Forest Ecology is a long, dynamic process. It takes a millenia of nutrient cycling and succession to grow the scaffolding for the diverse plant and animal species dependent on the bedrock material, elevation, soil and solar conditions. Forests provide innumerable and intangible ecological services: they build and cover soil, keep water hydrating and sustaining life, provide oxygen, host the bacteria and mycelia that decompose waste and are food for other species, and are home to the trees that are “standing lakes”, retaining moisture high in the watershed and preventing erosion. The temperate broadleaf forest biome is the building block for the fertile and flourishing Appalachian mountainside life that draws so many in their search for home.
As development continues through the Appalachians, more marginal lands and steep slopes are being considered for human housing and settlement patterns. For those purchasing land, the time to begin their land stewardship and engage with ecologically literate professionals is at the beginning, before any development, excavation or build occurs, to best understand the ecological patterns impacting the land, site opportunities and limitations, and to protect the watershed and forest services.
To learn more about topics related to stewardship for new land owners, check out our blogs on Covering Soil and Excavators. Healing Roots Design is here for you, along every step of your land journey!