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.
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
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 […]
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 […]
It’s back to school time in our urban and community forests! We eagerly anticipate another opportunity to create a better future, a more resilient future. Two things our future depends on: our students and our trees. Students need to understand the connection between a livable world and our community trees. What can Urban Foresters do […]
June is a month when many people are enjoying warmer temperatures and spending more time outside to “soak up the sun”: gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking, or even heading to a beach or a nearby lake. But getting too much sun can have long-term negative effects on your health and make you look older than […]
As the temperature drops and sunlight decreases, deciduous trees shed their leaves and turn their focus to internal storage and conserving resources. Oftentimes our own behavior mirrors that of a dormant tree; it is easy to shed our active, outdoor lifestyle in favor of lounging under blankets and remaining sedentary most of the day. This […]
Urban Forest Strike TeamOn May 27, 2019 Ohio experienced a record tornado outbreak that resulted in one confirmed death, destroyed homes and property, and substantial damage to the urban forest across many communities. Several of the large tornados, including an EF3 and EF4 impacted the City of Dayton, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and the […]