On the hillside sloping toward Tracy Brook is the new stand of black locust trees. Eventually this woodlot will become a fuel source for the buildings on the Ecologically Sustainable Landscape. Black locust take twenty to thirty years to mature before they can be used effectively for fuel. By this time the buildings on the ESL property will have both needed to replace their water heaters and heating systems
Challenges with the woodlot
Black locust is non-native to the North Country. Its native range extends north to Pennsylvania. This raises the question should we be planting them in the first place? On the one hand these trees grow quickly and offer excellent heat content compared to other trees. These trees, however, can be invasive and need to be controlled. If they are not monitored they can easily spread and take over whole fields. They are most invasive when planted close together so one of the crucial decisions made for this lot is to have them interspersed with bur oaks and managed by mowing and harvesting.