Photos, paintings, and woven paper
focusing on trees
that were shown at the Leverett Library, October 9 - November 4, 2008
The show emphasized the old trees on "Prexy's Ridge" on the UMass campus.
Many of those photos and others are included on
this web site.
At least one of the white oaks is over 280 years old. Many are over 200.
They have survived, most likely, because they are on a very steep slope.
But a few years ago the University proposed to build a dorm in part of these woods;
luckily, it didn't happen. However, the area has not been formally protected from
potential future plans to use what appears to be "available space" for other construction
The trees are also threatened by neglect. The hemlocks are dying because they are infested
with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an aphid-like pest accidentally introduced to the western hemisphere
from Asia. There are no predators or natural controls here, and the adelgids spread by wind as well as by
riding on the feet of birds that live in hemlocks. They reproduce rapidly and are spreading fast.
Although there are some chemical treatments that can protect hemlocks, the University so far has
All the trees on Prexy's Ridge are threatened by the use of the woods as a hang-out place,
complete with "camp fires." If a fire were to spread to the trees, it would be very destructive.