As President of FLPA, Ted Kozlowski brings to the organization his skills and background including; an AAS Degree in Conservation ( 1976 -SUNY Cobleskill), BS Natural Resource Management -Forestry  (1979 -Rutgers University).
Four years as a NYSDEC Forester on Long Island (1979 -1984), 36 Years (1984 -2020) as Westchester County Forester and Manager of Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial.  Certified Forester by the Society of American Foresters, Certified Watershed Forester by the NYC Watershed Program, Certified Pesticide Applicator -Forest & Ornamentals, Certified Wetland Delineator (Rutgers University).
Presently serves as the Environmental Conservation Inspector for the Town of Patterson, performs private forestry and wetland consulting and volunteers as the President of the Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum.

Letter from the President of FLPA,

Welcome to Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial.  After 40 years of public service (the past 22 being the manager of this beautiful park) I retired and now I am volunteering as the new President of the Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum (FLPA).  I wish to thank outgoing President, Michael Katz for all his efforts that included helping renovate the Veterans Museum, supporting the War Dog Memorial and his key role in helping us build the Conservatory. I also wish to thank the Lasdon Family Foundation and A-Team Contracting who have been very generous in supporting our efforts over the years.

It’s a new decade and we welcome a new manager of this wonderful county park – Jessica Schuler.  Jessica comes with a strong horticultural background and was the Director of the Thain Family Forest at the New York Botanical Garden where she worked for the last 14 years.  She is also active at the Westchester Native Plant Center. Jessica will carry on the horticultural mission of the park and continue on with all the good things this park has to offer.  She will be a very positive force in the growth of Lasdon Park.  Stay tuned.

Since last August we have been in a state of transition and the FLPA has been bringing on new Board members and planning out our schedule of public programs and events.  First up is our annual Plant Sale weekend on May 16 & 17 where we hope you will place it on your calendar.  Our wish is to bring you a variety of events and family programs that will be affordable and fun.  Please refer to this website for accurate dates and times of our events and to learn of upcoming programs.  I encourage you to join the Friends of Lasdon where you will receive discounts and special offers as well as advance notice to all of our events. Come and have fun.

Ted Kozlowski,
Friends of Lasdon Park & Arboretum

Tree Topics

Ted Kozlowski, Forester

Winter 2020

This is a great time to take a walk in the forest and observe how trees grow, where different species tend to establish and what the soils they grow in look like.  Lots of organic matter and natural mulch (leaves, decaying wood, twigs, etc) are what forest soils are all about.  Relate that to your property.  Try to mimic the forest conditions.  Trees compete with lawns and roots are damaged by lawn maintenance machinery.  A good 2 to 3 inches of composted mulch around the base of a tree (for a distance as much as you can tolerate) will reproduce forest like soil conditions that trees need (more on mulch next time).  Remember that tree roots grow out horizontally thru the soil and extend well beyond their base.

Vines (especially bittersweet) are deadly to trees.  They rob the trees of sunlight and smother them in darkness.  Now is a good time to sever vines at their base.  This will prevent an ugly mass of dead vine leaves up in the canopy if you do it in the growing season but more importantly, because the tree is dormant (no leaves),  severing vines now will prevent the trees’ green canopy from sun scald by suddenly exposing tender leaves to full sunlight during the growing season.

Don’t pull the severed vines off the tree if you cannot do it easily. You don’t want to rip off limbs and twigs from your tree.  Wait a year or so until the vines decay.  Vines will re-sprout in the spring, so you will need to address it with pruning or herbicides in the growing season.  Other invasive plants that shade out or out compete our woodland plants are barberry, privet, bamboo, multi-flora rose and many more.  Try to remove them, roots and all if the ground is not frozen.  More often than not the job will be a challenge where you will need help from a pro and herbicide applications in the growing season. This is best approached by tackling one section of garden or woodlot at a time.  Search the web on the subject of invasive plants, consult with an arborist, Cooperative Extension, DEC Foresters or the friendly staff at Lasdon, especially the new manager, Jessica Schuler who has much experience in this field.

So far the winter has been mild, which is not the best thing for our landscape.  The lack of insulating snow cover can negatively affect exposed roots and tender plants.  Mulch and anti-desiccant sprays will help.  Many of our tree insect enemies such as hemlock wooly adelgid are controlled by low temperatures.  If the winter continues this way, we will expect more issues with tree insects come spring.  Winter is a great time to look over plants and trees for those overwintering insects like adelgid, buff colored egg masses of gypsy moth and the new insect invader –the spotted lanternfly.  Scrape of and destroy egg masses and consult with a certified arborist if the issues are more than you can handle.  Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a new and unfortunately very deadly insect that will destroy most of our native ash trees.  Look it up on the web and be prepared to deal with future ash removals.

 The deer herd will not be as stressed and browsing may be reduced in some locations for awhile but a mild winter will allow more deer to survive which will increase the population when the new fawns arrive in the spring.  That will mean more browsing.   Apply preventive deer browsing sprays on mild days throughout the winter into spring.

If you have to use de-icing products, please never use rock salt anywhere near your plants.  The salt desiccates the leaves by removing water and can kill the plants.  It also wreaks havoc on concrete. Calcium chloride is a more expensive but better choice.  When the weather is well above freezing, wash off your plants and saturate surrounding soils with water to remove as much salt residue as possible.  Applying gypsum on the soils in really bad situations will bind up salt and help your plants.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has a great seedling program for people to purchase inexpensive tree and shrub seedlings for planting.  We have brochures here at the park or you can go on the NYSDEC website to learn more. Orders are taken now so act fast if you are interested.

You have many agencies and certified arborists along with the web to learn more about trees.  Please use these great resources.  Have a great season.