At one time, this site was in agricultural production. When Thomas Doherty bought this property in 1986 he began planting trees on this farmland. The trees here are European Larches (Larix decidua), related to the Tamaracks (L. laricina) of northern forests in Canada. These cone-bearing trees or conifers are so named because they produce their seeds in cones. Most conifers, like hemlocks, cedars, spruce and pine are evergreens. Larches are deciduous conifers and lose their needle-like leaves each fall.
About 3,000 larches were planted here for an original cost of about $750. The same number of native hardwood trees would have cost over $3,600. Cost is a major factor in the choice of non-native trees used for forest plantings. These larch trees will help prepare the site for a native forest to grow. They will reduce the cover of grasses and allow native trees, shrubs and herbs from the adjacent forest to establish themselves here over time. Eventually the larches will die, or be cut down as part of Joany’s Woods management plan. When your descendants are walking this trail, they will see a forest of native species growing here.