Sunday, December 23, 2012

Old-Growth Forest Recognition | Montpelier

A nice blog posting about the Old-Growth Forest Network and the forest we dedicated at Montpelier in August 2012. The people in the Charlottesville, VA, area are very supportive of the Network, and many of them have become good friends. I look forward to visiting there again in the spring. Here is the post:  Old-Growth Forest Recognition | Montpelier

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Building Forest Cathedrals

I think Alan Seale would also like the Old-Growth Forest Network. See his bog post here: Alan Seale's Personal Blog » old-growth forests  And after that check out our page: Old-Growth Forest Network. Working together for a better world brings JOY. Please join us. Wishing you all the best as 2012 ends and the next cycle begins. Joan.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We need to "create conservation programs with time-frames that span centuries"

This recent study describes what we already know - - we are losing the big trees and must think long-term to reverse that trend. That is exactly what the Old-Growth Forest Network is doing.
World's Oldest Trees Dying At Alarming Rate: Study (VIDEO)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Looking for old trees?

 Imagine growing up next to a forest grove with trees this size. Tom Howard (pictured here) had that good fortune and he has been educating others about old-growth forests for decades. This is the Wizard of Oz Memorial Grove named in honor of  Oz author L. Frank Baum who grew up in the area and likely visited the grove.The big red oak shown  above is the largest tree in the 7 acre grove, but it is not the oldest. Ring counts have shown that this large oak is "only" 142 years old. Other, smaller, trees in the grove are closer to 200 years. (Such as the fallen white oak shown below -- with glove for scale -- 198 years.)
More reliable than girth, in judging tree age, is the way the bark changes as a tree gets older. This is different for each species. For instance red maples get shaggier, but tulip poplars and some oaks get 'balder' (smoother) near the base. Here I am standing next to an ancient oak that has balding bark.
The best way to judge a tree's age is by looking up. The oldest trees will be very tall -- having reached for the top of the canopy over many years. Relative height seems to be a better indicator of age than relative girth -- but exceptions abound in the forest, as elsewhere. Here is what an old tree over 100 ft. tall looks like:
Note how much greater the trunk volume is compared to the branch volume. (Taken with Photosynth app). To the discerning eye, however, it is the 'architecture' of the branches that tell us which trees are truly ancient. Look for tall trees that have fewer limbs, and with limbs that are thick and twisting. When you see "sinuosity" such as that exhibited by the tree below in the North Syracuse Cemetery Oak Grove -- then you know you are walking among the ancients.This tree could be 300 years old.

My video debut as an "Environmental Elder"

This spring while I was in California I was interviewed by Huey Johnson for his Resource Renewal Institute project, "Environmental Elders Speak." Here is a link to my video: Joan Maloof | FORCES OF NATUREFORCES OF NATURE I am honored to be included in this illustrious group of people who are getting things done for the earth.

One person can make a difference! An uplifting story about saving a Washington State old-growth forest

A legacy of giants | - Local news

Monday, November 12, 2012

Maybe the problem is with the word 'trees'

On the Garden State Parkway, down near Cape May, New Jersey, there are three exits that are not what one would expect on a major highway. These exits have no on and off ramps, instead they are intersections with red lights. For years the highway engineers, and many others, have been saying that something ‘should be done.’ What they mean is that these exits should be the sort of exits that one would expect on a major highway -- after all, the many beachgoers need to get to and from their destinations safely and quickly. Now it seems that 125 million dollars of federal and state money have been found to fix the exits. Good news, right? Well, listen to the rest of the story before you make up your mind.

