• Photograph of a monkey slug.

Otherworldly Creatures: you have to see it to believe it!

Folklore is a popular topic of conversation this time of year, and the Philippines, a country consisting of more than 7,600 islands in Southeast Asia in the Pacific Ocean, generates its fair share of ancient, creepy and mythical beasts. Consider the aswang (or evil shape shifter) known as Gumon. The Gumon literally has killer

  • Photo of Goblin's Gold (Schistostega pennata)

Goblin’s Gold

Are you afraid of the dark?  Walking through a forest in upstate New York, you come across a damp, dark cave. You are keen to move past it, fearful of what lies within. You hurry forwards when out of the corner of your eye an eerie greenish glow appears. Are you seeing things? What

Forests for the BATS Part IV: Riparian Forest Buffers for Bats

Our streams need trees. The very best thing we can do for water quality is to protect and increase the amount of streamside (or, if you’re inclined to speak Latin, riparian) forest cover. In the conservation world we call these strips of recently planted streamside trees riparian forest buffers; they are protecting our water

  • Photo of the fungus, Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)

From the Grave: Dead Man’s Fingers

You’re walking through the woods on a crisp, late October afternoon, smelling the sharp scent of decaying leaves and listening to the dry rustle of beech leaves in the breeze. You decide to take a break, sit on an old stump, munch an apple and observe this amazing world…but, what is that reaching up

Dangerous Plants of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

We highlighted two types of edible plants you can forage for in our July and August episodes of Tree Talks. On the other side of the spectrum are dangerous and toxic plants to avoid. Here is a list of some of the most poisonous plants in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.   Photo

Agroforestry and Native Understory Crops

Agroforestry is an exciting way to sustainably harvest food and herbs in your backyard without compromising your woodland. The concept of agroforestry has been around for decades, but is becoming increasingly popular due to its numerous environmental and economic benefits. Agroforestry is a science-based design framework of supplying food while integrating trees, shrubs, and ground

The FIDS are Alright?

A male scarlet tanager, right, and female scarlet tanager are photographed at the Foreman's Branch Bird Observatory at Chino Farms in Kent County, Md., on May 11, 2016. The scarlet tanager is a neo-tropical migrant, spending its breeding season in North American woodlands. It is one of many species that depends upon

  • Buckets of freshly cut live stakes are stored in the back of a car.

Live Staking: A Trusty Technique for Planting Trees and Shrubs on the Cheap

Live staking (or propagation by cutting) almost seems too good to be true. Cut a stem from certain species of trees and shrubs and drive it into the ground, and a new plant will grow there! This method, if executed correctly, has a high success rate, and can be a very affordable if not free

Forests for the Bats, Part IV: White-Nose Syndrome

In October, bats are everywhere. Images of them, at least. The mammals typically are hibernating by Halloween, tucked away in caves and deep rock crevices. Summertime is when you will see real bats around, but if you live in the northeast or mid-Atlantic, you have likely seen dramatically less bats foraging in the summer dusk

  • Ailanthus seedling growing through cracks in concrete in Lancaster, PA.

Tree-of-Heaven, a Devilish Invader

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima): a tree that elicits curses and anger wherever it grows and is recognized. The non-native plant's angelic name belies its destructive nature. It spreads prolifically by seeds and root sprouts, forming thick groves that completely dominate sunny areas within just a few years. Beneficial native plants are quickly outpaced, shaded out, and replaced

  • Red maple

The Rubrum Cunundrum

Over the vast many years that I have been interacting with our region’s forest practitioners and enthusiasts, I have observed that many of us harbor a profound and deep emotional relationship to particular species of trees. These emotions run the gamut from effusive adoration to downright animosity. Some species are almost unanimous in the passions

2015 Chesapeake Forest Champions Honored

Craig Highfield, left, of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay presents Christine and Fred Andreae with the 2015 Forest Champion Exemplary Forest Steward Award. (September 26, 2015 – Shepherdstown, West Virginia)  The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the US Forest Service presented the 2015 Chesapeake Forest Champions awards at the 10th Annual