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Something Wild: The Judas Trees

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Dave Anderson
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Red Maples are sometimes called “Judas Tree” – for betraying the late summer days.

It's late August, and the leaves are already starting to change. And that flush of red you’re seeing likely comes from the red maple, also known as “swamp” or “soft maple.”

It's an adaptable tree renowned for signaling an impending autumn and has even earned the dubious nickname: “Judas Tree” – for betraying these late summer days.  

Red maples are common in New Hampshire’s young forests, especially in areas prone to natural disturbances such as flooding in wetlands, along rivers -- and by human disturbances, too. And while forest ecologists believe these trees are increasing as a percentage of our forests, red maples are still considered a minority species, adding diversity to overall forest composition.

This segment was originally broadcast on August 28, 2020.

Naturalist Dave Anderson is Senior Director of Education for The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, where he has worked for over 30 years. He is responsible for the design and delivery of conservation-related outreach education programs including field trips, tours and presentations to Forest Society members, conservation partners, and the general public.
Chris Martin has worked for New Hampshire Audubon for over 31 years as a Conservation Biologist, specializing in birds of prey such as Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Peregrine Falcons.
Emily has worked for NPR member stations since 2007. Before joining the NHPR staff in 2012, she served as local host for All Things Considered as well as Director of Business and Foundation Support for KUSP, Santa Cruz, CA. While living in Santa Cruz, she also produced 2 weekly music programs Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Free Radio Santa Cruz) and Taste of Honey (KUSP).

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