Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Longleaf Pines and Big Bucks

My brother harvested this deer yesterday off of our property.  It was a nine pointer, probably 3 1/2 years old with a 19 inch spread.  The significance of this harvest is where the deer came from.  
In the past two years every buck we have harvested has come from areas where we have planted longleaf pines.  Most of the bucks we have harvested in the last eight years since we started planting longleaf pines have come from where we planted these pines.  I can only speak for the Piedmont area of our state but I can definitely say this is a major benefit to planting longleaf pines in the range of the  Mountain Longleaf Pines.  
You don't hear of this much in the promotion of planting longleaf pines but it is a major reason we have started planting in harvested areas with longleaf pines, deer love the habitat.  I can't say for Coastal Longleaf but here in the Piedmont there is a definite advantage. The management of these trees produce most everything a deer wants and needs as far as habitat.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Multiple Use Forest

"Multiple Use Forest" how many times have we heard that phrase used?

Last February we cut these short sticks of sweetgum from an area that was in need of some selective removal of trees.  These small trees were growing in an area that was being managed for loblolly pines so the sweetgums needed to be taken out.  My son and grandchildren cut and loaded these sticks and hauled them to our shop.  We decided to use these trees for something of value instead of just letting them lie on the ground and rot.  We inoculated the sticks with Shiitake mushroom spores.  There is a process for doing this but I will not go into how to do it.  You can Google "Growing Shiitake Mushrooms" and find a world of information on growing these mushrooms for yourself.
This is a close-up picture of one of the logs nine months later.  We inoculated two dozen logs and now they are producing vitamin rich, fresh mushrooms.  We have given away several pounds of mushrooms to friends and family.
Just another way of one of the many ways we use the forest!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Will Happen To Your Property?

We read in the forest landowner world so much about what will happen to our property after it goes to the next generation?  Well, I think the answer is in our hands as a forest landowner.  You start introducing children to the forest early in their life.  You have to get them out into the forest if you want them to love the outdoors and look at the ever changing environment.  They need to grow with the forest!
I am proof of the above.  A few years ago I was the FFA  advisor for our local FFA Forestry Team.  We won the National Contest in Kansas City, Missouri.  The same year the 4-H Team from the other side of the state won the National 4-H Contest in West Virginia.  The 4-H leader was a neighbor of mine that lived about a mile from me and we grew up together.  I told people we lived in the woods and that was all we knew but we knew the woods.  I don't think this just happened.
Yesterday my eleven month old grandson along with his mom spent time working on tree-stands with me on our property.  We took a break and sat in the leaves.  Eli was so impressed with all he was finding in his new world, leaves, acorns and sticks.  It is so much fun to watch them become part of the forest!
In the next issue of the Woodland magazine(American Tree Farm Publication) there will be an article about my family and our attachment to the forest.