Examining Succession

New England forests generally follow a specific pattern of regrowth, with successive groups of plants dominating the landscape.  Scrub brush is the first to grow back after an interruption, including berry plants.  That is followed by birches and poplars, which are replaced by pines and oaks, until finally a climax forest of hardwoods, especially maples and beeches.  To identify an area in the midst of this process, we used ArcMap to highlight stands of birch and poplar.  We then created a layer to overlay onto Google Earth, which helped us find the most accessible location.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an aphid-like invasive pest native to eastern  Asia that attacks hemlock trees by attaching to needles and sucking the sap of the tree. It can be identified by its  white woolly egg sack covering  present on the underside of branches. Trees infested with adelgids typically lose all their needles and die within 4 years of the first infestation.