What is an old-growth forest?
Old growth is a stage in a forest’s development, but one that not all forests reach. In order to attain old growth, a forest must have escaped destruction for long enough to allow natural biological and ecosystem functions to be the dominate influence.
Belt woods nature reservePhoto courtesy of wikipedia
The above description is among many that can be found in Dr. Joan Maloof’s book – Nature’s Temples. Joan is a scientist, a writer, and the founder and director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, a nonprofit organization creating a network of forests across the U.S. that will remain forever unlogged and open to the public.
You can see old growth forest at the following locations in Maryland.
- Belt Woods nature reserve in Prince Georges County (white oak & tulip poplar)
- Swallow Falls State Park in Garrett County (eastern hemlock & white pine)
- Potomac State Park in Garrett County (sugar maple, red oak, basswood & cucumber tree)
To find out more about old growth forest and where to find them, log onto Joan’s website at oldgrowthforest.net and enjoy seeing the many dedicated forests. This will also tell you about the organization and about the many books written by Dr. Joan Maloof. Be sure to click on the “network forest” tab to see all the dedicated old-growth forests that are established by the Old-Growth Forest Network.
Article by Bruce Phillips, FCFCDB member
Nature note for 5/12/2019