Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


A Woody Connection To New England’s Colonial Past

Pitch pines were once found across Connecticut, but have since retreated back to only a few select spots in the state. Photo by Patrick Skahill for WNPR

One of Connecticut’s most uncommon species of evergreen can still be found — if you know where to look.

It’s a steep walk up a hill off Candlewood Road in Haddam. Beside me was Emery Gluck, a forester with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Gluck said for the last 30 years — he’s passed this hill wondering if the trees perched on top were pitch pine.

“Because scattered throughout the valley here, there was a couple of pitch pines that might have had their seeds sourced from up here,” Gluck said.

Today, pitch pine is one of Connecticut’s hardest to find trees. When colonists arrived centuries ago it was everywhere, but generations of logging — and environmental changes — pushed the tree back to just a few select spots in the state.

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