Trees in Trouble

Directed & Produced by: Andrea Torrice, Release Date: 2015, Total Running Time: 27 minutes, Website:

Saving America’s Urban Forests

How global trade impacts local communities and native forests
Emerald Ash Borer
“An urgent call to action to protect our treasured urban street and park trees from extinction” Dr. Rutherford H. Platt Jr., Professor Emeritus of Geography, UMass-Amherst

It seemed to happen almost overnight. Thousands of ash trees started dying unexpectedly on every street in Cincinnati, Ohio. Parks and roads had to be closed due to fallen trees. The killer was a tiny green insect known as the emerald ash borer from Asia, and it was devouring native American ash trees at an alarming rate. First found in Michigan in 2002 it is now in 35 states in the US and is predicted to wipe out the entire ash species in all of North America in 20 years. Ash trees comprise between 10 – 40 percent of the native forest canopy in Canada and North America.

Trees in Trouble tells the compelling story of how one community in Ohio grappled with the crisis of losing their native ash trees to this unstoppable invasive insect. The film examines how cheap goods provided by global trade have huge financial, health and emotional costs for communities that must confront the crisis of invasives and pay the price as thousands of trees are removed and millions of dollars spent to prevent safety hazards. Strapped for cash, parks and roads were closed and tree lined neighborhoods became barren. The film also shows how citizens, scientists and public officials worked together to save their trees and mitigate the damage. Through tree plantings, seed banking and genetic research, as well as better monitoring practices, there is hope for the future.

Designed for audiences of all ages, Trees in Trouble inspires viewers to take action, and points towards first steps.

PBS Broadcasts

The public television broadcasts of Trees in Trouble in April 2016 for Earth Day and Arbor Day were a huge success – with broadcasts in 87% of the PBS market! Broadcasts will continue for the next three years, but you will have to contact your local PBS station to get the exact times and days. Community screenings are also happening around the country, To learn more, go the Trees in Trouble website at:

Join our Mailing List

Trees in Trouble is currently screening across the country at film festivals, communities and schools. To keep up-to-date on these events, join our mailing list. Your email will not be shared.

Resources and Materials

 Download Press Kit
 Download Community Guide
 Download Postcard

Purchase the DVD

Buy the DVDThe film is now available for purchase at Interested in purchasing a home video copy of Trees In Trouble for your own personal use? Email Bullfrog Films at with your home video request. Reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups. Please call Bullfrog Films at 1-800-543-3764 for more info.

Stream Trees in Trouble

Click the Rent button in the top right corner of the video above to rent the program for a 72-hour period through Vimeo.

Thank you!

Funding for Trees in Trouble comes from the Ohio Humanities Council, the Stephen H. Wilder Foundation, the Craig Young Family Foundation and the TREE Fund. The project was supported by the Media Working Group, the Center for Independent Documentary, and the School of Art, University of Cincinnati.