Maryland's woodland stewardship educator

Branching Out is the free, quarterly newsletter of the Woodland Stewardship Education program.

For more than 30 years, Branching Out has kept Maryland woodland owners and managers informed about ways to develop and enhance their natural areas, how to identify and control invasive plants and insects, and about news and regional online and in-person events.

Publishing schedule:

  • Winter issue - February

  • Spring issue - May

  • Summer issue - August

  • Fall issue - November

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Read our latest issue or catch up on the last five years of our newsletter below.

2024 Branching Out

Winter 2024

Read about a few changes taking place, in the newsletter and more. Register now for the Spring session of our "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course, and learn about upcoming webinars. Our new feature, Native Trees of Maryland, looks at the state tree: the white oak.  Invasives in Your Woodlands looks at the non-native (but some say delicious) wineberry. And don't forget the events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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2023 Branching Out

Fall 2023

There are new grant funding sources available for those in the forest products sector in Maryland. Read about the recent Delmarva Woodland Stewards workshop and field trip, and about using the i-Tree app to create woodland assessments. One of our regular features, the "Woodland Wildlife Spotlight," looks at the North American river otter, and "Invasives in Your Woodlands" looks at the white mulberry tree. And don't forget the events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Summer 2023

This issue highlights a pair of new publications to help manage your woodlands and information about our online courses for the fall, and wonders about the future of artificial intelligence and managing woodlands. Our regular features include profiles of the Cooper's hawk in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and winter creeper in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.   

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Spring 2023

Thank you to all who shared feedback through our survey in the last issue of Branching Out. In this issue, learn about the changes in the Woodland Stewardship Education program, including a new staff member. Read about a new disease that may soon impact Maryland's beech trees, and how planting trees today can help combat climate change in the future.  Our regular features include profiles of the timber rattlesnake in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and Chinese and Japanese Wisterias in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Winter 2023

Learn how to join us for the spring session of our popular "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course. Help us learn more about our readers and subscribers by taking our short survey. Read about a potential ally in the fight against hemlock wooly adelgid, and how Marylanders can get a rebate for planting native trees. Our regular features include profiles of the American beaver in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and Princess Tree in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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2022 Branching Out

Fall 2022

Read about how forestry connects to more in Maryland than you may imagine, and about a potential tool in the fight against Lyme disease. There's also a book review! Our regular features include profiles of the downy woodpecker in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and bull thistle in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Summer 2022

Read about some tips to consider now to get your woodlands ready for fall. There's also information about our two online courses this fall, now open for registration, and about this year's Maryland-Delaware Master Logger. Our regular features include a look at Maryland's tree bats in our Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, at plumeless thistle in Invasives in Your Woodlands, the events calendar, and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Spring 2022

Read about some of the changes to the Woodland Stewardship Education program, and how Maryland woodland owners with more than 10 acres can assist Penn State with research about prescribed burning. There's also news about research regarding how "ghost forests" are created, and News and Notes about stories you might have missed. Our regular features include profiles of the American kestrel in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and musk thistle in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Winter 2022

Read some "parting thoughts" from Extension Forester Jonathan Kays prior to his retirement. Registration for the spring session of "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course is now open. The deadline to submit comments about managing selected Maryland state forests is March 4. Our regular features include profiles of the gray fox in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and Canada thistle in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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2021 Branching Out

Winter 2021

Registration for the spring session of "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course is now open. The deadline to submit comments about managing selected Maryland state forests is March 5. Our regular features include profiles of the red fox in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and Tree-of-heaven in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. Learn about a new app that can help you understand the health of your woodlands, and about a first for Tree Farm Inspectors in Maryland.

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Spring 2021

There's news about our new website, as part of the University of Maryland Extension's rebranding efforts. There's also information about the Spotted Lanternfly and about the rebounding forestry industry in Maryland. Our regular features include profiles of the striped skunk in the "Woodland Wildlife Spotlight" and lesser celandine in "Invasives in Your Woodland," as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. Plus, tidbits you may have missed, in the News and Notes section.

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Summer 2021

There's news about advances in handheld GPS units and how woodland owners can benefit from using them. Registration for our two online courses is still open, so sign up now. Our regular features include profiles of the sharp-shinned hawk in the "Woodland Wildlife Spotlight" and porcelain-berry in "Invasives in Your Woodland," as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. Plus, tidbits you may have missed, in the News and Notes section.

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Fall 2021

While Maryland's "blue paint law" makes it easier to mark your woodland boundaries, trespassing does happen; learn what can happen next. There's news about two recent awards for the Woodland Stewardship Education program, and information about the native Southern Pine Beetle. Our regular features include the "Woodland Wildlife Spotlight," "Invasives in Your Woodland," plus the events calendar, the Brain Tickler challenge, and the News and Notes section.

