The Sawkill Creek - The Sawkill Today

The Sawkill Creek



The Sawkill Today

When landscape designer and author Andrew Jackson Downing wrote about Montgomery Place in his Horticulturist magazine in 1847, he paid particular attention to the north woods which he called “The Wilderness.”

He noted it was “covered with the native growth of trees, thick, dark, and shadowy” as well as occasional “rich thickets of the Kalmia or native laurel” that formed an understory.

Today, Downing’s emphasis on native species takes on a new importance. The composition of the Sawkill ravine’s woodlands has changed during the century and a half since Downing visited, and many species not native to the area have established themselves in the woods. Certain non-native species are so successful in their new habitats that they can crowd out native species and upset an entire ecosystem.

The landscape staff of Montgomery Place works constantly to remove these invasive species, such as the ailanthus tree seedlings being removed here, so that the health of native flora and fauna in the woodlands will be ensured.

Removing invasive species in the north woods. Photo: Historic Hudson Valley.

Monkeyflower. Photo: Courtesy of Mike Haddock.

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