Recent Beech Research

As part of our ongoing beech research, we recently mapped, cored, and aged a number of trees on a private parcel in Weston, MA. The age of the trees--one is 200 years old--indicates that it is an unusual native stand of beech, hemlock, and oak.  Why have beech trees in Weston remained isolated for so long, yet begun to disperse in the past 20 years?  Below is the map depicting the trees that we cored. Click to download a larger version.

Beech ages

Research Overview


Looking into a long-term Hemlock plot

The Suburban Ecology Project conducts research on the history, ecology and stewardship of suburban conservation land. Our research includes the ongoing collection and analysis of ecological data, construction of GIS maps for publication in scholarly journals as well as for use in community-planning.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Study

Weston recently treated approximately 600 Hemlock trees on town land for the Woolly Adelgid, a pest that eventually kills the tree. SEP coordinates the research behind this treatment with experimental and control plots throughout the treated areas. For more information on this study and access to data, visit the project page.

Long-term Measurement Study

Emily measuring plot
Placing Hemlock monitoring plots throughout Weston's town forest was the first step in our long-term measurement study. As part of the Wildlands and Woodlands Science team, we are installing over a hundred long-term monitoring plots throughout Weston's forest. Plots have been placed in stands that represent the species diversity of the forest as a whole. Please see the project page for more information.

Beech Dispersal StudyBeech Nut and Bud

In the forests of Weston, we have noticed a recent upsurge in American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) regeneration. We are currently investigating the location of parent trees and the dispersal pattern of these new recruits to explain this phenomenon.

Suburban Forestry: Practical Applications

This project examines the potential for forest management and forestry in the western suburbs of Boston. We are analyzing the forest resources in a six-town study area. We will look at issues such as local and regional markets for wood products, efficiencies of scale in forest production, and current technologies for utilizing and processing wood products. A report summarizing our findings will be available on this Web site in May of 2010.