Category Archives: Announcements

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 63 at the Slugyard

Pacific Banana Slug, Photo by Ben Stanfield (AcaBen)

Host: Slugyard

Deadline: August 30

Email to: mike [at] — or use the contact form on our Submit page

Theme: How animals and other wildlife interact with trees

Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Look high, look low, and look carefully. The Festival of the Trees 63 visits the soggy summer in Mike’s Slugyard on September 1st. This month, Mike asks us to take notice of what the animals and other wildlife are up to in the trees.

For example, you might think slugs are little more than monsters who decimate your veggie patch while you sleep. However, the Pacific Northwest is home to the beneficent Ariolimax Columbianus, known commonly as the Banana slug. Despite their delectable name, Banana slugs are more interested in fungi than garden veggies.

So what in the name of pine cones do Banana slugs have to do with trees? These creatures are important decomposers in Northwest forests. They live in the shade, feast on mushrooms and detritus, and excrete nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Banana slugs can also play a part in seed dispersal. Patient observers will be rewarded with the Banana slug’s mystical mating rituals and majestic yellow countenance.

Banana slugs are but one species you’ll find hard at work each day in the forest. Watch for raccoons in your orchard trees, listen for birds in your garden, take a closer look at crannies in tree bark, and get up early to see who’s walking the woods before the sun rises.

You know the drill: blog about your discoveries, send us the permalink, and spread the word! Links to juicy material at blogs besides your own are always welcome.

Festival 62: Lessons from trees

Festival of the Trees #62 is up! It’s a little late, but that’s because Kate hosted another and very complementary blog carnival yesterday, which we also recommend: the plant-focused Berry-Go-Round. About the FOTT, Kate writes:

[Trees] still have the capacity to shock us, woo us, and draw us close. I learned that it’s hard not to refer to trees as agents of actions and feelings in their own right, and I think many who have been wooed to tell a tree story this month would agree with me. Perhaps it’s because when we are up close to the trees, we have an immense opportunity to learn from them, if we care to listen.

Go visit.

Submission Deadline July 30th

The deadline for submissions to the Festival of the Trees 62 is Saturday, July 30th.

Share a lesson you’ve learned from trees so we can learn too. Send us the permalink to your blog post, video, podcast, slideshow, or other e-tree-creation. Learn something about trees on someone else’s blog? Send us links to other fun tree stuff you find online.

Read the call for submissions for arboreal inspiration from our host Kate Natick of Beyond the Brambles.

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Pssst…. hear that? It’s the sound of the trees rustling at your blog…

Call for Submissions: Festival 62 at Beyond the Brambles

Host: Beyond the Brambles

Deadline: July 30

Email to: beyondthebrambles [at] gmail [dot] com — or use the contact form on our Submit page

Theme (optional): Lessons we have learned from trees

Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Close your eyes and consider: have you ever understood something more clearly because of a tree? From Beyond the Brambles our 62nd host Kate Natick asks each of us to share a lesson we’ve learned from trees. For the August Festival of the Trees you can tell us a story, share your latest research, or simply show us something you’ve just learned about a familiar tree where you live.

Don’t  think you’ve ever learned anything from a tree? Think again! Remember the first time you spotted a nest in a tree? Do you ever spend time with trees when things get difficult? Perhaps metaphors of trees help you to better understand the world or yourself? Maybe you’re a scientist who mines data from tree rings or pollen records to know more about the Earth?

If you’re not sure where to start, try a visit to the local arboretum, or perhaps contact your friendly local arborist to sign up for their next nature walk. Get out in the woods and discover what you may be overlooking! (Then share your treasure online and send us the link.)

Festival 61: new discoveries

hugging an English oak, Hampstead HeathThe 61st edition of Festival of the Trees is live at Via Negativa. Bloggers from Denmark to India to Australia made art, investigated natural history, reported on conservation issues, took photos and wrote poems in response to the suggested theme, “New discoveries.” Special features of this, our 5th anniversary edition include a spotlight on India, a section on trees as teachers and exemplars, and several efforts aimed at putting a face on the forest. Check it out.

Submission Deadline: June 30

Don’t forget to blog about trees and send me the link by Thursday, June 30, for inclusion in the fifth anniversary edition of the Festival of the Trees at Via Negativa. Read the call for submissions for details.

