Autumn trees covered with orange leaves grow out of a yellow meadow.

growing a forest

When Europeans first explored Pennsylvania, trees covered 90 percent of the territory. By 1850, millions of acres had been cleared for farming, timber, and firewood. Today, we continue to lose our forests to development. This loss of forest has a devastating impact on the wildlife that depend on them for shelter, food, and breeding.

On many of our preserves, we are returning former farm fields to forests by planting trees—tens-of-thousands of them! In other sections of the preserve, we’ve allowed natural afforestation to occur. By not mowing certain fields, we permit them to return to woodlands. As the trees grow, they prevent erosion and provide critical forest habitat for birds, bugs, and beyond.