White pines sprouting along a trail at Pearl Brook

The woods around here have suffered a lot of damage over these past few years – ice storms and windstorms have taken their toll. After the ice storm of 2009, it seemed everywhere I went the woods were hip-high in fallen trees and branches.

I wondered how they would ever recover, and what they would look like in a few years.

Overall, the woods are looking in good shape. Most trails have been cleared or re-routed, in many cases the work of dedicated volunteers.

As for the trees, New England’s forests are resilient. They experience these kinds of damaging storms on the order of once a decade or so. The downed trees and branches have opened up the canopy, letting in the sunlight touching off a burst of new growth.