September Forests, Plants, and Land Conservation News

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Forests, Plants, and Land Conservation News

This Month's Topics:

  • 250 Acres Added to Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain
  • Does Leaf Damage Affect Fall Colors?
  • Urban and Community Forestry Corner
    • Upcoming Events
    • Community Spotlight - Valley Stream
    • Funding Opportunities
    • What We're Reading

DEC and Adirondack Land Trust Announce Addition of 250 Acres to Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain

DEC and Adirondack Land Trust recently announced the addition of 250 acres to the Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain between Minerva, Essex County and North Creek, Warren County. The acquisition will increase public access to the south side of Moxham Mountain for hiking and rock climbing. 

view of fall foliage and forests from a mountaintopThe Adirondack Land Trust purchased much of the south face of Moxham Mountain in 2019 from the Brassel and Zack families and the Brassel estate for $160,000. On Aug. 6, the land was transferred to New York State for addition to the Forever Wild Forest Preserve, in accordance with the family’s wishes. DEC and the Student Conservation Association opened a northside trail to Moxham’s 2,418-foot summit in 2012, as part of the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. The current 2.7-mile trail climbs 1,152 feet and offers more solitude than some of the Adirondacks’ popular peaks.  

The mission of the Adirondack Land Trust is to forever conserve the forests, farmlands, waters and wild places that advance the quality of life of communities and the ecological integrity of the Adirondacks. The land trust has protected 26,710 acres since its founding in 1984. To learn more, visit or contact, (518) 576-2400. Check out more photos of Moxham Mountain and a video showing off the south side.

Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Land Trust

Does Leaf Damage Affect Fall Colors?

trees with fall colors on a blue-sky dayIf you’re wondering if the damage done by this summer’s invasive caterpillar outbreak will affect fall colors, you’re not alone. The answer is—hardly at all! A healthy, leaf-bearing tree that was defoliated by caterpillars should have already grown new leaves again, though these leaves may be smaller than normal. However, fall colors are determined by environmental conditions rather than leaf conditions. In autumn, the best conditions for vibrant fall colors are dry, bright days with cool, frost-free nights. Weaker fall colors are caused by early frost or lots of rain. Rainy weather can leach water-soluble anthocyanins (which are responsible for the range of red colors) from leaves and have an overall dampening effect on fiery colors.

Want to know more about the science of leaf change? Check out last year's Facebook Live on fall colors, or visit the US Forest Service website. Interested in knowing which parts of NY are seeing fall colors now? Be sure to keep an eye on the I LOVE NY weekly fall foliage reports to track leaf change across the state.

Photo: Fall colors in the past at John Boyd Thacher State Park; photo by Kelsey McLaughlin

Urban and Community Forestry Corner

Upcoming Events

Space is limited for our fall workshops, so register early.

  • Soil Science and Management in Urban Forestry - October 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Join us for a Central NY ReLeaf workshop in-person at Cornell University in Ithaca, with presentations by soil science experts Nina Bassuk and Barbara Neal. This will be an on-site field event where attendees will rotate through a series of interactive stations on topics such as strategies for remediating compromised soils in the urban environment, managing soils during construction, how to measure compacted soils, and more. Cost is $15 per person, or $10 for NYS Urban Forestry (NYSUF) Council and ReLeaf committee members. This workshop is limited to 50 attendees. Register and pay online through the NYS UF Council.
  • Community Tree Stewardship: Getting Started - October 6 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. - This workshop will be held in-person at the Old Lake George Courthouse in Lake George. Come learn what the tools of the trade are for tree care, watch a pruning demo, hear some updates on forest health, get introduced to Regenerate NY, and learn how volunteers play an important role in caring for community trees. Workshop will include outside pruning demonstrations and run rain or shine, so please plan accordingly. Lunch not provided. Cost is $15 per person, or $10 for NYSUF Council and ReLeaf committee members. This workshop is limited to 25 attendees. Register and pay online through the NYS UF Council.

Community Spotlight

young trees growing in mulched pits next to a parking lotThe Village of Valley Stream in Long Island has received help with their street trees from our urban forestry partner Cornell Cooperative Extension Nassau County for many years. The Village recently removed trees in decline that were safety hazards in the area of Hendrickson Park. Fortunately, the village sought help from CCE Nassau in picking the right tree for the right place, and they have announced the planting of 150 new trees this year. The village made a short (three-minute) video showing the work and explaining the project that you can watch on YouTube.

Photo: Just a few of the many young trees that were planted in the village to replace dead and diseased trees that were taken down

Funding Opportunities

  • Alliance for Community Trees Environmental Justice Initiative, due September 30th
    • The Arbor Day Foundation aims to partner with Alliance for Community Trees organizations to address climate and race-related inequities through strategic support of tree planting, tree care, and community engagement initiatives in cities around the United States. This funding opportunity requires proposals for a two-year timeframe. Applicants must provide budget breakdowns for a spend of $50,000 by June 30, 2022, and an additional spend of $50,000 by June 30, 2023. No more than 50 percent of these funds may be directed toward capacity-building efforts, and a minimum of 50 percent of funding must be directly allocated to adding trees to agreed-upon communities.

What We're Reading

  • We have some amazing urban forestry programs in upstate cities, like Syracuse, where they’re pledging $2 million to plant trees to help restore their canopy and improve life for residents, especially in formerly redlined areas. Read more.
  • Trees can solve a lot of problems with the benefits they provide, but it isn’t as easy as just sticking a tree in the ground. Young urban trees need care to survive their first few critical years, which is why the volunteers working to take care of their street trees in NYC are so important. Read more.
  • Have you wondered how much nature you need to see personal health benefits? About two hours a week outside in green spaces can help you feel better. Read more.