WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Found some more cairns on a winter walk last weekend. These were above an old field that has grown into mature forest on state forest preserve land. You have to respect the ambition of these humans that moved all these rocks. Also found aContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? It’s common to find remnants of prior “work” from a much more gnarly pruner up in an old apple tree. You can always tell when a black bear has been in one. He sits in one spot and feeds the fruitful branches to hisContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Went for a walk on NYS Forest Preserve Land last week in the snow. Found some of these cairns near the head of a hollow about half-way up the ridge from a stream. It seems these cairns are a topic of dispute or discussionContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? We do quite a bit of apple tree from pruning (everyday) from early January into April. The bulk of this pruning occurs on older trees which is done with a simple, Silky handsaw. I now use their smallest blade which measures 8.3 inches. AContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? My prediction that this winter would be cold and snowy has been drastically wrong. Although this January and February were more like March, perhaps March & April will be more like a typical January. Who knows. This photo was from maple sugaring season inContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? I mentioned before that January 2nd was the earliest I’ve ever tapped trees. It would then make sense that February 10th is the earliest I’ve ever “pulled” or taken down my buckets. Once you tap that tree–and if the weather remains good for sap-flow–thenContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Working outside–or in this case–pruning & climbing apple trees demands careful attention to staying warm. Good gloves and the right number of layers must be balanced with the ability to remain free-to-move. I find that working in winter while temperatures are in the mid-20sContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Last week I got to experience “sap snow.” This is an unusual phenomenon where snow is falling above freezing (mid-30s), and maple sap is running fast into the buckets. As you might imagine, snow normally requires freezing or below temperatures, while sap demands freezingContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? This was a pretty cool tree we got to prune near Rondout in Ulster County. It was one of the largest trees we’ve done. Some time ago, it was “let go” & sprouted some large branches or “suckers.” These “suckers” shaded out the lowerContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? If you’re a skier or snowshoer, this winter (so far) has been a bust. But this unusually warmer January has been great for maple sugaring. My 18 buckets gave 47 gallons of sap in one day last week. That means on average, these tapsContinue Reading