Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 55

less than five percent of the forest. Today many forests consist of 30 to 40 percent red maples, and they are the most abundant forest trees in Pennsylvania. Two of their alternate names are “swamp maple” and “water maple” because they used to grow only in wetland conditions — swamps, bogs and wet forests as Kalm reported. But when their competitors on higher, drier ground, namely the American chestnut and American elm, died of disease, and loggers selectively removed yellow birch, sugar maple and oaks, shade tolerant red maples moved right in. Then, too, deer numbers increased, and although they do browse on red maple seedlings, they prefer oaks and other hardwoods. Besides, red maples are prolific sprouters and spring up faster than oaks, so they quickly grow beyond deer range. Fire suppression has also favored red maples because their thin bark is easily damaged by fire whereas oaks, with their thick bark, deep roots and dormant buds near or below the soil line that quickly germinate, can survive and even thrive under low level fires. Acid rain has altered our forest soils, which is still another reason for the proliferation of red maples. They like acidic soil and oaks do not. Red maples can withstand floods as long as 60 days because of their 80 feet of long woody roots that anchors them firmly to a sodden earth. Drought doesn’t bother them much either. They merely stop growing until conditions improve and then produce a second growth flush. Killing red maples isn’t easy as foresters and landowners have discovered because red maples are resistant to herbicides
MARCH  2012 

and girdling. In our 100-year-old forest, we have far more oaks than red maples, and in our 3-acre deer exclosure, with its 200-year-old trees, we have many more oak seedlings than red maple seedlings. But on our former neighbor’s 125-acre property that was logged before we bought it, they left some white, black and red oak seed trees, as well as a few tulip poplars and bitternut hickories. However, due to deer, there are few if any oak seedlings after 20 years, so in early spring I visit that portion of our land to savor red maple color. For fall color, I hike over to a neighboring property that was also cut before it was sold more than 40 years ago. It is now a red maple forest that glows with a palette of colors almost as lovely as that of New England’s famed sugar maples. While red maples may not be as useful to humans as sugar maples or oaks, their sap can be boiled for syrup and their wood used for furniture veneer, gun stocks, tool handles, pallets, plywood, oars, barrels, crates, flooring and railroad ties. But first and foremost, they are valuable ornamental and shade trees, although they are sensitive to ozone injury, which makes them less valuable as city street trees. Native Americans found red maples useful, especially infusions of their bark for treating hives, dysentery, women’s problems and sore eyes. They used red maple wood to make baskets and for carving. Some wild creatures also appreciate red maples. Porcupines eat their bark and

55



Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012
History of the Whitetail
Contents
Slow Down
Unconventional Calling Bags Bedford County Longbeard
Cabling with Grandsons
Dumpster Bears
Two for a Turkey
Operation Talon
Passing It On
Hunting Small Woods Turkeys
Gene Nelson — Man Who Didn’t Quit
How Young is that Forest?
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Slow Down
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Unconventional Calling Bags Bedford County Longbeard
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Cabling with Grandsons
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Dumpster Bears
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Two for a Turkey
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Operation Talon
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Passing It On
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Hunting Small Woods Turkeys
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Gene Nelson — Man Who Didn’t Quit
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - How Young is that Forest?
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - Cover4
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