Boyce Hill Town Forest foliage. Photo: Jeff Knight

Interested people can learn how to prune fruit trees while helping steward Fayston’s Boyce Hill Town Forest.

Boyce Hill Town Forest includes the remnants of an old apple orchard that needs some attention. As this is the best time of year to prune apple trees, the Boyce Hill Town Forest steering committee has invited local landscape architect, Rachel Grigorian of Clark Brook designs LLC to lead a 90-minute pruning class for a socially-distanced group of supporters on Saturday, February 13, 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will learn how to care for trees to maximize their fruit production and health while helping the town with this important stewardship project. Participants can also learn about the property and share their suggestions about the long-term management of the 93-acre tract of land that features views of the Green Mountains and the Northfield Range. At the end of the workshop, participants will be emailed a PDF summary of the methods learned.


Participants should bring any pruning tools they have, such as loppers, hand pruning shears and small pull saws or folding saws, as limited loaner tools will be available. Alcohol and rags will be available to sanitize tools, but people are asked to sanitize their tools beforehand if possible.

To register paste into your browser or call Pete Colgan at 781-771-5568. A suggested donation per person will help support the steering committee’s work to complete a long-term management plan for the property and its ongoing stewardship needs.

Boyce Hill Town Forest is located at the top of Boyce Road in North Fayston. Parking is very limited. Snowshoes will be helpful as the trees are enjoying a blanket of deepish snow that may have drifted in places.

In other Boyce Hill town forest news, the Fayston Conservation Commission’s steering committee will soon announce a series of educational sessions on Zoom that will allow steering committee members to share what they’ve learned about the natural, recreational and educational attributes of the forest. They will be soliciting comments at these sessions. In addition, they will be sending out a survey asking for the community’s input that can be completed online, on paper or by phone.


Additionally, a draft permitting process and application for commercial use of the property will be presented to the Fayston Select Board at their next meeting. This will help inform commercial usage decisions on BHTF while the current interim management plan is in place.

The steering committee requested a budget of $12,000 to complete the planning and stewardship work to take place this coming year. The town’s proposed budget currently reflects an investment of $9,000. An anonymous donation of $1,000 to the Fayston Town Forest Reserve Fund was received to support the work being done at the Boyce Hill Town Forest. Brad Long, Fayston resident and cultural history buff, found the remains of a three-legged pot-bellied gooseneck cast iron kettle (possibly dating somewhere between 1700-1895) on the Boyce Hill property, a reminder of the earlier hill farming use of the land.