When School Days End, Our Love of Trees Continues

photo of forest with mountains in background

May and June are upon us, and for many, that means graduation, whether it be from high school, college or even pre-school (always adorable!). It’s a time to celebrate accomplishments and to look forward to new chapters in our lives. (Okay…because this is an article for the Healthy Trees, Healthy Live blog, I’d be remiss […]

Urban Trees: Heath and Wealth

residential street with blooming trees

Welcome to April, a time when the world wakes up from winter and everything starts to bloom again. You’ve probably noticed the trees in your neighborhood getting all green and flowery—isn’t it lovely? Did you know those trees are doing more than just looking pretty? They’re like superheroes for our health and our wallets. Let’s […]

In Search of Hearts

katsura tree photo credit: Tim Parsons

Each Valentine’s Day, hearts adorn every surface in my hometown of Montpelier,Vermont. A mysterious someone works in the night to plaster the town’s windows,walls, bridges, and steeples with red splashes of a photocopied heart-art. By morning, smiles adorn the day’s commuters, many of whom reach school or work by foot in this tiny town of […]

Forest Bathing and Other Ways to Stay Fit Among the Trees

People walking on forest trail

In Japanese, it is called shinrin-yoku. In English, it is called forest bathing. Forest bathing is a health-promoting practice that allows you to slow down, immerse yourself in a forest, and mindfully use all your senses. You may not exert as much energy as cycling or jogging through the woods, but it still yields some […]

Back to School: Trees and Curriculum for Students of any Age

Winning entries from the 2023 Growing Works of Art contest sponsored by the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program. This initiative encourages K-8 students to tie visual art and literacy to a passion for trees. Visit vtcommunityforestry.org/arbor-day/growing-works-art-contest to learn more.

Stay Cool, Look Cool and be Cool – A Guide to Look at Trees in a Different Light

Spending summertime outside is a great way to reduce stress, be active and get a dose of vitamin D. Finding some shade can be a great way to help you enjoy the great outdoors, and do so safely during the hot months.
Finding a tree with a shady spot underneath is a great way to cool off and relax while enjoying some time outside. Large shade trees such as bur oaks, pin oaks, sycamores, tuliptrees, London planetree, and birches provide excellent shade even on the hottest days.
Although trees may love that much sun, over exposure for us can lead to adverse health effects. Sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are just a few examples.
In the short term, even mild reddening of the skin from sun exposure is a sign of damage. Sunburn can blister the skin and cause it to peel. Longer term problems can also arise. Too much sun speeds up the aging process, making it leathery, mottled and wrinkled. The most serious effect is increased risks of developing skin cancer.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in your skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, your skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. Your skin also bruises and tears more easily, in addition to taking longer to heal. So, while sun damage to your skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it’ll show later in life.”
Heat exhaustion happens when your body overheats. Symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse. Heat exhaustion is one of three heat-related illnesses, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being most serious.
Fortunately, heat related conditions are preventable. By simply applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking it easy during the hottest parts of the day, one can stay safe and happy while enjoying the outdoors.
Many tree species that cast shade can also provide spring flowers, and bright fall colors. However, it is important to remember to choose a species that will thrive. Planting trees that are native to your area have a much better chance of reaching their full potential and help create a productive ecosystem.
According to Urban Forestry Coordinator, Emma Hanigan, “A well-chosen shade tree can also serve an important role in creating privacy and blocking wind and noise. For this purpose, look for varieties with dense foliage and appropriate spacing to get both shade and screening”.

*Ultraviolet (UV) radiation: What it is and its effect on your skin. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10985-ultraviolet-radiation

Don’t Let Trees Make You Sneeze!

With warmer weather, most people think about planting treesduring Earth Day and Arbor Day each year. However, it is important to bemindful of the types of trees that would be planted. Many people, includingmyself, suffer from seasonal allergies. In Delaware, tree allergies becomeespecially worse in the springtime. If homeowners are looking into creatinglandscapes with little […]

Get more greens to lower your blues

There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness said Dame Maggie Smith. It’s true.  You can be perfectly content and connected while in solitude yet feel lonely when in a crowded room. And according to some experts, the current global pandemic is creating a loneliness epidemic of its own, especially among young adults and seniors.1  While […]


Everyone wants to be happier and healthier, right? With 2023 just around the corner, we’re all thinking about what our new year resolutions are going to be. Some may sign up for gym memberships, some might vow to focus more on self-improvement and mental health, or spend more time with friends and family. But there […]