All Blog Posts (250)

Relative Density, Stocking and Tree-Area Ratio

Dr. Susan Stout (USFS, retired, Research Forester Emerita) presented a ForestConnect webinar on June 21 that explained the history and utility of relative density.  Dr. Stout explained relative density in the context of "stand density index", "tree-area ration" and ultimately the stand stocking charts as developed by Gingrich. All these designed to provide a metric to understand competition among trees and improve production per acre.

The link to the webinar archive is…


Added by Peter Smallidge on June 21, 2023 at 6:30pm — No Comments

It Takes a Village to Raise a Forest

It Takes a Village

The decline in children’s mental health during COVID-19 restrictions is a poignant reminder that we’re a social species, hardwired for contact with others. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is spot-on. Whether a literal village or a caring community within a city, we all – children especially – need regular interaction with peers and supportive mentors.

In a different sense, but true nonetheless, it takes a village to raise a forest. In this…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 23, 2023 at 3:06pm — No Comments

Seeking Panelists

The New York State Association of Conservation Commissions is seeking speakers for its October 6th conference. NYSACC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support municipal environmental committees, boards, and commissions throughout New York.

NYSACC is looking for panelists conversant with existing tree funding available to NYS municipalities and counties, and if possible, someone who can supply application info and due dates. In addition, the conference hopes to help…


Added by Haven Colgate on September 7, 2022 at 9:08pm — No Comments

Woods and Park Restoration Hastings-on-Hudson_bids_welcomed

(I haven't seen this type of project before, and thought it interesting and worth sharing here.  See contacts below if you have questions. Peter)

The Village of Hastings on Hudson herby invites the submission of proposals


email for information:  Aaron Podhurst <>

Hillside Woods and Park Restoration Project Management and

Other Landscaping and Horticultural Services:

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson…


Added by Peter Smallidge on August 2, 2022 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Extreme Weather Forestry BMPs

Today's (20april2022) ForestConnect webinar was by Steve Roberge of UNH, NH state extension forester.  Steve was presenting from work done at UNH about tactics that loggers and foresters use, voluntarily, to stabilize their logging site and ensure they can continue to access and work their job during extreme weather events. Winters are often without snow or freezing and ground conditions might limit production. This…


Added by Peter Smallidge on April 20, 2022 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Maple Sap Runs On Gas

Some foods give us gas, but gas is what ultimately gives us maple syrup. If not for gas bubbles in the wood, sap wouldn’t flow. Who knew maple trees were CO2 powered?

A mere two decades ago, arborists were at a loss to explain what caused maple sap run. We'd typically mumble something about transpirational vacuum in the canopy before changing the subject. Everyone knows sap runs when warm days follow freezing nights. But it wasn’t until recently that the mechanism behind…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on March 19, 2022 at 6:54am — No Comments

Think Spring, Think Tree Planting

Looking for a way to enhance property value, save energy costs, boost mental health, and help the planet in one simple, low-cost step? Yeah, me too. Let me know if you think of something.

Seriously, though, a few well-placed trees in one’s yard typically add at least 5% to a property’s value. Having large older specimens (of trees, I mean) around the house can push that figure close to 20%. In terms of energy savings, deciduous trees on the southern and western sides of a house tend…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 16, 2022 at 3:21pm — No Comments

More about Beech Control

Beech Gone Wild: Raging Hormones

The American beech (Fagus grandifolia) has been slowly dying out for the last 140 years. As a result, beech saplings have overrun many woodlots, making them less diverse, less vigorous, and less valuable.

That’s right – beech decline has led to a beech proliferation so extreme that in some places they are a barrier to forest regeneration. I’d call this an oxymoron, but don’t want to insult the bovine community. Strategies do exist to…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 17, 2022 at 12:18pm — No Comments

Wood Heat: Up In Smoke?

Where There’s Smoke

An upswing in woodstove use might sound yawn-worthy, but recent findings about the dire health effects of wood smoke might mean the long-term future of wood as a heating fuel is in question.

As someone who grew up with wood heat, I assumed  it was hands-down one of the most sustainable, eco-positive fuels for home heating. Like many other widely shared conventions, it turns out the veracity of that assumption depends on a lot of things.

How many…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 18, 2021 at 1:20pm — No Comments

how trunk decay works (and doesn't)

Lips and Walls: Digging into Tree Decay

When clients call about decay in large older trees, every so often it’s necessary to respond that I’m not interested in hearing any lip from them. I do this respectfully of course.

It’s a frequent misconception that the roll of callus tissue or “lip” that trees produce at the margins of a wound will cause, or at least accelerate, trunk rot by catching and holding a small amount of rainwater. It makes perfect sense to us that if an open…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on November 19, 2021 at 9:47am — No Comments

GPS and GIS - for the rest of us

- check back for details on the webinars 15 sept 2021 and 17 nov 2021

Garmin GLO 2 ;

Added by Peter Smallidge on September 15, 2021 at 12:00pm — No Comments


Painting Our Way Out of a Corner

It’s normal to tune out all the Chicken Littles (such as yours truly) who run around squawking about this or that invasive forest pest or disease that pose a threat to trees. I mean, how many times can the sky fall, anyway? But the real danger is when we feel so overwhelmed that we throw up our hands. Thinking we can’t make a difference could result in more harm to forests than the pests themselves.

