As many of you already know, the Red Spruce is particularly near and dear to our hearts. Growing, sustaining, and planting them throughout the Southern Appalachian high elevations it’s been a major part of our mission for over 20 years and a practice that has earned SHR attention and recognition throughout the region and nationally. Our restoration project has aided in the repopulation of the spruce/fir forest as well as providing needed nesting and foraging opportunities for insects, birds, and animal life in our challenged high elevation islands in the sky. Our staff, volunteers, partner groups and generous donors have contributed to this project’s ongoing success. We have well over a 90% survival rate with the thousands of red spruce we have already planted. If you are passionate about reforestation and the idea of hauling young spruce into the woods, let us know and we will try to include you on one of our ventures.
The high-elevation spruce/fir forests are the second most endangered ecosystem in the United States and the red spruce is not without her own challenges. One is the spruce budworm, although it much prefers the white spruce and the balsam fir. Acid rain and climate change are the greatest challenges. Acid rains limits the spruce’s ability to process calcium, which is critical to major aspects of her growth. Additionally, the design of the spruce leaf allows her to attract water which exacerbates the damage acid rain creates. All these factors point out the importance of our Red Spruce Project. One way to help us is to participate in our “Gift a Spruce” program. You can have a spruce planted in honor or memory of your friend or family member. This can be accomplished through our website. https://southernhighlandsreserve.org/