The Conservation Work of Venerable Trees

Venerable Trees, Inc., is focusing our efforts on  five high-priority geographic areas and four high-priority tasks:

  • Woodford County with the greatest extent of original woodland pastures;
  • Bourbon County with several areas where woodland pasture species are regenerating;
  • Jessamine County with woodland pastures threatened by development;
  • Oldham, Jefferson and surrounding counties, with great promise for woodland pasture restoration;
  • The Nashville Basin with great promise for restoration and management of the original woodland pasture habitat.

High-priority tasks:

  • Assessing woodland pastures. The first step in managing a natural resource is to evaluate it. We will begin mapping and measuring trees in woodland pastures.  We will train a cadre of volunteers and interns to locate trees with GPS, measure them and assess their condition.  We will begin in four critical regions of the Bluegrass that have extensive woodland pastures and interested landowners.
  • Developing management plans. We will work with landowners to develop management plans for their woodland pastures that will extend the lifespan.
  • Solving the reproduction problem.  Venerable trees are not reproducing in woodland pastures. Without our intervention, they will disappear in a few years.  We will develop two methods for growing young trees: 1) allowing natural regeneration to take place within protected areas such as tree pens, and 2) establishing small cooperative nurseries and growing trees from locally collected seed.
  • Preserving ancient trees in urban landscapes. We will work with volunteers to map, identify and assess ancient trees on public urban land, and work with homeowners to do the same for trees on private property. We will then develop management plans and carry them out, including protecting park trees from lightnin

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