Friday, March 25, 2016
Here you will see some of the reasons prescribed fire is such a good tool in forest and wildlife management. Not all the advantages will be discussed but you will see enough here on the why of prescribed fire.
Below is a picture one week before a prescribed fire is used on this four year old, forty acre tract of longleaf pines.
And here is the result of the burn a week later.
Longleaf pines thrive in an area that is burned regularly . This tract was burned two years ago so this is the second time fire has been used on these longleaf pines.
The fire removes competition from the stand and increases the browse for wildlife. I think a well managed stand of longleaf pines is as good as any food plot you can plant for deer and turkey.
The next day we used a prescribed fire on this twenty-two year old stand of loblolly pines. This fire was about 130 acres and it made the forth time this stand was prescribed burned for management.
This is what the stand looked like before the prescribed fire. Notice how little there is for wildlife to eat. The under growth has become woody and the forest floor has only pine straw.
After the prescribed fire most of the woody undergrowth is burned or killed. This causes new tender growth to emerge in about a week and more sunlight can reach the forest floor to cause forest legumes to germinate. This really increases the food available to wildlife.
A prescribed burn program also protects the forest from wildfire. If the weather turns off dry and wildfire becomes a problem then this stand is protected because a hot wildfire can't burn through this stand.
In just a few days this under-story will be as green as any place you can find in a forest.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Last week we had firebreaks raked out around 125 acres of 22 year old loblolly pines in preparation for a controlled burn. This burn is to control undergrowth and to improve the wildlife habitat. This will make the fourth time this stand has been burned for management. A prescribed fire helps keep down the danger of wildfire and the risk of damage to the trees and wildlife.
We have started a timber harvest on this tract of mature trees that joins another tract of 3 year old longleaf pines. We are going to convert this tract to longleaf pines also. We are having some good wood harvested on this tract that will be made into lumber and plywood for new home construction. Longleaf seedlings will be planted here as soon as possible after the harvest. All of our property is on native mountain longleaf pine sites and we are converting all our sites back to longleaf pine where it is feasible to use prescribed fire as a management tool. Planting and managing longleaf pines really helps improve the habitat for wildlife.