Discover American Forests®

We sat down with the team at American Forests®, our long-term partner, to discuss the Tees For Trees program, reforestation, and how you can be a part of the solution.


California is home to some of the most spectacular forests on the planet, not to mention the largest and oldest trees in existence. But climate change, and more specifically climate extremes, have resulted in large numbers of trees being lost each year to drought, wildfires, pests, and forest mismanagement. In 2020 alone, wildfires burned 4 million acres in our home state of California.

American Forests is tackling these urgent issues, leading research, partnerships, and climate-smart reforestation efforts to restore and conserve healthy forests across the country. Over the last 30 years, they’ve carried out more than 145 reforestation projects in California and planted more than 8.4 million trees.

Together, we created the Tees For Trees program. Year-round, with every purchase of any Amour Vert T-Shirt, we plant a tree in North America in partnership with American Forests®. Through the month of April, we're tripling that match to three trees! Here, we meet some of the team and learn more about their vital work:


Kenneth Davidson, PhD
Senior Manager, Forest Carbon

AMOUR VERT: The phrase “carbon neutral” gets tossed around quite a bit. Tell us more about carbon and how your work supports that.

KENNETH DAVIDSON: As trees grow, they capture and incorporate carbon from the atmosphere into their tissues. However, the amount of carbon a forest captures depends on many factors. Different forest types, ecoregions, and forest stand densities will all lead to different carbon capture rates. Likewise, forest age is a significant determinant of forest carbon uptake potential, with younger forests sequestering carbon faster than more mature forest stands. Also, forest carbon is not locked away permanently and can be released back into the atmosphere as trees die or are disturbed by natural and human-caused disturbances. Our carbon modeling work at American Forests helps our partners understand how these dynamics impact the forest systems they manage. This allows them to maximize their forest carbon capture potential through climate-informed forest management, restoration, and reforestation.



Kendall DeLyser
Director, Climate Science

AMOUR VERT: During last summer’s record-setting heat waves, there was a lot of talk about reducing greenhouse emissions and how vital trees are for providing natural cooling and regulating water flows. As a climate scientist, what do you consider particularly urgent?

KENDALL DELYSER: Our most urgent task is to figure out what risks our future forests will face and to hone the many tools in our forest management toolbox to deal with these risks. As a scientist, I know that these risks will vary by region, and our choice of management tool will have to vary in the same way. For example, our research shows that forests in California are likely to experience more drought and wildfire driven by a changing climate, and they will struggle to come back at all if those fires get big enough and severe enough. In these circumstances, we must do all we can to reduce the risk of such intense fires and help forests recover more quickly when they get burned.

Meanwhile, our research in Eastern states suggests that forests will more likely struggle to stay healthy as millions of acres of older trees naturally age and most new seedlings get eaten by deer and other herbivores. Therefore, the management tool we choose to use in these forests will need to focus more on helping young seedlings establish and survive and planting more trees where they’re most needed. No matter the cause, these future risks will challenge our forest’s ability to stay healthy and resilient, and we won’t see any of the wonderful climate mitigation, natural cooling, or water regulation benefits we depend on if we do nothing. That’s why our team is hard at work researching new and effective ways to keep our forests healthy and resilient for years to come.


Gisel Garza
Manager, Semillas Compartidas (Shared Seeds) Initiative

AMOUR VERT: Tell us about the Shared Seeds initiative. How will it help trees and shrubs propagate, and why is that important?

GISEL GARZA: The Shared Seeds (Semillas Compartidas) initiative is a seed bank American Forests runs in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Its purpose is to provide genetically diverse seeds to grow seedlings to restore the Rio Grande Valley’s Thornforests. By facilitating access to wild-collected seeds from over 40 keystone Thornforest species used in restoration, we hope to address the restoration barrier of not having seeds available.


Alexis Gomez
Senior Manager, Community Engagement

AMOUR VERT: What are some of the best ways people can get involved in and around their communities? Is there a resource we can point them to?

ALEXIS GOMEZ: To get involved in your community, a good place to start is to connect with local groups and organizations already doing the work. There may be volunteer tree plantings and other community events that you can take part in. Look into block clubs, neighborhood groups, community organizations, and local tree-planting organizations in your area. If you want to build your own local movement, check out the Community Action Guide to learn more about Tree Equity, see what it looks like in your community, and figure out how to get others involved. It will give you the steps to mobilize your community toward action.


Tia Washington
Senior Manager, Career Pathways

AMOUR VERT: The environment and climate change are not just hot-button topics; they are opening up a wide variety of career opportunities. Tell us about that.

TIA WASHINGTON: In today’s environmental and climate change landscape, there is a vast array of career pathways spanning renewable energy, sustainable development, and conservation fields. But to truly make a difference, it’s crucial to ensure everyone has a seat at the table, regardless of background. That’s why we need robust skills training programs for those just starting out, ensuring that entry-level hires are well-prepared to tackle the challenges ahead.

IRA funding plays a vital role here, incentivizing job placements through workforce development priorities, especially in urban forestry positions, and helping to create greener, more livable cities. With demand skyrocketing for professionals skilled in urban forestry, science, technology, and policy, there’s plenty of room for innovation and collaboration across the nation. So, whether you’re passionate about protecting the environment, advocating for change, or want a stable career with purpose, there’s never been a better time to jump in and make a difference.

One small way you can help is taking advantage of the Tees For Trees program. Purchase any sustainable Amour Vert T-shirt and we'll plant a tree in North America in partnership with American Forests®.

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