Tree farm visit June 2016 (1)

I was down on the farms today cutting vines and inspecting things.

Many people oppose clear cutting and I understand their concern. But it is important to recall that clear cutting is an important tool in forestry. If you want to grow shade intolerant pines or fir, you need to clear cut significant acreage. And if you want to grow shade semi-intolerant oaks, you need to clear some. The fact that nature produced forests of pine, fir, oak or hickory indicates that there have been “natural” disturbances in the past.

A clear cut is a stage in a forest, not the end. It ends only if the land is turned over to non-forest uses.

We clear cut 46 acres exactly a year ago. My first picture show what a clear cut looks like in Virginia after twelve months. We planted 21,000 trees (loblolly & longleaf) in March. You cannot see them under the other growth. Nature is resilient. We will need to treat/burn soon. My second picture shows the where the cut stopped. The third picture is a clear cut after thirteen years. I have been taking this picture with my truck as comparison since 2008. The last picture shows a clear cut after nineteen years, i.e the loblolly in the back of the truck. The longleaf pine in the foreground were planted in 2012 on five acres that was clear cut the year before. I took that photo during with winter, which is why the grass is not green and you can more easily see the longleaf. The last picture shows a longleaf seedling planted in March. You can find them only in the open areas. As you can see, they look like grass and they call this the grass stage for obvious reasons. There are more of them in that bush, but you cannot see them.

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