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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.

 

Summer Magic

 June 20 will mark the longest day of the year known as the Summer Solstice, which will occur at 5:44pm EDT.  The days thereafter become shorter until the Winter Solstice on December 21 which is the shortest day of the year.  In ancient times this day marked the beginning conflict between the oak tree which represented the brightening sun and the holly (the winter solstice), representing the waning sun.  This folklore gets quite complex and makes great summer reading for all and incorporates the many plants we commonly use in our gardens.

This is a great time to walk in the woods and observe how the forest responds to sunlight and competition within trees.  It makes you marvel at the diversity and how this all happens.  When you enter a coniferous forest like a pine grove you are welcomed with a very pleasant smell that brings back memories or just makes you feel good.  Well, unlike the folklore of the oak and holly, there is something very special and very real about what you are experiencing as you take your walk.  Something that really only has been studied in more recent times.  Trees evolved over millions of years and figured out to harness the sun, produce the oxygen we breath and developed systems to help fight off pathogens and diseases.  The list goes on.

There is a reason for that pleasant smell you experience in the forest and it wasn’t designed for your enjoyment.  It is a type of natural insect/disease repellent produced by trees (especially conifers) known as phytoncides.  It was well known that trees absorb airborne pollutants and purify air.  But then in 1956 a Russian scientist discovered this compound and found that it actually repels and kills various tree pathogens.  More recent studies have shown that this wonderful forest fragrance provides health benefits to humans such as lowering blood pressure, reducing allergy symptoms, improving immunity and possible benefits in fighting cancer.  In his book, The Hidden Life of Trees, author Peter Wohlleben makes an interesting and compelling discussion on this topic.  There is quite a bit of information on this subject online.  Many of you that have camped out in a pine forest may have experienced a great sleep and felt rejuvenated when morning came.  The reason is more that what you thought.  Trees are magical.

In this summer of Covid19 you can find some great reading about the ancient folklore of trees and the great true health benefits they provide.  Take a walk in the woods and stay safe.