Taking care of the soil at McLaughlin Woodland

A basic principle of forest restoration is to protect the soil of the forest floor from erosion and compaction. Logs, leaf mulch, sticks, twigs and wood in various stages of decay form a first layer of soil that is protective against physical elements. It also provides the conditions for new growth, and nutriments for existing growth. As recently as the 1960's what is now McLaughlin woodlands on Mission Hill in Boston was mostly grass covered and mowed often. Because this is a new forest, it is helpful to assist the development of the forest floor which otherwise would take generations to form on its own.

The first photo shows a portion of slope with bare exposed soil. The second and third photos show the addition of brush. The final photo is a portion of slope above Fisher Ave that is better protected by woody material.

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