There’s a pithy fable about a child who…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 9, 2021 at 9:57pm — No Comments

Firewood 4 Charity Work Schedule

The NYFOA WFL Chapter Firewood4Charity (F4C) imitative held the second work session of this year on Saturday, June 12. Four face cords were readied for participating Rotary Clubs to pick up and deliver in the Fall. Twenty five face cords were donated to the Rotary last year. The wood is sold and the proceeds are donated to Rotary Camp Onseyawa on the shore of Seneca Lake. The next sessions will be Saturday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 28. At this time we restrict volunteers to only those that… Continue

Added by Dave Keebler on June 15, 2021 at 9:47am — No Comments

Gypsy Moths

Like a B-grade horror film sequel, the aliens have awakened once again. Perhaps we felt a glimmer of hope at the end of the 2020 version when an entire generation of ruthless monsters died off in droves and left us in peace. But remember that closing shot of their disgusting, furry egg-mass blobs cleverly hidden out of sight? Well they’re hatching now.

If you missed last year’s gypsy moth performance, you have a better chance of catching it this season. Unfortunately. Based on…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 17, 2021 at 7:54pm — No Comments

Information about Gypsy Moth Outbreaks and Management Options for Woodland and Residential Properties

Over the past 2 years, many counties across NYS have experienced gypsy moth outbreaks and based on the density of egg masses recorded in some areas of the state, it might very well be another high population year. Calls and emails have already started coming in from concerned individuals who experienced tree defoliation last year or have noticed egg masses lining the branches of their trees. Over the weekend, I was weeding along the side of my house and thought I saw ants crawling along the…


Added by Laura Bailey on April 20, 2021 at 1:38pm — No Comments

Garlic Mustard Management

Do Nothing about Invasive Plants

Paul Hetzler, ISA Ceritfied Arborist

Until recently, ignoring problems in hopes they’ll go away hasn’t served me well. However, a decade-long study done by Cornell University researchers has clearly shown that avoidance is the best way to manage garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata), a pernicious exotic plant. Evidently I’ve been doing a great job in the fight against this aggressive and troublesome invader.

Native to most of Europe…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on April 16, 2021 at 8:13am — No Comments

Tips for Winter Tree ID

Tree Buds: Honest Friends

How to distinguish one leaf-bereft hardwood from another in winter is more of a challenge than summer tree ID, but there are practical reasons – and a few offbeat incentives – to tell one species from another in the dormant season. Hikers and skiers can benefit from such a skill, and in survival situations, hydration and warmth may depend on it. And if you’re among those who adore wintertime camping, you can have more fun when you know common woody…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on March 9, 2021 at 6:57pm — No Comments

SWCD 2021 Ecological Function, Production & Restoration

On March 11, 2021 we had the pleasure of working with colleagues from Yale School of Forestry (Dr. Joe Orefice) and a private consultant (Jeff Jourdain) to zoom with natural resource professional of the NY Soil and Water Conservation District Annual meeting.  The session we offered was titled "Restoring Ecological Function and Production to Woodlands." This blog is our way to share documents mentioned during that training or otherwise of interest to participants and practitioners in…


Added by Peter Smallidge on March 2, 2021 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Sapsucker Damage Indicates Stressed Trees

Sapsuckers and Other Insults

Icebreaker exercises are apparently meant to help awkward group events like staff development days feel even less comfortable. I recall a workplace training where we had to inform the group what animal best represented our personality. I was going to say “squirrel” but got distracted by something out the window, and forgot. In retrospect I should have chosen the yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), since I spent much of that same event…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 5, 2021 at 12:10pm — No Comments

New Wood Markets for Novel Forest Products

Wooden You Know

As a card-carrying, registered tree hugger, I have long touted the benefits of trees such as carbon storage, energy savings and improved mental health. And beyond the familiar tree-related blessings such as maple syrup, lumber and firewood, I’ve written about some obscure things like birch-based candy that fights tooth decay, and health-promoting chaga tea derived from a birch fungus. Then there’s basswood bark for fiber, elm bark for baskets, and pine bark for lunch.…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 9, 2021 at 1:23pm — No Comments

Monthly Archives















Story in Northern Woodlands Magazine on Deer Impacts

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management Aug 8. 0 Replies

This Spring we had an opportunity to speak with writer John Litvaitis about the big picture of deer impacts on the hardwood forests of the Northeast.  I posted the original story from the summer edition of Northern Woodlands to the…Continue

Ash blonding effect on lumber quality

Started by Jeff Joseph in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Jeff Joseph May 5. 2 Replies

Question: In Peter Smallidge's most recent "Ask a Professional" column for NYFOA's Forest Owner magazine he stated that some log buyers will reject ash that shows outward signs of "blonding" on the bark. Is this because the wood will change…Continue

The American Chestnut: A New Frontier in Gene Editing

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management May 2. 0 Replies discussion the difference between efforts with the American Chestnut and other…Continue

Growing Black Locust for Pleasure and Profit

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management Apr 20. 0 Replies

In early March I was invited to present on the opportunities for growing black locust as a timber cash crop at the Rural Landowner Conference in Allegany County.  Ryan Trapani from the Catskill Forest Owners Association asked afterwards if I would…Continue

Recording links for Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcock and Wild Turkey webinars

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management Apr 11. 0 Replies

On March 29th and April 5th the Southern Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association and Audubon NY hosted virtual presentations by experts from the Ruffed Grouse Society, American Woodcock Society and National Wild Turkey Federation. …Continue

What Constitutes a Healthy Forest?

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Diane Frances Mar 23. 3 Replies

In March, 2021, Peter and I had the opportunity to organize a day-long training for the annual Water Quality Symposium (annual conference of SWCD and NRCS professionals from around NY) titled: "Restoring Ecological and Productive Function to…Continue

Building slash wall with skid-steer

Started by James Gray in Woodlot Management. Last reply by James Gray Jan 19. 2 Replies

Hello everyone, looking for feedback on plan to build a slash wall with a skid steer and fork attachment.The timber harvest is at a nature center, clearcutting a red pine plantation (1 ac) and aspen stand (1 ac) and group selection on a oak stand…Continue



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