Along this same stretch of highway, between mile markers 9 and 11 to be exact, on the ocean side, there is a strip of mature native forest separating the highway full of fast cars from the homes and schools. The forest contains tall tulip polar trees, ancient hollies, nut-bearing hickories, colorful sassafras, red cedars sheltering birds, shrubs covered with berries; and this is just a short list made after one stop. There are probably no rare plants in there, but maybe there are – no one I spoke with knew of a vegetation survey. This forest is protecting the nearby residents from the noise and the air pollution produced by the highway cars just a short distance away; it is feeding the birds as they migrate up and down the coast; it is cleaning the polluted storm water that runs off the highway and toward the wetlands; it is absorbing the carbon dioxide that is changing our sea level; it is beautiful, and it is home to other beautiful creatures.

The sticking point is that the highway ‘fixers’ do not want to disrupt traffic too much while they are doing the fixing. So the plan is to put a temporary road….wait for it….right where the forest now stands. Not to worry, say the engineers, when the highway is ‘improved’ they will erect a wall to buffer the residents from noise. Twenty-six acres of trees will be cut, but 19 acres of trees will be replanted after the construction is finished.
Almost sounds reasonable, almost. Maybe the problem is with the word ‘trees;’ because I don’t think there is any way the ‘trees’ they plan to remove will be compensated for by the ‘trees’ they plan to plant in that post-construction zone. I think it is a very bad idea to remove this particular forest to create a temporary road. People everywhere are urged to plant trees because of their many environmental benefits, and while people everywhere are trying to do the right thing, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is planning to undo the good they are doing. Forest cover continues to decline.

Local residents are asking Governor Chris Christy to step in. I hope he does. I am not an expert on the situation, but from the little I have read, and seen, this precious forest should stay.

All photos taken from the NJ forest discussed in this post. (by Maloof)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Maloof to give a talk Nov. 11 at the Wetlands Institute in Cape May, NJ

Would love to see anyone in the neighborhood come out to the Wetlands Institute on Sun., Nov 11th at 2pm. I'm looking forward to another visit to Cape May. Follow this link for directions and more information: Visit Us « The Wetlands Institute

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calvert County, Maryland, forest added to Network

Peter Vogt (County Coordinator) and Karen Edgecombe (Ex. Dir. of ACLT) with Old-Growth Forest Network sign
Joan Maloof (holding acorns) with members of the American Chestnut Land Trust
Parker's Creek Preserve - East Loop - was recently added to the Old-Growth Forest Network. Members of the American Chetnut Land Trust hiked through the preserve with me before putting up the sign. This is such a beautiful, diverse, forest! That evening I gave a talk at the Chestnut Cabin of Scientists Cliffs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Announcement for the Penn State Altoona talk & Alan Seeger dedication

My talk at Penn State Altoona will be Thurs, Oct. 25, at 12:15 in the Eve Chapel, details at this link:
Renowned nature writer and ecologist Maloof to speak about old growth forest - Penn State Altoona NOW

The following morning, Friday, Oct 26 at 9am, we will dedicate the Alan Seeger Natural Area into the Old-Growth Forest Network. Details about the forest are available on the website  Meet at the trailhead.
The public is invited to both events.

Tree-hugging at the Alan Seeger Natural Area

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two Massachusetts old-growth forests to be added to the Network this week.

Standing next to "my" white pine in the Rivulet Forest

 Heading out for Massachusetts in the morning. First stop = Smith College. At 4pm on Oct 11th we will hike through the forest at the MacLeish Field Station. At 5:30pm I'll be giving a talk there. The next day I will join the good people of the Eastern Native Tree Society for an advanced tree measuring workshop at Mohawk Trail State Forest. At 4:30pm we will dedicate the forest into the Old-Growth Forest Network. The following day, the 13th, at 11am we will honor the late Mary Byrd Davis with a tree naming ceremony. Her husband Bob and son John will be present. Immediately following that we will dedicate the William Cullen Bryant Rivulet Forest into the Network. See this link for more details about the forest:
All events are open to the public.
I'm looking forward to some beautiful fall colors and delicious old-growth air.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Network is growing in New York!

