Journeys in ancient and old growth forests

Recognizing old trees

I recently received an email about a 510-year-old Black Gum tree growing behind an archery club in Niagara Falls. Nate Torenvliet, an arborist and amateur old-growth sleuth, had found the tree, drilled out a tree core (a pencil-shaped section of wood), and counted 498 annual growth rings. Another tree nearby was more than 400 years old. This unassuming… Continue Reading

What is old-growth forest?

You might think, five years after publishing a book about old-growth forests, that I could easily tell you what an old-growth forest is. But even though I’ve answered the question countless times during interviews, on a speaking tour, even at parties, I still find I can get bogged down in definitions involving minimum ages, stand… Continue Reading

Wolf Lake

There have always been places in the wild that stood out as exceptional – today we may call them ecologically significant areas, natural heritage sites, or endangered ecosystems, but in many cultures these areas were, and are, considered ‘sacred groves.’ Gary Snyder, writing about sacred groves, recalled a trip through the Australian outback. “There were… Continue Reading

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