of the many signs that remind me spring is upon us. I love to drive over the Lee Bridge and look westward on the James River to try and detect the faint green haze that gradually crests into a full-fledged wave as the forest comes alive again. Continue reading

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Plant Some Happiness on Earth Day

While many people have been celebrating with green activities all week, today is officially Earth Day. How will you celebrate?

I've started by planting a container garden on my apartment porch. As you can see, it's a work in progress, but it's already added some sense of purpose to what was previously a barren concrete slate. I think Mother Nature would give me an A for effort. The birds and other creatures who've been visiting hopefully would do the same. Continue reading

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Earth Day and Arbor Day: A Quick History

In the wild, wild West, the Nebraska Territory was hot, windy and wide. One of the pioneers, J. Sterling Morton (pictured here), immediately began planting trees, and advocated tree planting in the newspaper for which he was an editor. On April 10, 1872, the citizens of Nebraska planted about a million trees, celebrating the very first Arbor Day. Later, the date was officially changed to April 22, Mr. Morton's birthday. Continue reading

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Let's Get Growing

Welcome to Plant More Plants!

We'll give you tips and information to help you create the best yard possible - both for your family and for the Chesapeake Bay.

As the largest estuary in the United States, the Bay is important, and its well-being is the cornerstone of the new Plant More Plants campaign. More than 17 million people live in the Bay's watershed, and many rely on its economic and recreational benefits. The Bay also is home to 3,600 species of fish, plants and animals. Continue reading

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