Adirondack forests could see major changes in the coming decades as a result of forest pests, according to experts who attended a forest pest summit in North Creek recently.
Both the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer have been found south of the Adirondack Park, and the balsam woolly adelgid appears to be causing more damage to balsam firs inside the Blue Line in recent years. » Continue Reading.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County will be holding a free Chainsaw Safety course on Thursday, July 21st at 1 pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Education Center at 377 Schroon River Road in Warrensburg.
Chainsaws are among the most useful and dangerous outdoor power tools owned and operated by landowners. Severe injuries include deep, jagged lacerations embedding foreign substances resulting from direct contact with the chain saw; strains and sprains from improper handling; and contusions concussions and/or fractures caused by being struck by objects while cutting. Improper long term use may result in loss of hearing and diminished nerve sensitivity. » Continue Reading.
One of the drawbacks of being an arborist is the language barrier. Routinely I spout off about trees such as Corylus, Carpinus, and Crataegus before noticing a glazed look on the faces of my victims, I mean audience. Once I engage my Nerd Translator, though, such offensive words are corrected to hazelnut, ironwood, and hawthorn, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Sadly, this works in reverse, too.
Fairly often someone calls up wanting to know what caused the unexpected and untimely death of their well-established landscape tree that “suddenly” died over the spring or summer. As a result of my arborist-ailment this sounds to me as absurd as if they said the tree shot up from a sapling to fifty feet tall with no warning at all while they were on vacation. » Continue Reading.
Since the Lake George Land Conservancy was established in 1988, the organization has protected more than 10,000 acres from development, largely to maintain the clarity and water quality of Lake George. But when conserving a property, its Board of Directors also considers a preserve’s broader value – for recreation, education and wildlife habitat.
In 2009, for instance, the Conservancy hired ecologists to study bird populations and in 2010, it began working toward establishing a managed wildlife refuge on one of its preserves.
And earlier this year, the board approved a Stewardship Plan for Matty’s Mountain, a 175 acre parcel in Lake George bordered on three sides by the Berry Pond Preserve. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Harvest is co-sponsoring an educational workshop in Cross Island Farms’ Edible Forest Garden on Saturday, June 18 from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Over the past three seasons Dani Baker, co-owner of Cross Island Farms, has developed just under an acre of her certified organic farm as a multi-functional edible forest garden encompassing numerous permaculture principles and practices. Attendees will join her as she describes the process of planning and planting over 300 cultivars of edible fruits, nuts, berries, and other edibles, both native and uncommon; learn about factors considered in deciding where and with what to plant the seven permaculture layers she has incorporated; and identify a large variety of supportive plants integrated into the landscape. Attendees will have an opportunity to sample edible fruits, flowers, greens and herbs in season and go home with a potted plant to begin or add to their own garden. » Continue Reading.
At a recent meeting I attended with other sportsmen, outdoor advocates and various environmental professionals, the topic of balance among the concerns of our lands and forests, wildlife, and people was being discussed.
From the perspective of the New York State Conservation Council, there is nearly a complete loss of balance on state lands in the Adirondacks because of an overbearing philosophy within the forest preserve, the forever wild philosophy, and wilderness and wild forest classifications. Thus the carrying capacity for song birds, wild game and other species in the Adirondacks is severely lacking. » Continue Reading.
“I never thought I’d be getting my hands dirty and planting trees in such a big forest,” said Jody last Saturday.
She had joined others from the Youth Ed-Venture and Nature Network, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of hard work along the Hudson River. YENN volunteers from tye Capital District met me at the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters off of Northway Exit 21 (thanks to Danielle for hosting us). After a brief orientation to the Adirondack Park, we drove to Luzerne and then up River Road into the Town of Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.
The word Adirondack calls to mind many things — natural beauty, family playground, sporting opportunities, colorful history — but nothing so dark as prisoner-of-war host.
Yet during the last world war (let’s hope it was the last), followers of Hitler and Mussolini populated the North Country. Volumes have been written about the suffering endured in POW camps, but for countries adhering to the Geneva Conventions, there was a clear set of rules to follow. Among them was that prisoners must receive adequate provisions and supplies (food, clothing, living quarters), and if put to work, they must be paid. » Continue Reading.
A Paul Smith’s College professor and his student landed a new peer-reviewed journal article in the international scientific journal Agroforestry Systems.
