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Threats, Challenges Facing Maine’s Forests

Forests have always faced threats. From natural disturbances like hurricanes and wildfires to native pests and diseases like spruce budworm to shifts in climate over the millennia. Humanity has been a threat: think about how quickly forests in a large part of Maine were cleared in the 1700s and 1800s to make room for agriculture,…

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Pinning down Maine’s future forest

By Joe RankinForests for Maine’s Future writer Forests aren’t static. They’re dynamic. Since trees colonized the rubble left by the glaciers’ retreat 12,000 years ago, the forest has shifted and reshaped itself many times. Jim Shaffer examines a pineNow the planet is heating up and scientists are trying to anticipate how things will change. Some…

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White Pines Hit by Needle Disease Year After Year

By JOE RANKIN Forests for Maine’s Future Writer  Something’s not right. That’s what my MacBook tells me when I’ve got a wonky internet connection. It’s also the phrase that pops unbidden into my head in early to mid-June when I look out the window and see yellowing needles on the white pines that fringe my…

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Planting yourself in the forest “Green” burials are a growing thing

Have you ever noticed how many cemeteries have the word forest in their name? Forest Lawn is perhaps the best known. But usually, there’s no forest. A few trees, maybe, but mostly headstones lined up in ranks like soldiers. It’s kind of like a subdivision where they name the streets after tree species that have…

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Make a Home for Wildlife with the Help of Author Charles Fergus

Charles Fergus loves nothing better than to rev up his walk-behind DR brush hog and mow his fields.Photo courtesy of Garet Nelson He’s not aiming for anything like a golf-course close cut, or a neat suburban lawn. Or even a nicely manicured pasture. He just wants to cut back the pencil-thick aspens and other trees…

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Ferns: Beauty and Grace in the Understory

 “Outdoors” people, even those that don’t consider themselves naturalists, can identify trees, at the least common species. And the common wildflowers. But, when it comes to ferns, well, ferns tend to look alike. Sort of lacy and delicate and  . . . green. That is unfortunate, say fern lovers and fern experts. Ferns are a…