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 61 with Via Negativa

Host: Via Negativa
Deadline: June 30
Email to: bontasaurus [at] yahoo [dot] com — or use the contact form on our Submit page
Theme (optional): New discoveries
Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Help us celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Festival of the Trees by sharing a fresh piece of news from the world of trees: that new bark beetle in your yard, a new book about trees you’ve just read, some startling discovery about tree ecology or physiology — you name it. And keep in mind, too, Ezra Pound’s famous definition of literature as “news that stays news.” Got an original story, poem, song or video? We welcome that kind of discovery as well.

Speaking of discoveries, Jade and I were extremely impressed by the response to last month’s theme, and we’re humbled and gratified that FOTT contributors are using our calls for submission as an excuse to develop new multimedia skills. If Festival 60 was your first time experimenting with online video, I hope you’ll continue to explore the medium, and not just for Festival of the Trees submissions — though of course we very much welcome that.

This will be my fifth stint as host for the Festival, including its maiden voyage on July 1, 2006. Somehow I never got around to hosting it in 2010, and I’ve missed doing it — it’s been too long. I look forward to seeing all your submissions, and I hope to put together a real humdinger of a post. Please help me make that happen! In addition to your own links, feel free to send along any other interesting tree- and forest-related articles, videos, or other web content you might run across this month. Let’s celebrate five years of tree-blogging in style!

Ready to volunteer to host the Festival of the Trees at your own blog? check out the “upcoming festivals” section of the sidebar to see which months are still available, and contact us to pick your month.

Festival of the Trees #60!

The 60th edition of the Festival of the Trees is live at Rubies in Crystal, and what a feast it is! Quite a few participants responded to Brenda’s request to “record an engagement with a tree or trees” in multimedia form. As she observes in her introduction, “trees speak to us.”

Just this morning, in fact, as I sat out on my front porch admiring the big tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in bloom at the edge of the woods, peering through binoculars at the enormous yellow-and-orange cups dripping with nectar, I suddenly started to imagine the frustrated trumpeting of mastodons and the grunting of giant ground sloths straining to reach the blossoms. It occurred to me why tulip trees might grow so tall so quickly, accustomed as they have been for most of their evolutionary history to the presence of very large herbivores with very big appetites for sweets!

What do trees say to you? Go visit the latest Festival of the Trees to read, watch, and listen to what others have heard.

Submission Deadline: May 29th

The deadline for the Festival of the Trees 60 is Sunday, May 29th.

Send in your tree-related submissions to Brenda of the Rubies in Crystal blog. Read the call for submissions for details and inspiration.

Remember: you can send more than just your own links. We invite you to share your May tree discoveries too.

Got a blog? Love trees? Volunteers are needed for future editions of the Festival of the Trees — contact us to host.

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60 with Rubies in Crystal

Host: Rubies in Crystal

Deadline: May 29

Email to: brenda.clews [at] gmail [dot]com — or use the contact form on our Submit page

Theme: Trees in sound & motion: arboreal conversations

Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

The Festival of the Trees 60th edition is all about expanding your arboreal horizons. This month our host Brenda of the Rubies in Crystal blog challenges each of us to share a conversation with trees. We are asked to observe our own engagement with trees, and record it—with video, audio, slideshow, or any other creative composition we can dream up.

Consider this your Director’s License, complete with the big high chair (wooden, of course). When you create your tree submissions, be conscious of the role of the spectator. Each viewer will have a different experience from your own experience with the trees. Share something which invites your audience to take a seat, listen, and reflect on the different ways that humans perceive trees – or become more aware of their own regard for trees and forests.

Here’s a little multimedia arboreal inspiration to kick things off:

cherry blossom haiku (who else is listening with you at dawn?)

The Beauty of Denmark, Botanical Ecosystem (does the camera follow your eye, or does your eye follow the camera?)

Ecology: Forest Canopy Freestyle Rap (what’s more to explore than the eyes can see?)

Tree Bird Moon Ghost (what do you hear in the forest? how would you translate it?)

All tree-related submissions are considered, so as you wander the web this month, keep the Festival in mind and send us links to any tasty trees you find! Submission deadline is Sunday May 29th.

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