Each year on my camping trip, I hit a small stand of old growth hemlock trees pretty high up in elevation. I used to hit another stand farther down, but those trees have unfortunately succumbed to hemlock woolly adelgid. This higher stand remains adelgid-free. The photos really don’t do them justice. In person, they seem larger, and their crowns are massive. Beneath them though aren’t hemlocks regenerating, but instead native red spruce. The dying stands downhill have black birch and hobblebush growing beneath them. Hemlock is a puzzling tree to me. So far, I agree with Catskill Forest Historian–Dr. Michael Kudish–that they seem to regenerate best beneath old oak stands. In any case, these old growth hemlock stands are rare and beneath them, one is protected from cold winter wind and snow, or summer’s fierce heat.  

May the Forest Be with You,


Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association