Posts by Paul Hetzler

Paul Hetzler is an ISA-Certified Arborist, and a member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the Society of American Foresters. Before moving to Canada in September 2019 he was the Natural Resources Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County. His book “Shady Characters: Plant Vampires, Caterpillar Soup, Leprechaun Trees and Other Hilarities of the Natural World,” is available on
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Why Farmers and Gardeners Need Fear

By Paul Hetzler / April 5, 2021

Fear can be harnessed as a weapon against destructive pests.  No offense, but Franklin D. Roosevelt should maybe bug off with his assertion that “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” because fear is good for gardeners and farmers. According to entomologists Nicholas Aflitto and Jennifer Thaler of the Cornell University-based New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSPIM),…

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Low-Tech Tools to Evaluate Tree Health

By Paul Hetzler / October 16, 2019

It makes sense that dying trees have terminal bud scars. Sounds like an awful condition – my condolences. But the healthiest trees have them, too (terminal scars, not condolences). It’s a good thing, since terminal bud (aka bud-scale) scars provide an excellent way to leaf through a tree’s health records going back 5 to 10…

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Invasive Worms Threaten Forest Health

By Paul Hetzler / October 7, 2019

A new and significant threat to forests, Asian earthworms, have cleverly disguised themselves — as earthworms. If you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate, maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose…

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Avoid a Golden-Goose Approach to Forestry

By Paul Hetzler / April 1, 2019

Smart woodlot stewardship makes sense — and a whole lot of dollars — for you and your family. What do you call a livestock farmer who spends decades improving the genetics of their herd, then abruptly sells all the best animals to start a new herd from scraggly, unproven stock? Crazy, perhaps, or foolish at…

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Call the Dogs Off the Lions

By Paul Hetzler / April 6, 2018

Be nice to dandelions, “the official remedy for everything.” April showers bring May flowers, but not all posies are a welcome sight. Although it is quite possible they arrived on the Mayflower, dandelions do not get the esteem they deserve as plucky immigrants that put down firm roots in a new land, vitamin-packed culinary delights,…

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