Ed Ketchledge dies

Ed Ketchledge, the man responsible for saving the alpine vegetation in the High Peaks, died on Wednesday at eighty-five. Ketchledge taught or touched the lives of many of the scientists working in the Adirondacks. He also authored the book Forests and Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region, which many hikers use to identify trees along the trail.

You can read more about Ketchledge’s life in this article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and in this post on Adirondack Almanack.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Peter Skaller says

    Re: Dr. E. Ketchledge,

    In 1971, at 29 years old and searching for my next step in life, having gone from university to university to explore a career in ecology, I entered Dr. Ketchledge’s office for an interview at ESF. When I left I knew where I wanted to study, and with whom. For 5 years he served as one of my PhD advisors.

    Everyone loved his dendrology courses and the way he was as a person and teacher. I remember being with him on a hike with other students up Algonquin. No one could come close to keeping up with him, and we all marveled! And no one except him knew anything about mosses! And when we learned of his carrying backpacks full of soil in order to rehabilitate Algonquin’s alpine zone, he achieved mythical status among the students!

    He was my doorway and inspiring mentor into a career in forest ecology (which later in life I left to enter the clergy.) He was a true lover-of-our-earth.

    -Rev. Peter Skaller, ESF ’77

  2. John R. French says

    Thank you for publishing this. I remember Ed well; took dendrology from him in ’68, and was one of his TAs in ’71 and ’72 while working on my MS. Went up Algonquin with him & several other students in the winter of ’69-70. His malamute Klondike kept him warm in the sleeping bag at night. Ed was a bobsledder, and earned great respect for his fortitude in Lake Placid. I will convey my respect for Ed to others who follow in my stead.

    John R. French

    ESF B.S. ’71; M.S. ’73

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