Planting Red Spruce at Cranesville Swamp Preserve
Red spruce (Picea rubens) once covered thousands of acres in western Maryland. Logging and subsequent wildfires at the turn of the 20th Century drastically reduced its range. It's estimated that in the Central Appalachians as much as 90% of the original red spruce forest is now gone.
But we're working to change that statistic - one seedling at a time.
We’ve been planting red spruce in western Maryland nearly every year since 1996, and have begun re-visiting sites planted 10 years ago in order to introduce age diversity. Over the past 22 years, volunteers have planted more than 62,000 red spruce trees in the forests of western Maryland.
Our efforts will help improve habitat quality for rare plants and animals, help rebuild carbon-rich soils, improve hydrology and local climate, and reduce erosion and increase percolation of water into the underlying bedrock.
It's a pretty good payoff for a spring day spent in a beautiful place!