Forest Farming

Forest farming or multi-story cropping is the cultivation of desirable, non-timber products in the understory of an existing forest canopy. This means the intentional management and maintenance of forest resources to cultivate non-timber products which could include thinning or pruning to adjust light levels, preparing sites with soil amendments to increase seedling success rate or discourage…

Agroforestry Advancement

Silvopasture is one of several agroforestry techniques gaining ground with the agricultural community in this country. This method involves the intentional integration of trees and forage with livestock pastures. The benefit to landowners is increased productivity of pasture land; both livestock and timber can be produced on a parcel. There are environmental benefits as well;…

Vegetation Relocation

For over 250 years a bur oak has been growing on what is now the campus of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The University is currently constructing its new Ross School of Business and the large tree’s seniority has run out, it stands in the way of progress. However, rather than just cutting…

Biomass Basics

Biomass energy or “bioenergy” is energy from plants and plant-derived materials. Wood and wood products are the largest source of biomass fuel with many companies supplying bulk hardwood pellets for those who use them. However, other sources are being tested and used including; crops, grasses, woody plants, algae, residual waste from agricultural forestry and the…

Effects on Energy

The Urban Natural Resources Institute (UNRI) is performing research to investigate how trees in urban areas affect the physical environment; air temperature, wind, humidity, solar and thermal radiation. They are also studying the subsequent effects that changes in the physical environment have on health and happiness of the community, temperatures in soil and streams, energy usage…

Canopy Care

Project Canopy is a collaborative project implemented by the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine (http://growsmartmaine.org/)to preserve healthy urban and community forests for ecological and economic benefits to Maine residents as well as the global environment. Project Canopy works with non-profit organizations and municipalities to help maintain public forestry resources. They procure grants and technical assistance…

Rewilding Realms

In a time of extinction and deterioration, “rewilding” is an idea that is gaining more ground. Rewilding refers to returning lands to a wild state and reintroducing native plants and animals in an effort to restore the ecosystem. The term “rewilding” was actually coined about 30 years ago, but officially entered the lexicon in 2011…

Trophic Transformations

According to research being conducted by scientists from Oregon State University (OSU), dramatic shifts in wildlife populations inhabiting Yellowstone National Park have the potential to alter the landscape, restoring it to conditions not seen in almost a century. Elk populations in their historic winter range in the northeastern corner of the park have decreased, while their…

Clearcutting Consequences

The majority of mainstream ecologists feel that some form of disturbance, whether it be natural; fire, beavers or storms or man-made, such as logging, is necessary for health and proper functioning of an ecosystem. Some forest management practices which may seem radical are employed in regions of the country to achieve desired forest health goals. Clearcutting,…