Thursday, December 21, 2017

12-15 Inches of Snow, No Wind

Snow in the Oaks

Snow in the recently 1st thinning of these loblolly pines.

The results of the snow about two weeks ago.  I had recently cleaned out and trimmed up the roads after the logging crews finished the thinning operation but I would have been better off waiting if I could have seen into the future. Today, I worked on getting the roads passable and I will have to come back later and finish trimming up the limbs in a few places.

While I was working on the roads today I made a picture showing what 12-15 inches of wet snow with no wind will do to a recently thinned stand of loblolly pines.  Many snapped like tooth picks while others bent over never to stand back up  It really looks bad right now but 10 years from now the stand should recover.  That is just some of the happenings we can't control, you just have to take it and move on.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Timber Harvest Now in Process

We are now in the process of harvesting 40 acres of mostly mature hardwood timber that is being converted to longleaf pines.  We will be reforesting this property after site prepping next winter.  This logging crew is the best!  You can tell by the way they take care in putting in their roads to be able to get the trucks in for hauling the wood out.

There are some good pine logs coming off the property too.

 Right now the timber harvesting is at a standstill due to the weather.  12-15 inches of snow makes it where the logging operation stops.  This snow is not normal for us!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Alabama Treasure Forest Association

Last month I was selected to lead the Alabama Treasure Forest Association for the next year.  This is a great honor for me.  I never knew several years ago when I was teaching about Treasure Forest recognition to ninth graders in forestry class that one day I would get the opportunity to lead this great organization.  
Go to for more information.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Orange Butterfly Comparison

My daughter got the perfect picture of two orange butterflies that often get confused, the monarch butterfly and the gulf fritillary butterfly. 
These two posed perfect for the picture.  Top one is the monarch and the bottom one is the gulf fritillary.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thinning a Sixteen Year Old Stand



This is the goal of a first thinning of sixteen year old loblolly pines.  We are in the middle of this thin taking place right now.  This thin will help these trees to grow into a mature forest and the sunlight hitting the forest floor allows many new plants to grow that benefits wildlife.

This logging deck will become a wildlife opening.  This spot is just being prepare for the thinning to begin. It takes lots of room for an eighteen wheeler to turn around and get the trailer in place to load the logs.

As the timber is harvested we do everything possible to control erosion. The limbs and straw removed from the trees as the logs are prepared for loading onto the trucks are scattered on the logging trails.  This mulch here is about eight inches thick.  It will act as a sponge to release the water back into the soil.
This is a major project on our property at this time.

Friday, September 22, 2017


The lack of pollinators has become a concern nation wide but today our flowers are really being worked by the butterflies before cold weather sets in.  It is very peaceful watching them as the fanatically try to get all their work complete. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Great Announcement

This is just being announced now on that Georgia Pacific is about to spend $100 million on the old Talladega GP mill for a new lumber mill.  This will help stabilize and provide for jobs in Clay County, truck drivers, loggers, foresters and some my work at the lumber mill. This is great news for the private forest landowners in our area,  no more having to ship saw-logs over 90 miles! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Train Them Up Right

This young man attended the Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Meeting this past weekend in Birmingham.  It is so important that we introduce young ones to the forest if we want them to have and understanding about forest management.  This young man already claims his forest because he always says "My Bowden Grove" referring to our forestland.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Moths And Mushrooms

Moths have been busy laying eggs on Dewberry Lands and thank goodness we have been having some good late spring rains.  This is making the mushrooms sprout but it is exactly what we needed 
 since we had such a long drought in the fall that killed many trees in our area.  We were blessed just to loose a few.  We just hope it continues to rain through the summer and coming fall to give the stressed trees a boost.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Women's Walk In The Forest

