The tree nursery was created in the spring of 2008
by Jon Rosales and his Once and Future Forest class. In only two years we have seen significant
growth in the black locust seedlings now ready to be transplanted into the
woodlot area. White pine, burr oak, white ash, and shagbark hickory, all native
species, are other species planted in the nursery. They will eventually be used
for reforesting the ESL and beyond. The nursery will be expanded this spring by
adding sugar maple.
Phase two will be to reforest the area at the
bottom of the hill. This project was begun several years ago by Environmental
Studies faculty and students. The species planted were native white pine and bur
oak, cherry, birch, and tamarack. Unfortunately, damage from deer browsing has
slowed the regeneration process, though ample natural regeneration of green ash
has begun. Eventually this corridor will connect neighboring forests on either
side of Route 68, allowing movement of wildlife.
Thus far, many of the trees that have been planted on the ESL property have not survived due to browsing. Deer will eat just about any species of tree. To prevent deer from eating the new growth we have tried putting trees in tubes that not only protect the tree but encourage faster growth. We have also tried witch hazel with success and, commercial deer repellents. Having a fenced-in nursery prevents deer from browsing the one to three year-old saplings that will be transplanted as soon as they reach above weed canopy height. This allows the saplings to grow to an age when they will be more resistant to deer browsing.