A hike with forest ecologist Howard Bruner

HowardBrunner

Forest ecologist Howard Bruner.

by Barbara Loeb, outings leader of the Marys Peak Group

Did you know?

  • that a certain type of lichen (lobaria or lung moss) is a nitrogen fixer? It thrives on trees and then falls to the ground to fertilize the trees it has lived on
  • that fallen trees, branches, and forest undergrowth help slow the flow of streams and make them healthier?
  • that you can often tell if a tree has fallen due to root rot? The tree’s fine roots will be missing, and the larger ones will be snapped, as well as show signs of rot.
  • that root rot can cause small open spaces in the woods? A single infection center can spread from tree to tree, gradually felling one after another until the rot encounters unsusceptible tree species or existing gaps that stop it.

On March 23rd the Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club sponsored a hike with botanist and forest ecologist Howard Bruner. A number of hikers walked the Old Growth and New Growth trails in MacDonald Forest and listened to his information on the ways our forests work. Howard’s goal had been to help us see the forest in new ways, and he succeeded. The above is just a hint of what we learned.

The Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club has a diverse outings program, check out their calendar for upcoming outings: http://oregon.sierraclub.org/groups/marys_peak/events/

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