WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? A couple of weeks ago, Ulster County was hit pretty hard by heavy ice. Look it how thick this maple branch was coated in the frozen stuff. Although there was quite a bit of damage, it was pretty seeing the sunlight filter through allContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Got a chance to really drive around over the weekend and observe some of the tree damage from last week’s ice storm. Tree failures or damage mostly occurred on over-extended limbs or worse on co-dominant stems or leaders. In order to prevent this fromContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Seeds of hemlock, basswood, and birch scattered over crusted snow makes a valuable food source for overwintering animals. In this case, the seeds of hophornbeam provides a quick meal for a cottontail rabbit. Also known as ironwood due to their dense bark, these understoryContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? I’ve said it before. The Catskill Mountains have some awesome volunteer or wild apple trees growing around. Some of the best fruit I know comes from them. However, if they’re not pruned, they will “umbrella” or shade themselves out over time. In other words,Continue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Believe it or not, this is a busy season at CFA. January through March is APPLE TREE PRUNING season and we’re scheduled every day! We’ve learned a lot about how to dress for the weather and retain heat. I can’t stress enough heated hand-warmers,Continue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Took a hike on a portion of State Forest Preserve last week. Some of this area used to be cleared for agriculture at one time. Now some of these areas have gone from growing cows to growing beautiful sugar maples. Tree cutting inside StateContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Got a chance to do some hiking in the mountains. Sometimes I like to just find & follow an old “bark road” as high as it’ll go. Can you see the road from the photo? “Bark roads” are numerous throughout the Catskills. They wereContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? What it “all boils down to” after harvesting 3 does this deer season is 3 containers of rendered fat. Spent about 4 hours last week rendering deer fat. Rendering removes water–and other undesirable components–from raw fat, so that it will be cleaner, more stableContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Recently at CFA we have been “releasing” or cutting around this tree–shagbark hickory–a lot. Many of the trees cut are red and sugar maple trees. Shagbark hickory apparently not only gives edible hickory nuts for wildlife but also its “shaggy” bark is important forContinue Reading

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST? Last week I was up in a tree near Cragsmoor, Ulster County and it was blowing snow. I thought after that, my body would begin acclimating to wintry weather. However, my wife convinced me to bring the kids to Florida to my in-laws andContinue Reading