7. The Thain Family Forest is the largest uncut expanse of New York’s original wooded topography
The 50-acre Thain Family Forest shelters over 30,000 trees.
The Thain Family Forest is the largest uncut expanse of New York’s original wooded topography. To preserve the forest for future generations the NYBG plants native plants, manages invasive species, and undertakes research. Ironically, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy (the worst storm in NYBG history) generated a unique research opportunity for understanding the forest’s history. The rings of the felled trunks, many 300 years old, release otherwise unavailable scientific data, including weather records. “By analyzing tree growth from the rings we’ll be able to document historic weather patterns and actual climate change,” says Forrest.
Even as one NYBG goal is to study spontaneous nature the ongoing mission is to maintain the forest through active management. “We remove non-native plants and replant with native,” says Forrest. “But it’s not that easy. How do invasive plants get here? Some are introduced from our own garden, having arrived here on their own. And many are beautiful, making their removal painful.”