In compliance with Harvard University policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19, Harvard Forest office buildings and the Fisher Museum are closed until further notice.

Recreational trails will remain open to the public.

Questions? Email HFoutreach@fas.harvard.edu or call 978-724-3302.

News & Highlights

October 30, 2020

Study: China’s Most Important Trees Are Hiding in Plain Sight

Long-term forest study plot in China. Photo by Xiujuan Qiao.

In ecosystems around the globe, the danger of being a common or widespread species is the tendency to be overlooked by conservation efforts that prioritize rarity. In forests, the most common species can be essential to ecosystem structure and function, which crumble with the decline of these pivotal trees, known collectively as foundation species.

In an effort to identify forest foundation

September 3, 2020

New Grant: Redefining the Ecological Memory of Forest Disturbance

Dr. Zhen-ju Chen, Dr. David Orwig, and student Mel Paduani core a large northern red oak tree in an old-growth forest

A new, 4-year grant from the National Science Foundation to HF Senior Ecologists Neil Pederson and Dave Orwig will support an unprecedented inquiry into 600 years of tree growth data from 35 old-growth forest study sites in the Northeast. The research will test the sensitivity of Northeast forest ecosystems to extreme climate events such as drought or late-spring frosts.

Preliminary evidence

August 27, 2020

New Interim Harvard Forest Director Took Reins July 1; Retiring Director Leaves 30-Year Legacy

Missy Holbrook shows students a white pine tree in the forest in winter

Noel Michele Holbrook, an accomplished plant physiologist and the Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry at Harvard University, became the eighth director of the Harvard Forest on July 1, 2020. The role is an interim position, with a future search for a permanent director pending.

Retiring director David R. Foster has assumed a new position of Senior Conservationist at

August 27, 2020

2020-2021 Bullard Fellows Announced

A scientist sits on the forest floor, writing data on a clipboard

We are pleased to announce the Harvard Forest Charles Bullard Fellows for 2020-2021. The mission of the Bullard Fellowship Program is to support advanced research and study by individuals who show promise of making an important contribution--either as scholars or administrators--to forestry and forest-related subjects, from biology to earth sciences, economics, politics, law, and the arts and humanities. 

August 4, 2020

Study: In a Warming World, New England’s Trees Are Storing More Carbon

Senior ecologist Audrey Barker Plotkin works with student researchers Collette Yee and Kate Eisen to measure trees in a long-term Harvard Forest study plot. Photo by Moshe Roberts.

A new study in Ecological Monographs synthesizes hundreds of thousands of carbon observations collected over the last quarter century at the Harvard Forest, following the complex stream of carbon through the forest's air, soil, plants, and water. The scope of the study - as well as its consistency of results - is unprecedented. 

The study reveals that the rate at

August 1, 2020

New Grant Supports Public Tweeting Tree Network

screenshot of the Witness Tree webcam showing the tree's canopy in spring, along with logos from Facebook and Twitter

A 2-year grant from the Harvard Climate Change Solutions Fund will support a new research, community outreach, and education initiative for the Harvard Forest Witness Tree social media project. Project leaders Tim Rademacher and Clarisse Hart will oversee the deployment and evaluation of three new tweeting trees at environmental education sites in greater Boston, including the Arnold

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