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Venerable TreesHistory, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass$
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Tom Kimmerer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813165660

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813165660.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

The Elmwood Trees

The Elmwood Trees

Growing Old Gracefully

(p.151) 11 The Elmwood Trees
Venerable Trees

Tom Kimmerer

University Press of Kentucky

Elmwood Stock Farm is an organic farm in Scott County, Kentucky, that raises cattle and sheep as well as organic vegetables. Long before Kentucky became famous for its horses, the Bluegrass was known for cattle and sheep. In 1942 there were over 1 million sheep in the state, nearly all of them in the Bluegrass. The same trees that shaded its pastures two hundred years ago now shade the cattle and sheep at Elmwood. These trees are allowed to live out their natural lives. Most of them are growing well, although many have been struck by lightning. When trees die, they are allowed to stand, and when they fall, they are allowed to decay in place. This contributes to wildlife diversity and soil quality. Horse farms with low-intensity grazing are also well suited to venerable trees. Horses occasionally browse on bark, but they rarely do any damage. The problem on all these farms is that these old trees are not regenerating, and without human action, the woodland pasture habitat will cease to exist.

Keywords:   Elmwood Stock Farm, livestock, cattle, sheep, woodland pasture, organic farms

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