Thursday, April 20, 2017

If You Want Oak, Plant Pine

That's a line that foresters learn from other foresters, and from experience.  Our little pine stand is shortleaf that was planted sixty some years ago, and we enjoy watching the sun set behind them in the evenings.  There is a problem, though.  The pines have been dying at an alarming rate, and oaks; mostly white oaks, are filling the gaps.  We now officially have an oak-pine stand, something that you will see in the Ozarks where there is an occasional fire.  It is a timber type that requires fire for long term maintenance.  It's a good thing I am now retired.

This spring and summer I will be doing chainsaw work to move heavy fuel away from trees that I do not want to be harmed, and then I hope to get the first burn in this fall.  What is happening is this; oaks have seeded in with the help of mottled sunlight coming through the pine stand, and the pines have not been reseeding themselves because the need a fire to create a seedbed.  I should have been working on this for the last five years, but you know the cobbler's kids never have good shoes.

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