Updated: November 16, 2023
By Andrew Kling

Select from our stories below...

To squish or not to squish. That is the question.

Adult spotted lanternfly with closed wings

After reaching a number of Maryland counties and 17 states over the past few years, the first Spotted Lanternfly were discovered on the University of Maryland’s main campus in College Park earlier this fall. Maryland Today spoke with Entomology Professor and University of Maryland Extension Specialist Paula Shrewsbury, who noted that it “most likely hitchhiked and got here by car, because we haven’t seen others yet. But inevitably they are coming—we’ll have thousands and thousands in the next few years.”

What should you do when you find one? Read the full interview at: https://today.umd.edu/should-you-squish-a-spotted-lanternfly

Anne Arundel County Forestry and Forested Land Protection Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

Anne Arundel County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce a partnership to provide funds for forestry projects and land protection in Anne Arundel County. The goal of this program is to implement cost-effective reforestation and greening projects and increase the number of acres of protected forested land in the County.

The grant program funds reforestation and afforestation projects on protected, uneased, and unforested areas, and more. Land Trusts, land conservancies, faith-based organizations, community associations; service and civic groups, public agencies, public and independent higher educational institutions, and other nonprofit entities are encouraged to apply. This round of the program has $280,000 available in total funds.

Grant applications will be accepted until January 3, 2024 at 4 PM. Learn more at:


New Story Map Details Breadth of Saltwater Intrusion Research on Delmarva Peninsula

Interns from the University of Maryland’s Agro-Ecology Laboratory produced a new story map that features Maryland Woodland Steward Rick Abend of Abend Hafen Farm. “On the Shore of Salty Soils and Rising Seas” documents the effects of saltwater intrusion, including expanding marshlands and dying forests. Read the story map here.

Screenshot of Rick Abend

Creating forest inventories with drones and artificial intelligence

Although artificial intelligence may not be able to replace humans in many aspects of woodland education, researchers are developing ways to use AI to access and inventory forests that are difficult to access. Scientists in Germany have combined drone imagery and AI to delineate each tree in a forest, along with an estimate of its height and diameter. Working in conjunction with staff at a national park in Colombia, they calculated that one mangrove swamp had 19,717 members of a particular species. The researchers see additional applications, including detecting illegal logging and invasive species. Read more here.

How to Keep Warm This Winter with just One Log of Wood

Click the photo or go to this link to watch this short and humorous video from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Keeping warm this winter with just one log of wood

Branching Out, Vol. 31, no. 4 (Fall 2023)

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.