Some good words for ancient trees, aka ‘old growth

I recall standing next to giant old-growth trees in the Grove of the Patriarchs, a wonderful place within Mt. Rainer National Park. When I got to Pennsylvania two decades ago, after three years of hiking and watching big trees in the Adirondacks, I was chagrined to find only pole sticks in most of the woods with a half-day’s reach of our home near the old coal mining town of Hazleton. Eventually I did see some big trees, in a niche of Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania, but as showy as they were (and still are, I hope) the trees were just that – trees – and were not really part of a forest, certainly not a forest of big old trees with ecological roles to play. Chances for me to find old-growth within the confines of a state park, Nescopeck, I visited for days on end in the 1990s were eliminated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s “management” of wildlife habitat – management that included the bulldozing of trees to create more edge habitat – edge habitat favored by white-tailed deer – a “game” species. Read about big old trees.

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