Lots of excitement for the Old-Growth Forest Network this week in New York state. Dedications in two counties (Tompkins County and Cortland County) and exploration and identification in three more (Hamilton County, Essex County and Franklin County). Top photo is from the Fischer Old-Growth Forest owned by Cornell Plantations. Below is John Davis from Wildlands Network who was a great help and hiking partner in the Adirondacks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cleveland here I come!

I'm looking forward to speaking at the Conservation Summit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on Friday, the 7th. And yes, of course I will be visiting old-growth forests while I'm there. It is so wonderful that a museum has purchased and protected 42 nature preserves!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two Virginia forests to be added to the Old-Growth Forest Network

On Saturday, August 18th, we will welcome Fernbrook Natural Area (Albemarle County) into the Network; and on Monday morning, August 20th, we will have a dedication ceremony for the James Madison Landmark Forest at Montpelier (Orange County). These forests still stand today because forward-thinking individuals protected them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A threatened Hawaiian Forest

During a recent trip to Hawaii I had the opportunity to learn more about the native forests there. The largest trees in the forest are the Ohi'a (pronounced oh-hee-ah), and it is not surprising that they were unfamiliar to me before, since they are endemic to Hawaii -- naturally occurring nowhere else. The next most common "tree" is actually a fern with fronds that unroll many feet overhead, the Hapu'u (pronounced hah-poo-oo) -- another endemic species.

Old-growth forest on Hawaii are composed largely of these two species, and I was saddened to learn that the ancient forests of Hawaii are still being destroyed. One of the most impressive of these forests, 72 acres in Waikaku'u in South Kona, has just been approved for a 14 lot subdivision. Local conservationists are appealing the decision and trying to find a conservation buyer. The price is 1.5 million -- or should I say priceless? Below are some photos of this special place. If you want to help call Patricia Missler at 808-990-2970. Mahalo.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cornell talk and hike, September 12

I am honored to be giving a talk at Cornell University on September 12th, 7:30pm, Cornell Plantations. Earlier that day there will be a public hike through the old-growth forest to be included in the Network for Tompkins County, NY. Here is the link for more information:
Come and join me!
Fischer Old-Growth Forest by Pultorak

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Big Island, Hawaii, Forest added to Old-Growth Forest Network

Entrance to the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve

At the dedication celebration on July 30th. Alyson, Jill Nadine, and the County Coordinator, Evan
 "A forest in every county protected from logging and open to the public" is the goal of the Old-Growth Forest Network. I am happy to announce that the Network now includes a Hawaiian forest!

 Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve is 18,730 acres in size and was established in 1981 to protect unique native rain­forest. Long-Term management of this forested watershed provides multiple benefits including protec­tion of the island’s water resources, undeveloped open spaces, and cul­turally significant areas. The reserve provides habitat for rare native plants and animals preserving the biod­iversity of Hawai‘i for current and future generations. This wet forest contains many large old ohia trees, false sandalwood trees, and towering hapuu tree ferns.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In the Global Tree Preservation newsletter

Photo from dedication of the Dorchester Co., Maryland forest
The Old-Growth Forest Network was mentioned in the Global Tree Preservation newsletter (link). These good folks from Georgia really care about old trees. Thanks to my sister Lynn for connecting us. I plan to visit GA in Nov or Dec. to look for ancient forests for the Network and recruit some County Coordinators. Any suggestions or volunteers?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dorchester County, Maryland, Old-Growth Forest Network recognition celebration

You are welcome to join us as we gather for a celebration to dedicate Maryland's Dorchester County forest that was recently added to the Old-Growth Forest Network
Monday, June 25, 2012, at 4:30 pm

 LeCompte Wildlife Management Area
This 353 acre forest is not old-growth yet, but is does have a nice variety of tree species and some impressive specimens. Some that will make you stop in your tracks include, willow oak, loblolly pine, and swamp white oak. The forest also has nice sweet gum, black gum, red maple, beech, and holly. Wear your rubber knee boots if you’re going to walk the trail since this flat Eastern Shore forest is usually wet, and the trail seems to be the wettest part. Heading off the trail toward the northeast will put you in a drier area with larger trees. This forest is a refuge for the rare Delmarva fox squirrel.