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2020 Branching Out

Winter 2020

Learn how Marylanders view forestry and its impact on the state's economy. There's news about the spring session of our "The Woods in Your Backyard" online course and about Marylanders recognized for their contributions to forest management. Our regular features include profiles of the North American porcupine in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and mile-a-minute in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Spring 2020

Learn about available online resources from the Woodland Stewardship Education program and about our new Woodland Wildlife Wednesday webinar series. There's news about the fall session of the General Forestry Course and about Shinrin-yoku - a way to enjoy woodlands during these stressful times. Our regular features include profiles of the black bear in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and European buckthorn in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Summer 2020

Learn about Maryland's Recreational Use Statute and how it applies to your woodland property. Our  Woodland Wildlife Wednesday webinar series continues; find information about how to view the ones you missed and what's upcoming. Our regular features include profiles of the Chuck-will's-widow in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and Winged euonymus in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Fall 2020

Our regular features include profiles of the Eastern wild turkey in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, and Japanese privet in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. Learn about a vision under development for Maryland's forest industry and about the new wildlife management online course. There's also a new publication from The Woods In Your Backyard Partnership for the green industry, an appreciation of the career and contributions of Teri Batchelor, and a new Outstanding Logger for the Appalachian Region (spoiler alert: he's from Maryland).

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2019 Branching Out

Winter 2019

Read about the belted kingfisher in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, Japanese honeysuckle in Invasives in Your Woodland, what the 2018 Farm Bill offers for woodland property owners, and a native fungus that may help control tree-of-heaven. Plus the events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Spring 2019

Read about the challenges facing the Maryland forestry industry, and about Marylanders being nominated for Outstanding Tree Farmers of the year. There's also news about recent workshops, spotted lanternfly, and emerald ash borer. Our regular features include profiles of the bobcat in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and kudzu in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as the events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Summer 2019

Read about some woodland myths and new strategies for planting hardwoods. Our regular features include profiles of the American mink in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and Japanese knotweed in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as the events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge. 

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Fall 2019

Read about the controversy surrounding glyphosate, as well as some good news for the Maryland forestry industry. Learn about the upcoming "The Woods in Your Backyard Webinar Series." Our regular features include profiles of the great horned owl in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and butterflybush in Invasives in Your Woodland, as well as our events calendar and the Brain Tickler challenge.

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2018 Branching Out

Spring 2018

Read about the Red-bellied woodpecker in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and Oriental bittersweet in Invasives in Your Woodland, and take the Brain Tickler challenge. There's also an introduction to two new members of the Woodland Stewardship Education program team, and an announcement about the upcoming Maryland Woodland Stewards workshop.

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Summer 2018

Read about the common muskrat in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, Autumn olive in Invasives in Your Woodland, the MD-DE Logger of the Year, learn about two upcoming Forestry Friday workshops and a Woodland & Wildlife webinar, and take the Brain Tickler challenge.

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Fall 2018

Read about the southern flying squirrel in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, multiflora rose in Invasives in Your Woodland, bald cypress swamps, and a new invasive insect you should know. There's two new webinar recordings available, a recap of a forestry trip to New Zealand, and the Brain Tickler challenge as well.

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Winter 2018

Read about the Eastern screech-owl in the Woodland Wildlife Spotlight, garlic mustard in Invasives in Your Woodland, a poster contest for youngsters, and more about spotted lanternfly. There's a recap of October's Maryland Woodland Stewards workshop, the events calendar, and the Brain Tickler challenge as well. 

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2017 Branching Out

Spring 2017

Commemorate 25 years of this newsletter with a look at how it all got started. Read about the woodchuck in our Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and about the Callery pear in Invasives in Your Woodland. There's also news about clean woodstove options, the Brain Tickler challenge, and much more. 

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Summer 2017

There's a lot you can do for the health of your woodlands this season; we share some tips in this issue. Read about the Maryland Tree Farmer of the Year and about one couple's efforts to restore vital habitat for an endangered bird. Learn about dragonflies in our Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and about English Ivy in Invasives in Your Woodland. And the Brain Tickler challenge, too!

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Fall 2017

This issue contains information about controlling access to your woodland property, how to use firewood as a family business, the state of ash trees in the U.S., and much more. Read about Maryland's endangered reptiles and amphibians in our Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and about bush honeysuckles in Invasives in Your Woodland. Plus the Brain Tickler and news and notes from around the region.

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Winter 2017

Read our "year in review" of 2017. Learn about how native trees and shrubs can benefit birds and how to obtain a private pesticide applicator's license. We profile the red-shouldered hawk in our Woodland Wildlife Spotlight and Japanese barberry in Invasives in Your Woodland. Plus the Brain Tickler challenge!

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