One especially cherished feature of Loghaven is the forest that graces the property. The list of species that live here includes beech, loblollies, hickory, apple, sassafras, mulberry, hemlock, maple, and multiple varieties of oak.
When the Aslan Foundation purchased the property in 2008, invasive species like kudzu, English ivy, and honeysuckle were widespread, actively squeezing out the native flora that had once flourished here. The preservation of forested land is embedded in the missions of both the Foundation and Loghaven, so one of our first priorities was the removal of these harmful plants.
As part of caring for the property, we partnered with a local arborist Travis Davis of Evergreen Timber Works. When we asked Davis about his work at Loghaven, he said that the property is unique in the transformation that has occurred here over the last ten years. Davis describes a thicket of invasive plants, so dense that it was difficult to enter the nearby cove or walk into the glen at the termination of Loghaven Drive. Only because of the enormous efforts of the Loghaven property team, led by Randall Coffey, has the original forest has been uncovered, allowing the mature trees underneath to access sunlight.
One of these rescued trees is a beloved magnolia that sits in the cove. Towering easily ninety feet in the air, Davis estimates that the tree is between 125 and 150 years old. It carries the distinct dark, lacquered leaves of the species and blooms with fragrant white flowers each spring. Because the cove magnolia is uniquely large for its species, it requires extra care. Coffey and his team installed a heavy copper wire to run from a grounding rod at the base of the tree, up the trunk and throughout its branches. Cables like this one are commonly installed to help protect trees from lightening, directing any strikes away from the branches and trunk.
In addition to caring for the existing trees, we have been actively planting additional saplings. The cluster of apple trees near the 905 cabin is an example of these restoration efforts. In addition to the nearby mulberries and blueberries, these apple trees will eventually provide future residents with a delicious snack right outside their front door. With expert care and management, we know the trees at Loghaven will continue to thrive, providing shade, joy, and a bite to eat for many years to come.