|Wall Scalewort (Porella platyphylla)|
New Hampshire has a wonderful program whereby each county has a designated forester who will visit a landowner's property and talk with them. "We visit your property, free of charge and help you achieve your woodlot objectives including forestry, recreation, wildlife habitat, water resources, scenic beauty and income."
I jumped at the opportunity, of course, and had a wonderful two-hour walk around the Witchwood with the Hillsborough forester, Mike. It is such a delight to talk to another nature lover, and particularly one whose specialty is something I know little of.
Mike pointed out something I'd entirely missed: that red spruce are one of the co-dominant tree species on my land. I'd originally mistaken all the mature spruce for hemlock.
Here's red spruce bark (left) vs eastern hemlock bark (right). Now that I know, it's obvious to me how different they are. The spruce is darker and more flake-like, while the hemlock has more of a vertical element. But I'd never noticed!
|Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)|
Mike estimates my land was last clear cut between 80 and 120 years ago. He offered to come back next year with a tree-corer tool and take core samples of some of the biggest trees so we can count the rings and get a better estimate!
He also taught me to recognize the bark of red maple. See how you could trace your finger down the white grooves in the bark?