Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

Get Them Outdoors

It is so important that we listen to our grandchildren.  When they say they want to go hunting, hiking, or what ever reason they want to be outside we as adults need to oblige.  This weekend my youngest granddaughter wanted to go hunting with granddaddy.  Her older brother was going also but to a different stand.  We had to look for camo and orange hats for the outing.  We watched the sunrise and different birds in the field and she did get to see a doe.
She had a great time!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Forest Enterprises

We were at the Alabama Landowner Conference in Prattville and there, we were able to go on a tour of two Tree Farms.  One of the farms is now baling longleaf pine straw and doing well with this product.  We got to see the results of several years getting his land ready to make this operation a success.
He bales a twenty pound bail that he sells to retail outlets that sell to homeowners.

His straw is very clean and he gets a premium for his straw. 

He uses this piece of equipment to rake the straw for baling.

This is the baler he uses in his operation.
It was a great tour seeing what some forest owners are doing with their property.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Teacher Conservation Workshop

My wife, Felicia, recently spoke to a group of teachers at Auburn University.  She spoke about private forestland owners and how their forest management benefits all of us.  She shared how our forest help clean the air and most all the drinking water in our state comes down in a forest.  Felicia also shared how we use our property to educate others and how she has sponsored women's events to get more ladies involved in managing their property.   
This was the Teachers Conservation Workshop sponsored by Alabama Forestry Association.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hot Summertime Weather

Planted chufa in this field for the wild turkeys.  They love the tubers these plants produce.

This is one of our largest fields where we plan sunn hemp for a summer planting.  This crop will be a high protein food available for the lactating does by the end of July as the fawns start to drop.

The first we planted has germinated and it just needs some of those summer showers.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Longleaf: An Amazing Tree

The mountain longleaf is a tree that I would call a survivor.  It has always amazed me at how these trees can grow on top of a rock.  I made this picture a few weeks back along an old road bed while turkey hunting in the Talladega National Forest.  Notice how the butt of the tree has spread out to support this tree that is near 100 foot in height. The roots just twist and turn to force themselves down through the rock.  
As a two year old tree we use prescribed fire in a stand to help in the growth of these trees.  They can survive fire and they thrive with fire.  These trees have evolved into a species that nature has prepared for the environment they live in.  
Their history is a great story to learn!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

If Stumps Could Talk

I made a picture this morning while turkey hunting in the National Forest of  an old longleaf pine stump.  You could see ax marks on the stump but it was finally cut down with a crosscut saw.  You might ask, "How do I know it was with a crosscut saw?"  You can always tell  by the height of the stump.
I wonder where the lumber from this stump went to?  Is the building it was used for still standing?  Did the wood stay in Alabama or did it go up north like so much of the longleaf pine lumber?  What year was it cut?  How did they get the wood off of this steep mountain?
This stump is a testament to the quality of the wood in a longleaf pine. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wildlife And Longleaf

We have pine straw on the ground in much of the 75 acres of loblolly pines that have been thinned but we have a need for more open areas for wildlife habitat.  Yesterday we pushed two different spots for giving wildlife more food, not just pine straw. 

On the north side of our property, at the same time we were clearing wildlife openings, we had fire lanes pushed and then burned 15 acres of two year old longleaf pines.  

Tree Farm NLC 2019

Had many very informative meetings at the Tree Farm National Leadership Conference last week in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Chief of the Us Forest Service. Vicki Christiansen, Spoke to us about partnerships with the Forest Service.

Tom Martin, Director and CEO of the American Forest Foundation, talked about the direction the foundation is heading and what it means to Tree Farm

One of our friends from Alabama, Chris Erwin, Director of ATFS & Southern Woodland Conservation gave us an update on what is going on with the American Tree Farm System.

We stayed at the Historic Brown Hotel and was able to visit many of the historic sights near the hotel like the Louisville Slugger Museum  and Factory.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Longleaf Forest

40 more acres in the hills of Alabama has been converted back to the native longleaf pines.  The elevation these longleaf are being planted on is about 1370 feet, much different than the Coastal Plains longleaf.  This tract had one of the native trees growing on it and was not harvested.  The tree has a 12" diameter and was left as a testament to the trees native range. 

These men are the best at what they do.  I enjoy trying to communicate with them while we are planting.  Two men in this crew planted trees for me two years ago.  They were excited to see how the trees had grown that they had planted and it gave them motivation to do a good job planting.  Most of the time they never get to see the results of their hard work because they move on to a different location and never see what a site looks like later.   
In the back ground you can see the highest point in Alabama. 

These, over 20,000 seedlings, are off to a good start with all of the rain we have been having.  They will on day make a beautiful forest where their needles will make a special music that no other pine makes when blowing in the breeze. With fire going through these every two or three years it will become a place frequented by wildlife because of the great habitat these trees provide with good management.