A Day at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

We spent the day at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, speaking with two researchers -- Elizabeth Studer and Laurel Symes -- about their work at the historic site for forest research. We spoke with Studer and Symes about the future of the ash tree and what will happen when ash goes extinct, bioacoustics and birdsong, what “biogeochemistry” is, and the history of research forests.

Spruce Budworm Returns


The last big spruce budworm outbreak took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Those who worked in the forest industry in Maine during that period are no stranger to the words “spruce budworm.” During that outbreak, the budworm defoliated 20% of Maine’s spruce and fir forests, causing the timber industry to salvage log extensively. In Canada, the picture was even more dramatic; some areas of Novia Scotia saw 90% tree mortality. Clearcuts became commonplace.

Today, a spruce budworm outbreak is back in Canada and we are seeing the very beginnings of another outbreak in northern Maine. How has management changed since the last outbreak and what tools are available to landowners who hope to protect their forests against spruce budworm damage? We spoke to Brian Roth, of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Forestry Research Unit and the Maine Spruce Budworm Taskforce, Dr. Rob Johns of the Canadian Forest Service, Alison Kanoti of the the Maine Forest Service, and Aaron Weiskittel, the Director for the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests. Thanks to this month’s guests.


Learn more in this episode of the Northern Logger.

Thanks again to our episode sponsor John Deere.

Trucking with Tina

In this episode, our March cover girl, Tina Dyment, tells all from breaking into a man’s industry to advice for new or young truckers. Don’t miss this one!

Production by Emily Townsend

Music by Ben Sound

09 Can Larch Make It?!

A small group of researchers and industry leaders are exploring the viability of hybrid larch in the Northeast by searching out long forgotten stands.

Benefits of Larch:

  • Grows in 20 to 30 year cycles, equivalent to Southern Yellow Pine and coastal Douglas Fir and has the potential to act as a nurse crop for oak and other hardwoods, not to mention other plants.

  • Grows well on marginal lands that fail to support other, more sensitive, species. Because it drops its needles every fall, and the nutrients from those needles are absorbed into the soil, hybrid larch improves the soil where it grows over time.

  • The species is especially strong, comparable to spruce. It doesn’t deteriorate easily, and so is ideal for use in decking and greenhouses.

  • Larch grows straight and the trees produce few branches when grown together. Because of this and because it sheds its needles in the fall, its propagation could play a role in what climate scientists call the “albedo effect”, a term that refers to the ability of surfaces to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere. Light surfaces reflect sunlight (good for the environment) and dark surfaces absorb it (bad for the environment.) In larch stands, the winter sun reflects on the snow, creating potentially positive effects from a climate change standpoint.

Music credit:

Bensound.com

French-Canadian fiddle tunes off the Alan Lomax recordings from the Library of Congress

A Note to Interested Advertisers:

As Northern Logger Podcast listenership is growing, we are opening up slots for interested advertisers. If you would like the logging industry to hear about your business, organization or even health PSA, please contact The Northern Logger Editor, Eileen@northernlogger.com.