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The longest growing season – Updated

UPDATE: A sudden cold front ended the growing season (at least in Kentucky) on the morning of November 11. This story has been updated to reflect the changed growing season length. We came close, by two days, from setting an all-time record. This year is the second-longest growing season on record. In much of the […]

Photo by Erin Barnhill

Venerable Trees Field Course

We had a wonderful Field Course in Lexington, a tour of some of Lexington’s finest trees. Our friend Erin Barnhill was kind enough to share some of her photos of the trip.

Lexington’s amazing trees

I have lived in and near Lexington for about 35 years. As a careful observer of trees, I have always been amazed at the number of very large trees. This became the subject of my first book, Venerable Trees – History, Biology and Conservation in the Bluegrass.  Since 2005, we have been working with landowners […]

Rethinking Urban Forestry in Lexington

The urban forest of Lexington includes a remarkably large number of very large, very old trees, may of them predating the existence of the cities. These trees are now in trouble. Many of them are unhealthy because of neglect, poor management decisions, and old age. We need to change the way we view and manage these […]

Field Course – Airdrie Stud

Venerable Trees, Inc. offers frequent Field Courses to introduce people to the amazing woodland pasture ecosystem of the Bluegrass and Nashville Basin.  Recently, we were able to visit the amazing Airdrie Stud Farm at the gracious invitation of Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, the Owner. Airdrie Stud is one of the premier horse farms in the Bluegrass. […]

Bur oak, 72" diameter, with Jim Pikull

Young Woodland Pastures

Those who have read my book or heard my presentations know that one of our major concerns about the future of our rare and ancient woodland pastures is the failure of trees to reproduce. With trees succumbing to age, lightning and poor management, the population of ancient trees is declining. While we are constantly on […]

Great Trees of the Bluegrass

Today, we are launching a new project “Great Trees of the Bluegrass” to locate and identify important trees in our region. We have a new Facebook Group: Great Trees of the Bluegrass for you to contribute your own observations, and we are also creating a new web-based identification and mapping tool for your use. The purpose of […]

Blue ash tree

Left-behind Trees

A left-behind tree is our term for woodland pasture trees that are left behind as lone individuals when farmland is urbanized.  You can help us find them. Woodland pastures are part of the original presettlement vegetation of the Bluegrass.  As some areas, especially in Fayette County, were urbanized, most of the trees of the woodland pastures were […]

The Old Schoolhouse Oak

The Old Schoolhouse Oak in the news again

Tom Eblen has a fine article in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader about the Old Schoolhouse Oak  and the commitment of Ball Homes to preserve the tree in a new housing development.  By my count, this is the 14th Herald Leader article about this splendid tree You can read the article at the Herald Leader or on […]

Giant Cane in the Bluegrass

Giant cane, Arundinaria gigantea, was abundant in the Bluegrass before the area was settled. Bison herds maintained cane, grazing on it but then leaving for long periods, allowing the cane to recover. When bison were replaced by cattle, sheep and horses, the cane quickly disappeared. Natural stands of cane are today quite rare in the […]

Woodland pastures in the Bluegrass

Woodland pastures have been a dominant feature of the Bluegrass landscape since before settlement in 1779. Today, central Kentucky farms are still the home of ancient trees in woodland pastures. Click the picture below for a slide show of woodland pastures in the Bluegrass. .

kingnut, Carya laciniosa

Herald-Leader Article

Tom Eblen, a fine reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, has written a really good article about our work at Venerable Trees. Tom Eblen: Effort takes root to protect Central Kentucky’s most majestic old trees