Veteran and Wolf Trees

There is more and more discussion among arborists regarding preserving “old” trees.  Many are concerned that these “over-mature” trees, with their dead branches and open cavities, pose a threat to people nearby.  Others argue that these “veteran trees” as they are referred to in Europe, or “wolf trees” in the American lexicon, provide valuable and irreplaceable ecological benefits.  We are talking about 100 to 300 hundred and even 500 year old trees here.  Everyone recognizes the antiquity of the redwoods and bristle cone pines out west, but many of these veteran, or wolf trees, reside right here with us in New England, some outdating the birth of our nation.   We need to learn to recognize these trees for what they are and not as just some old tree that should be removed.  Here is an interesting article about “wolf trees” in our forests, but you should recognize that many of these trees also exist in our own back yards.  Before you decide to just kill that old tree on your property, you should consult with an ASCA Consulting Arborist to discuss your options and just maybe save hundreds of years worth of history and a habitat that can’t be recreated for centuries to come.

Wolf Trees: Elders of the Eastern Forest