The story of New England’s ancient old growth forests

Since the arrival of settlers in the 17th century, enormous changes have taken place across central New England and what our remnant old growth stands look like today. Tob Wessels from Antioch University and David Foster of the Harvard Forest narrator this story that was filmed in 2018 by New England Forests. They point out that over eighty percent of central New England forests were cleared to raise Merino sheep in the early 19th century, whipping out much of the old growth forest. Some of the old growth forest that can still be found in parts of New England, such as on Mount Wachusett,contains trees that predated the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620. Click here for a 57-minute video that traces these changes over time to help us understand the difference between what we see in today’s forests from what they once looked like.