Forest Ecosystems Daily: Forest cathedral

Image

joyce kilmer hiking

No visit to the southern Appalachians is complete without a visit to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, near Robbinsville, NC. If you look carefully, you can see several attributes of old growth cove hardwood forests: very large trees, a diverse understory of wildflowers, and trees of many sizes. Joyce Kilmer is one of the last remnants of old growth cove hardwood forest in the East. Walking among these forest giants is a spiritual experience.

Forest Ecosystems Daily: Giant shortleaf pine

Image

shortleaf ancient

This shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) is thought to date back to 1684. We hiked through a stand containing 200-300 year old trees along the Goldmine Trail, off the Foothills Parkway in the Smokies. The National Park Service found a reference stand of older shortleaf pine here, and they are now working to restore the 10 year fire interval. More info about the project: http://bit.ly/1VGyNz3

Forest Ecosystems Daily: Saving Our Ashes

Image

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) killed this white ash tree in Cades Cove. The invasive and exotic beetle has spread rapidly since it was first detected in Michigan in 2002.

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) killed this white ash tree in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The invasive and exotic beetle from southeastern Asia has spread rapidly, eliminating ash from Eastern forests since it was first detected in Michigan in 2002. Park boundaries cannot prevent the spread of invasive insects and diseases that harm our forests. You can help by using locally-sourced firewood. More information: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/