From the Forest

Finding the right words: how to define yourself when you can’t see the forest for the trees


I normally run an annual Tree Identification woodswalk for members of the Catskill Forest Association (CFA). I usually jog down the list of important criteria to help decipher one tree from the rest. I describe overall form, buds, leaf-shape, fall foliage, stem or branchpattern, flower or fruit, or even the smell of a freshly broken twig. Sometimes I tell a […]

One underrated pest


The white-tailed deer and campers share one thing in common; they both prefer a stand of hemlock trees for bedding. In the winter, when snow depths accumulate above six to eight inches, deer will seek out these stands. Hemlocks provide a natural buffer from winter’s cold winds as well as less snow to trudge through. Such areas are referred to […]

Norway Maple – harmful to the environment? Part 2 of 2


Last week this column began with a review of facts about the Norway maple including, chief among them, that the Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is probably the most widely planted maple species in North America. Norway maple is considered “invasive” or “harmful to the environment”, according to the NYS DEC. The DEC currently lists Norway maple as a “Regulated” plant […]

Norway Maple – Harmful to the environment?

From The Forest

A few years back I got a call from a guy over near Swan Lake in Sullivan County. He was managing a camp there and was concerned about some dying trees. Before becoming sick, the trees had been fairly vigorous with beautifully deep, round crowns. The trees’ dense foliage made for an excellent reprieve for playing children or seated adults […]

The practice of forestry requires no expert



I remember when I first returned home from a semester of Dendrology (identification of trees) and I really thought I knew something. I pointed to each tree and whispered its common name, “yellow poplar.” And then its Latin name Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera. And eastern hemlock (Pinaceae Tsuga canadensis) or red oak (Fagaceae Quercus rubra) or sugar maple (Aceraceae Acer saccharum). […]


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