Thursday, November 02, 2006

Adirondack Trees in Jeopardy?

Are the trees of the Adirondack Park dying? We have noticed that more trees are diseased and dying at Penwood in recent years than in years past. Some are destroyed by disease, creeping up the majestic trees and strangling them from the roots to the top, slowly, deliberately, until they are sufficiently weakened that a strong gust of wind can finish them off. Others are taken out by the weather - record winds this past weekend downed a dozen trees at Penwood, including a venerable old friend that stood at the entryway to the Nina's Camp driveway. Trees on the Penwood peninsula have had a tough time of it: the forest was decimated by raging fire prior to its acquisition by Helen Seymour Sylvester and her husband William. At that time, around 1901, the land was known as Burnt Point -- for obvious reasons. The Sylvesters set about building not only a spectacular great camp lodge, boathouse, pump house, dock, lean-tos, privy, and other structures, but replanted the land with hemlocks and pine trees. Today, we are replanting as well, though so far we have mostly planted white birches and river birches. Plant trees now: it's nothing short of an investment in the future of the Park.

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