Things We Heart – March 2019

We’ve rounded up some of the best tree stuff on the web for your enjoyment. Check out this month’s highlights below:

It’s allergy season… and trees are the culprit

It’s that time of year that many have been waiting for with bated breath – warmer temperatures and longer days – spring is finally making its appearance across the United States! Unfortunately, this also means allergy season. Tree pollen is often the culprit for itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny noses because it begins releasing between January and April, depending on the climate and location. According to, the trees most likely to throw pollen around like confetti at a party include elm, pine, birch, ash, hickory and cypress. Learn more about pollen levels and forecasts in your area.

Using space lasers to measure treesforest in fog

A new system onboard the International Space Station will help scientists gauge how much carbon is stored in forests. This new program, called the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), will use lasers to measure the height of a tree as well as the density of the foliage and branches. Tall, broad trees store more carbon that short, narrow trees. The program isn’t perfect – the lasers’ ability to collect information will depend on cloud cover (lasers are less effective when they can’t get a direct shot of what they’re trying to look at). However, the data it will collect will relieve the amount of fieldwork that scientists on the ground were doing to measure the same data. By combining this gathered data with ground measurements, scientists will be able to refine their understanding of carbon storage on land and how it’s likely to change. Learn more about the GEDI program.

What is agroforestry?

Have you ever driven by a corn field that has oddly placed trees in it and wondered what the deal is? That activity is called agroforestry – it’s agriculture that incorporates the cultivation and conservation of trees. It’s a land-use management system that farmers use to increase the diversity of their crops, reduce the effects of extreme weather events and soil erosion, and provide extra income. For example, the trees that are planted could be used for the fruit they bear or for timber. Read more about agroforestry.



Image Credits:

Pollen time in USA by Ivy Dawned/flickr

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