Healthy, Productive Forests
How can we ensure that we have healthy, productive forests in New York 100 years from now? Biodiversity, biomass and lumber values, and New York’s $12 million maple industry are all threatened by a changing climate, invasive species and deer pressure.
The 2,000 forested acres managed by CUAES offer rich research opportunities, helping to balance the needs for conservation, biodiversity and carbon sequestration with agroforestry and biomass production.
We have planted thousands of trees on fallow land unsuited for agricultural fields, combining research and environmental benefits:
- Trees as riparian buffers: at Thompson Research Farm we planted hundreds of water tolerant trees and shrubs along a stream to lessen the damage of annual floods, reducing soil erosion and preserving the natural stream corridor. Project partners: Tompkins Co. Planning and DEC.
- Trees as windbreaks: at Musgrave Research Farm we established a 400-foot-long windbreak using Norway spruce and a variety of attractive shrubs to reduce heating costs and cut carbon emissions by up to 25%.
- Trees to reduce mowing and our carbon footprint: we planted a mix of 6,800 hardwoods and evergreens on three sites, totaling 9.5 acres. Neither site was suitable for field crops. These plantings increase site biodiversity and carbon sequestration while improving management of the local watershed. Planting a forest also eliminates the need for periodic mowing, reducing fuel usage and staff time. Project partner: New York State Tree Nursery.