Looking at the bright side, I have some great markers to plant my baby longleaf and to find them later on. Those benefits, unfortunately, result from dead trees falling down. Our May 2018 fire got a little hot in one section. I held out the hope that some of them would recover, so I treated my longleaf planting as an under planting.
Now that the bark has come off most of the trees and several have blown down, I think I can be reasonably sure that I should replant denser, assume it is an clearing.
I regret the loss of my trees, but I see it as an opportunity. What I have is a restoration project after a hot fire. I can imagine my little longleaf coming in under and among the burned out logs. I am also going to take advantage of natural regeneration of oak and shortleaf pine. I think this will become an interesting learning experience and I look forward to interacting with the changing land.
Given that I am treating this as an opening, I think I will need about 1000 trees and it will take me a couple days to get think in the ground. I am not as fast as the professionals, but I like the idea of doing it myself.
My first picture is me decked out in orange. It is hunting season, so good idea not to blend in with the bushes. Next three pictures show the future longleaf grove. Last is the panorama of loblolly. We planted them in 2016, so they are only four years old. Most are 6-8 feet tall. Good result. The reason I took the picture, however, was the beauty of the hardwoods in the background, showing their vibrant fall colors.
The most beautiful time to look at fall colors, IMO, is just before dusk. The colors show up better than in full light. I did not take a picture of that. No picture would do it justice.