The Northeast Has Unexpected Old-Growth Forests That Survived Colonial Axes

By Krista Langlois
The Sierra Club Magazine
June 10, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

NEW YORK — Erik Danielson is a laboratory technician in the Tree Ring Lab at Harvard Forest, the forestry department of Harvard University, and hunts for big trees in his spare time. Bigfoot—later confirmed to be the largest living member of its species by volume—was one of his largest finds yet. …More remarkable than Bigfoot itself was the fact that it was just one tree in a 550-acre tract of white pine forest that has likely stood since before the Civil War—an entire, intact old-growth forest hiding in one of the nation’s most densely populated and ecologically altered regions. …Regardless of who “owned” them, white pines were one of the first species that settlers targeted, reducing stand after stand of them to stumps and slash. Once they had mostly exhausted the white pine supply, they moved on to other tree species. 

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