Closest address: 4343 Steele Neck Road, Vienna, MD 21869 (parking area is past this on the left, an unmarked circular area with a tree in the center). From Vienna (near firehouse) turn onto Elliott Island Rd (aka Market St). Go 1.1 mi to Steele Neck Rd. Stay on Steele Neck Rd for 2.9 mi until you see the parking area on the left.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I won the Rachel Carson Essay, Senior Prize!

I was thrilled to learn that I won the Rachel Carson Essay Competition held in Munich, Germany.
Joan (Photo by Alyssa Maloof)
Here is the link if you want to know more:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Talk at Longwood Gardens

Info about Longwood Gardens talk

I am excited to be speaking at Longwood Gardens on Saturday the 28th as part of their Arbor Day celebration. I have been visiting Longwood since I was a young girl, should be a fun day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pennsylvania here I come!

Heading out this weekend for the wilder parts of PA. First a visit to Alan Seegar Natural Area (which contains old-growth forest), then on Monday I give a talk at Penn State at 7pm (E.O. Wilson speaks on campus at 5pm the same evening). On Wednesday evening I am giving a talk at Cook Forest and making the first ever formal recognition of a forest in the Old-Growth Forest Network. Hooray! Seems very appropriate that it is in the beautiful Cook Forest. Staying in a cabin this time instead of my truck. Boots are warmed up and ready to go.
Cook Forest, Pennsylvania

Southern Environmental Heroes (Sheroes?)

I like this college student's environmental blog, and it was so nice of her to draw attention to this month's Garden & Gun Magazine which has a photo and article about the work I'm doing for the Old-Growth Forest Network. The article is not available online, but it is on the shelf right now at Barnes and Nobles. The magazine sent photographer Michael Bowles to meet me in an old-growth forest. I was amazed when he unpacked a beautiful large format film camera -- those may be the last photos ever taken of me on film! In a few months I will be able to share the photos with you online, but until then you'll have to find a copy of the magazine.
Here is the blog:
Preppy Girl Green: Southern Environmental Heroes: I have been a dedicated reader of  Garden & Gun  for a few years now. I love the overall emotional feel of the magazine and the Southern ro...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Old-Growth Forest Network gets first online donation!

After working  diligently, joyfully, and without pay, to develop the Old-Growth Forest Network; today we got our first online donation. If you have been waiting for your opportunity to support this important movement please visit and look for our new "donate" button. Blessings.

It will be a beautiful day to visit Adkins Arboretum

Announcement for my talk at Adkins Arboretum this week:

Acorns in the middle of the trail at St Mary's River State Park. Did they fall this way? Or did some animal do this?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reading tonight at St. Mary's College

It's a beautiful day on the campus of St. Mary's College. I have already taken a 4 mile hike in St. Mary's River State Park -- the candidate for the Old-Growth Forest Network in this county (St. Mary's). Saw 1 blooming flower (besides those on the red maple trees), 1 frog, and 1 butterfly, spring is here! A beautiful forest. Tonight I give a reading at the College. See link below for details:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Checking out candidate forests

The Old-Growth Forest Network is progressing nicely. One of the best parts of what I do is inspecting  forests that are candidates for including in the network. That's how I spent my Friday. When I'm not in the forest there is plenty of paperwork to do. At present I am working on agreements for 6 forests in Maryland, 2 in New York, 2 in Massachusetts, and 1 in Virginia. Next week I head to California to start selecting forests there.
 My next talk is March 8th at St. Mary's College where I'll be reading from Teaching the Trees and Among the Ancients.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I was on the local TV news

Click here to see a brief WBOC news clip  on logging. I speak out for habitat protection. This aired in the late fall but I just got a chance to see it, thanks to a botanist friend who forwarded the link.

Blog Archive