Species: Eastern Hemlock
Scientific Name: Tsuga canadensis
Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) is a species native to the northeastern quarter of the U.S. and southeastern Canada. It is a shade tolerant shrub or small tree. It is of little commercial value, limited to planting as ornamentals in shaded areas. The wildlife value is also limited. Though preferred by rabbits and frequently eaten by porcupines, its nutritional value is relatively low for deer. To add insult to injury, striped maple can become invasive. Being very shade tolerant it can cover the forest floor with stems and consequently much shade, preventing other tree species from growing and becoming established. Much labor and money has been spent (and will be spent) controlling this species in order to establish more desirable tree seedling regeneration. It sometimes exists with a thick covering of fern, further preventing other trees from regenerating.
What's so joyous about it, you may ask?
Have you ever dealt with Japanese knot weed?
Those spooky Halloween creatures that are associated with haunted houses, and the fear of them getting tangled in our hair, give many of us the creeps. In reality, they play an extremely important ecological and consequently an economic role as well. Almost all U.S. bats, and 70 percent of the bat species worldwide, feed primarily on insects. One bat can eat between 600 and 1,000 mosquitoes and other insect pests in just one hour. Bats play a major role in keeping disease-spreading and crop-killing insects in check, saving the U.S. agriculture industry an estimated $3 billion per year.
That's not snow. It's Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) on the undersides of lower branches. Yes, it's been an uncomfortably cold winter with more to come. Apparently it's the coldest winter in three decades, with all the associated problems that go with it. Accidents due to icy roads, dead automobile batteries, and school being canceled for cold alone, never mind the snow, with child chill factors in the minus 40's. However, it's not all bad.
Note: this article first appeared in 2012. We are running it again because it is important that our woodlot owners know about the excellent services that are available to them!
DCNR, PA Bureau of Forestry
Cooperative Forestry Program
Pennsylvania’s forest land is a very important resource for the environment and economy of the Commonwealth. Approximately 12 million acres of this forested land are privately owned. The Cooperative Forest Management (CFM) program aims to improve the extent and level of management on these lands.
The CFM Program had its beginning from the Cooperative Farm Forestry Act of 1937. This law was passed to “provide technical services to forest landowners and operators, and processors of primary forest products with respect to the management of forest lands and the harvesting, marketing and processing of forest products.” Cooperative forestry has been a federal-state venture since that time. The U.S. Forest Service provides national direction while each state is expected to develop and carry out programs appropriate to its particular circumstances. The general thrust of Pennsylvania’s CFM Program involves rural forestry, urban and community forestry, and utilization of forest resources.