Trees are blooming again in New York so now is the perfect time to keep your eyes peeled for beech tree leaf disease symptoms. [Read more…] about Inspect Your Trees for Beech Leaf Disease This Spring
Beech Tree Syrup Could Unlock Economic Potential
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has announced the results of research into the economic feasibility of producing syrup from American beech trees. Conducted by Adam D. Wild, director of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid, the research examined the yield potential and economic feasibility of tapping beech trees for syrup production. [Read more…] about Beech Tree Syrup Could Unlock Economic Potential
How Do New York’s Pests & Diseases Survive Winter?
I can’t help but think about the forest pests and diseases that I work with, and how they fare in winter weather.
We know that monarch butterflies migrate to avoid our cold winters, but what about the insects that stay put? Many of our forests pests and diseases have adaptations and strategies to survive the cold. [Read more…] about How Do New York’s Pests & Diseases Survive Winter?
Whitetail Deer & Spreading Invasive Species
A winter walk in the forest reveals a flurry of wildlife activity that often goes unnoticed during other times of the year. Often among the many tracks in the snow are the nearly heart-shaped prints of whitetail deer. Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are common throughout the United States, with an estimated population of 30 million nationwide.
Deer are an important part of the ecosystem, but their foraging behavior can wreak havoc in forests, where browsing may contribute to the spread of invasive plants – and decrease species diversity. [Read more…] about Whitetail Deer & Spreading Invasive Species
New Threat to Beech Trees Found In 35 NYS Counties
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that Beech Leaf Disease (BLD), which affects all species of beech trees, has been identified in 35 counties in New York State to date.
DEC began tracking BLD in 2018 after it was confirmed in Chautauqua County. Fourteen of the counties with BLD were confirmed in 2022, and more are likely to be identified. [Read more…] about New Threat to Beech Trees Found In 35 NYS Counties
Up Every River: Logging The Adirondacks (1820-40)
In the 1820s the State of New York encouraged Adirondack exploration and settlement, benefiting from the land sales and taxes (when they were paid). Lewis County newspapers were abuzz with praise for the 1825 completion of the Erie Canal, and in less than a year, the Black River Gazette launched a discussion on “improving” the Black River as a connection between the canal and the St. Lawrence River, anticipating the economic benefit Adirondack timber would bring when this opened a commercial route to the rest of the world:
“The quantity of lumber which might be drawn from those vast forests, now covering a soil which would anticipate the desires of a husbandman are beyond all calculation. For it is a fact admitted by all who have the least acquaintance with this section of country, that a greater quantity of wood, timber, lath, staves, boards, shingles, masts and spars might be drawn from this northern triangle, by means of a Canal, than any other district or county in the state.” [Read more…] about Up Every River: Logging The Adirondacks (1820-40)
Logging The Adirondacks From The West (1800-1820)
In the nineteenth century Lewis County settlements east of the Black River were just getting established; most of these included at least one saw mill. By 1820 these settlements were beginning to push their way up the rivers into the Adirondacks, and new mills were being built along their courses. A Copenhagen, NY farmer on Tug Hill, viewing the Adirondack panorama spread out to his east, wrote the following in a Journal & Republican article titled “North Woods Wonder:”
“All the wilderness is strewn with lakes as if some great mirror had been shattered by an Almighty hand, and scattered through the forests for Nature to make her toilet by … And how the rivers meander the woods as the veins of a human hand. There are Beaver, Moose, and Indian, Bog, Grass and Racket… And how rough and shaggy the wilderness is with mountains … Let them pass unnamed.”
One of these “shattered” gems was Twitchell Lake. [Read more…] about Logging The Adirondacks From The West (1800-1820)
Old Trees Play A Unique And Essential Role
Typically, “tree aging” is done by counting annual growth rings, either on a stump or on a sample core taken by a special tool. But the phrase can also refer to veteranization, a process whereby trees are prematurely aged through targeted injury and stress in order to create specialized habitats. It’s much like the ageing of parents, a treatment administered by one’s children to produce worry lines, grey hairs, and character.
We humans whistle past the cemetery, as it were, with refrains like “50 is the new 40,” apparently hoping to trick death into giving us a free decade somewhere along the line. For trees, there is no single definition of old. A mountain-ash is decrepit by fifty, while a bur oak of that age is a mere adolescent. Every species has a lifespan range beyond which no amount of wishful thinking or supplements can help. [Read more…] about Old Trees Play A Unique And Essential Role
The Gray Squirrel in the Adirondacks
The gray squirrel is a common member of New York State’s wildlife community.
This bushy-tailed rodent ranks among the most frequently seen creatures, especially if a few individuals in the neighborhood are maintaining bird feeders. Yet, as common as this skilled aerialist may appear, the gray squirrel is not as widely distributed throughout the Adirondack Park as it might seem. [Read more…] about The Gray Squirrel in the Adirondacks
Nutting Season: An Old-Time Ritual
Thanksgiving, with food a major holiday component, calls to mind a time of year that was once the subject of great anticipation: nutting season. I’m not old enough to have experienced it first-hand, although back in the 1980s I did explore many natural edibles. Among my favorites was beechnuts, which we harvested and used in chocolate-chip cookies. Outstanding!
But in days long ago, when many folks earned a subsistence living that utilized home-grown vegetables and wild foods, nutting season was an important time. [Read more…] about Nutting Season: An Old-Time Ritual