I have confidence in the science of pine management and my logical mind tells me that there is nothing to worry about, that in a couple of months everything will be better than ever, with my pines growing robustly, better than ever. But the place looks pretty desolate. My crazier side fears that I am wrong. What did I do? I can hardly wait. In the meantime, I am documenting developments. This is burning plus two weeks. I will go to monthly studies next time.
The trees were planted in 2012. The longleaf shown are northern stock from North Carolina. I am not particularly concerned with “native.” My trees are northern variety, but not Virginia native longleaf. It would be nice to have “real” Virginia trees, but being “native” is overrated. The environment is similar on both sides of the border. USDA hardiness zone 7b encompasses Southside Virginia and North Carolina more or less to the Neuse River. Trees grown from seed sourced from that part of NC are indistinguishable from Virginia natives. Anyway, if they grow well the next generation will be Virginia native.
My photos are the latest scenes. The first one show me with pine I stood next to a few months ago when it was green. The next two are taken from some rocks I piled a marker so that I could take photos from the same spot. The second last photo shows me next to one of the burned longleaf that you see in the pre-burned photo from September last year. Last is the panorama that shows longleaf and the loblolly planted (and burned) at the same time.