We recently held "Walk in the Forest" for women on Dewberry Lands.  This is a great program that we do for women and they really enjoy it.  This program is a part of the American Tree Farm System under the American Forest Foundation.  A grant from the Alabama Forest Foundation helped make this event possible.  The Clay County Forestry Planning/ Treasure Forest Committee, and the Alabama (Clay County) Forestry Commission assisted with the program.  The ladies started out with a welcome by Felicia Dewberry, landowner, followed by a walk through the hardwood forest with a short presentation given by Leigh Peters, Director of the Alabama Tree Farm Program.  As the ladies came out of the hardwoods they observed a recent planting of Mountain Longleaf seedlings and looked over another tract of six year old longleaf trees that had a prescribed fire applied to them three times in the past six years.  From this hill top a beautiful view of the Appalachian Mountains could be seen.  Here, Gloria Nielsen, District Forester with the Talladega National Forest, talked to the ladies about the National Forest and opportunities for recreation in the forest.  
At this time the ladies boarded the van to travel to Ekun Dutse Ke Lodge for lunch and fellowship.  After the event each lady took home a gift for use on a future hike or picnic. 
This is a great program for women of all ages to get out and enjoy the forest.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happenings for Landowners

    Two events that are coming up in the very near future.  Both events look like they will be very informative to forest landowners.  The first one deals with "Why are all so many pines dying?" and the second on is about how prescribed fire helps wildlife on your property.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Early Spring

Spring is a time for jobs that have been waiting for hunting season to end and work that needs to be completed before the weather gets too warm. One of those jobs is painting and repainting boundary lines.  I have started painting but still have more to do.  I try to keep these lines painted to identify where our property is located and to make it easier for my family members to know where our property is located.  
It works!
My grandchildren see the blue paint on the trees when we are our enjoying the forest and say "Granddaddy this is our land".  It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when they know what the paint represents and that they have a sense of pride in the fact that this forest is theirs and they are to take care of and manage it. 

My oldest grandson is getting to the age where he can start doing little jobs to help with the management of our property.  He is learning to identify plants that grow on our property.  Last week I mentioned that the Red Buckeye was starting to leaf-out, it is one of the first plants in our area to put leaves out, and he wanted me to show him what it was.  He was already identifying every Red Maple we saw without leaves but by the flowers.  His Dad had shown him how to do that.  His Dad is an expert on plant ID.  As a child he was the top scorer in the Junior 4-H Forestry contest and in high school he was the top scorer in the FFA State Forestry contest.  
People talk about getting children out in the forest and away from electronics.  The best way to do this is by making them a part of the forest, taking an active roll in being outdoors.  Look for things they can do to help make the forest a better place.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thinning to Start Soon

We will be starting a thinning operation on a stand of sixteen year old loblolly pines.
First we have to get the roads ready for trucks to be able to haul equipment in and the logs out as the thinning process goes forth.

Fun in the Forest

We had a great time in the forest this weekend exploring a new parcel of property we have been blessed to purchase.  The Grandchildren had fun hiking, climbing trees, catching salamanders and frogs. 
Our youngest granddaughter is a daredevil.  "Who needs an amusement park when you have a forest?"

No better way to spend an early spring day than hiking in the woods!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2017 Tree Planting

We put in the fire breaks on our newest tract that we harvested the timber on in 2016.  This tract is being converted to native mountain longleaf pines.  It joins a six year old 40 acre tract of longleaf pines that we did a prescribed burn on in March of 2016.
After the breaks were put in we did a site prep prescribed burn.  The main litter to burn was the piles of logging slash left over from the harvest in 2016.  We had enough wind that we really got a better burn than we had anticipated.  
Some of the site had small piles of limbs and these areas burned very well.  As you can see this site will not be any trouble to plant now.  The Piedmont variety of longleaf pine seedlings will be used in this reforestation
On Valentine Day we planted this 15 acre tract with Mountain Longleaf Pines.  This will be a beautiful forest on day.  Looking forward to the rain we are supposed to get tonight which will settle these seedlings in for their growth through the years on this property.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cedar Fence

This past weekend my wife and I made a split rail cedar fence.  The wood came from a dead Eastern Red Cedar that fell when we did a prescribed burn on this tract for site prep and the planting of longleaf pine seedlings.

We split the logs using two wedges and a maul.  Lots of work but rewarding to be able to use the wood and not leave it on the ground until the next burn where it would be destroyed. 
We are going to landscape this entrance to our property.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cool Weekend

This weekend everything was frozen over on Dewberry Lands.  Temperature was in the single degrees and before the cold, was freezing rain.  Thank goodness the rain changed to sleet before the trees started to snap.  The weather made for a beautiful picture but the driving required a four-wheel drive to travel.