WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Here is one of the most under-rated fall foliage trees I know of–the sassafras tree. Although it is a smaller and shorter-lived tree than others, it makes it up in a few ways. The fragrant smell from one of its twigs and roots isContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? In 2018, I walked a member’s property in an area that I know “can” grow ginseng, but is seldom–if ever–found. The soil there is well-drained and great for growing forested plants. Some of the heights of the nearby trees are the tallest I knowContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? I don’t like to see oak trees cut in the Catskills too often because of their important wildlife value in the form of acorns, unless they are competing with a better quality tree or it’s just their appropriate time for harvest. However, one benefitContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? This year it seemed that every tree was producing either fruit or nuts. Shagbark hickory are my favorite nut to harvest since they taste similar to pecans and are much easier to process than walnut. I first crack them, then boil the bits inContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? I’m always looking for wild fruit to pick while walking around. Last week I was walking quite a bit Connecticut while on a training. Now, I’ve picked my fair share of wild concord grapes in New York State, but I’ve never seen the abundance,Continue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? It’s been awhile, but I finally found another–black maple (Acer nigrum). Black maple is just about identical to sugar maple barring a couple of traits that stick out to me. One is the leaf. Similar to sugar maple, the leaf margin is entire orContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? I recently saw this sugar maple tree “fail” near Napanoch in Ulster County while driving around. Typically, large maple trees that are open-grown have structural defects caused by co-dominant leaders. These co-dominant leaders develop tight-crotches at their unions which cause cracking since they areContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Sometimes we humans think of animals or wildlife as fragile or chess pieces easily defeated when the game is not played to their benefit. I no longer see them as such. Sure, most deer behave in similar ways, and chipmunks, owls and rabbits too.Continue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? One of our member’s in Schoharie County had some good luck with his grafts from CFA’s APPLE TREE GRAFTING PROGRAM from 3 years ago. From “pencil-sized” scionwood (cuttings) to branches bearing apples in several years! These cuttings were grafted onto volunteer or wild appleContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? My favorite mushrooms–golden chanterelles (Canterellus cibarius)–are popping up all over the forest. They appear as tiny golden nuggets amongst the dark forest floor. These are my favorite since they taste really good, are easily identifiable, and seem to remain fresher, longer. Simply fry withContinue Reading