Joseph Orefice, professor of forestry, and Leanne Ketner, a senior majoring in integrative studies at Paul Smith’s, investigated the use of silvopasture on farms in the Northeastern United States. The practice, which had never been documented in the region before, integrates livestock and trees within the same pasture, providing shelter and forage for the livestock while maximizing the use of the trees as productive and healthy crops. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the Final Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands Recreational Management Plan (RMP) for motorized recreational use of snowmobiles, ATVs, and motor vehicles on the approximately 18,000-acre easement in the northern Adirondacks.
The Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands are located in the towns of Franklin and Brighton in Franklin County formerly owned by International Paper Corporation. DEC purchased a conservation easement on the lands in 2004 which included development rights and logging requirements. The easement also includes public access to the property and more than 100 miles of existing roads. » Continue Reading.
The old saw “money doesn’t grow on trees” will remain valid unless bartering ever becomes the norm, in which case fruit and nut growers will be awash in tree-grown currency. Figuring exchange rates would be quite a headache, I imagine. Our eastern white pine isn’t considered a crop-bearing tree and it certainly doesn’t sprout cash, but it has borne priceless ‘fruit’ all the same.
The tallest trees this side of the Rockies, white pines of up to 230 feet were recorded by early loggers. The current US champion stands at 188 feet tall, and in New York State we have several over 150 feet. In terms of identification, white pine makes it easy. It’s the only native pine out east that bears needles in bundles of five, one for each letter in ‘white.’ (To be clear, the letters are not actually written on the needles.) It produces attractive, six-inch long cones with resin-tipped scales, perfect for fire starting and for wreaths and other holiday decorations (might want to keep those away from open flames). » Continue Reading.
Senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all creatures great and diminutive as they close in on the life expectancy of their species. People my age suddenly find they require reading glasses to see the phone book. Though I suppose by definition anyone still using a phone book is old enough to need glasses, right?
The onset of this process varies — you probably know of families whose members frequently retain good health into their 90s, and other families where that is not the case. Of course environment is important. Eating and sleeping well, cultivating gratitude, and laughing a lot will help keep us healthier longer. But there comes a point at which even the best-preserved specimen can’t avoid the end of life.
Trees also go through senescence at different rates. Each species has an approximate lifespan after which no amount of TLC can keep them alive. One of the more popular white-barked birches for landscape planting is the native gray birch. You may love your birch clump, but those trees are old at thirty years, ancient at forty—by the time they double over and kiss the ground in heavy snow or an ice storm, they may be on their way out anyway. » Continue Reading.
The next two Farm Talk presentations – on organic vegetable farming and woodlot management – will be taking place on March 11, 2016.
Rand Fosdick, Farm Manager for Landon Hill Estate Farm, will present “Starting A Small Certified Organic Farm.” Fosdick will be followed by John O’Donnell, Certified Forester for Benchmark Forest & Land Management, who will present “Woodlot Management: It’s In Your Roots”. » Continue Reading.
At this time of year, many a gardener’s daydreams turn to the springtime promise of sprouting plants. Seed catalogs start arriving in the mail months before the soil will be thawed and drained enough for planting, and we use this downtime to plan for the coming season.
At Green Fire Farm in Peacham, Vermont, Michael Low is also planning, not only for this year’s crops, but for biochar to help those crops grow. He harvests about 50 cords of low-grade wood each year on his 67-acre homestead, and turns the wood into his own version of black gold. Biochar is charcoal used for agricultural purposes. Its advocates laud its potential to retain soil nutrients, sustain moisture levels in both drought and heavy rain conditions, and sequester carbon in the ground. For evidence of biochar’s usefulness, they point to the terra preta of the Amazon region, where biochar-enriched soils have maintained high fertility for thousands of years. » Continue Reading.
One of the ways Mother Nature keeps the forests healthy and strong is by “letting” trees with poor structure split during high wind or ice load events. Such trees become decayed and die young. Those with better genetics (or better luck) are the trees that reach maturity. This selection process is great for woodlands, but it doesn’t work quite the same way for trees growing in yards, streets and parks.
Trees often develop imperfections. The vast majority of these are benign, but some can be dangerous. To avoid breakage of large limbs and associated flying lawsuits and debris, trees with obvious defects are often removed. But since many problems are a result of human activities, it hardly seems fair to cut down a mature shade tree if there’s an alternative. » Continue Reading.
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