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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Pine for Maine

Posted by | November 24, 2022 | Filed under: Opinion
A wolf pine on the Muskie Trail

The wolf pine on the Muskie Trail at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm is impossible to ignore. Its one trunk, easily ten feet in circumference, quickly branches into 7 trunks, then again into 15. Especially in the light of a leafless November afternoons, the tree looms like a glowing candelabra in the forest: majestic, multi-storied, and mysterious.

What tales its tangled branches must hold. In its younger days, it stood alone, a shade tree for 19th-century livestock when the rest of the forest was clear-cut down to the sea. But the pines prominence and solitude made it a tempting target for a native insect, the white pine weevil. Weevils lay their eggs in coniferous leaders, killing them; the side branches that remain then turn up to seek the sun. A weeviled white pine is not granted a straight and narrow life, but it still thrives.

In each life, and in each era, we face crises, attacks, and disruptions. Elections, Thanksgivings, or new years might be dreaded by some, yes, but they are also opportunities for positive change, even hope. Wolf pines prove that survival, even growth, are always possible. The struggle between good and weevil is ongoing.

Thats the lesson I take from one peculiar tree, anyway, around a bend on a quiet trail at the Wells Reserve, and you can take it too. Thank you for being a part of this edifying place. Your donations help the Wells Reserve learn from the past, study the present, and prepare for the future.

You can make a one-time year-end gift here, if you are so moved. Thank you again for your support.

May the light of the holidays, even in these darkest months, have you reaching ever upward, just like a wolf pine.


Nik Charov
President, Laudholm Trust

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