Trees

buckland

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Jul 26, 2011
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Location
New England
I'm a tree hugger ... I mean I love trees. I also am a woodworker and believe one can be both. I am not sure where I got this "fact" ... I have checked it with my forester and he agrees with the science. In my area (Northeast hardwood zone) the native Americans have advised that one can harvest one cord (128 Cu ft) of wood per acre forever. Sustainable harvesting without altering the health of the stand. That does mean not "taking the best and leaving the rest" logging; but selective cutting allowing for the different cycles in the forest when old trees die they open the space where their crown once was, bringing light to the forest floor. The younger saplings then use far less energy on fighting for light and more on developing their crown" Transitional zones. Standing dead also offer great habitat for birds. Wildlife in the NE woods require these three zones: Mature, Sapling and seedling. The animals that use these three zones all together make a healthy system.

For those who like to be in a forested area and like to listen to what is happening, my friends who hunt certainly are among these filks, experience a very special time. In Japan they call it what translates into "Forest bathing". Just sitting and listening. Here is a website that lets you listen to the sounds recorded in different forests around the world. Be sure to wear headphones to really enjoy it.


https://www.tree.fm
 
Thanks Rob.Growing up in eastern Pa we had lots of wooded areas to enjoy.
My first words as I exited the plane in Sept 1961 in LA was what did they do with all the trees?

I came west with joining the navy to ships stationed in the bay area and have come to
love the Sierras and out coastal forests.
Trees are great.
Frank
 
As a lifelong resident of central NC, where any patch of soil at least 3' X 3' will be a tree if left along for long enough (generally not less than a couple or three years), I can confirm the "one cord per year forever" rule of thumb. On our exact patch of ground, which has been in the family since the 1930s, our forester told my father in the 1970s that he could take out one mature oak or hickory per year off of our 1.25 acre lot "and never miss it". I feel sure that a mature white oak, red oak, or hickory will produce well over 1 cord of firewood.
 
Over the last 25 years I have harvested 7 cords a year off our 46 acre home lot to heat my home and wood shop. Mostly taking ash which has suffered from emerald ash borer. Sad to see but it is a great heat wood.
 
For me, trees have become a love/hate relationship. I truly do love trees, but I want a wide defensive space around my house that has no close trees. In 2007, one of my 100’ tall hemlock trees at our beach house neatly sliced my father’s house in half. At our then primary residence, a one acre lot, we were ringed on three sides by mature Doug fir on the south, and fast growing pine on the west and north. A total of around 10 fir and 40+ pine. As the pine matured, the annual load of dropped needles reached 4 to 6 inches in depth. They gave us beauty, privacy and shade, but also the hazards of falling fire, and pines that were extremely fire prone.

The catastrophic fires of Northern California and Southern Oregon had a significant impact on me. I have friends and family members who have lost their homes and possessions in these recent fires. One of our WTW members lost his home, heirloom tools, and pretty much everything but one truck and a camper.

So… I will always love trees for their beauty and their benefits, but never again do I want to be surrounded by trees in close proximity to my home.
 
Many years ago and old wildlife biologist (seems like it's always someone old :cautious:) told me you can always tell if an area is healthy or not by just stopping and listening! If you hear the happy chirp of birds and chatter of squirls in the trees you probably have a healthy area. It works out in the desert too, just try it next time you pull into a campground or you are out in the middle of nowhere, just stop and listen; after a while you will hear more than just the wind. Now that I am retired and have the time, and can follow my nose and use my ears, I can spend the whole day just listening-no human sounds-great, this must be the place! I should add as a further reality check in the West of today, just count the number of yellow bug killed trees in the area before you set up camp.

Smoke
 
I love trees too, just not on my rig!!
 

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Definitely not where a tree belongs. Condolences

If one has not experienced being in deep woods at twilight or pre dawn, maybe with a light rain, and heard a wood thrush sing, one has not lived. The wood thrush’s song fills the woods with incredibly intricate sounds, haunting.
 
Forgot to mention... ya I too have had trees come through the roof in the barn and I spend a good amount of time chainsawing to get out from ice-storms and hurricanes. I could publish a coffee table tree disaster book after we lost 100's of trees from a horrific ice storm. I have three humongous 80 tall dead Ash within striking distance from the house I have to deal with this year.
But.
Besides how they can be an "inconvenience' ... they are incredible. They are working on building sky scrapers and Japan wooden satellites! But without trees there would not be so many species of birds and animals.

Here is the human logic I have trouble with... I see an article about a species doing what it does to live and all is fine if it doesn't bother humans (actually I can't think of one of those) .... Like "shark infested waters" sharks live in water so how can they be infested? I surely can say about a lot of places I've been where the truth was "human infested"....

BUT I've gone off on a rant. I just love being deep in a forest listening to the sounds coming in and hope to heaven we appreciate it enough to not infest it, but visit it, protect it from ourselves. "I have seen the enemy and it is us".
 
As we wash the daily coatings of tree sap off and/or oak tags off of our vehicles, or move the tons of leaves off of our minimal lawn area annually, we always say "our trees giveth and they taketh away". For now, everything we have survived Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Hurricane Fran in 1996, and a goodly number of tropical storms and straight line winds derechos since 1996, so due to the shade the closest to the house provide (no direct sun on the roof but for around 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm daily in mid-summer), the benefit is worth the risk.

Now, the large white oak which fell on my shed located on the family owned vacant lot behind my house on a windless night in early December was hollow, a condition which may or may not presently affect those close to the house, but I'm ok with just rolling the dice. These things tend to topple fairly gently when pushed over by wind as opposed to collapse when hollow or struck by lightning, etc.

I wish I had the gumption and wherewithal to construct a haystack sized compost heap with black plastic water line coiled through it in order to provide months of hot water for home heating and domestic hot water needs a la The Mother Earth News from back in the early to mid 1980s. We sure have the leaves for it! Would just need a couple of tons of manure to get it going.
 
buckland said:
Here is the human logic I have trouble with... I see an article about a species doing what it does to live and all is fine if it doesn't bother humans (actually I can't think of one of those) .... Like "shark infested waters" sharks live in water so how can they be infested? I surely can say about a lot of places I've been where the truth was "human infested"....
Yup. I have been flabbergasted more than once when trying to explain the process of ecological succession to someone who is actually being paid for their botanical expertise. The boundaries for where a particular tree will grow is the same as the boundary of suitable conditions so how, exactly, can a tree be "encroaching" and what are they "encroaching" on? Yet this is one of the reasons I have been given repeatedly to attempt to justify the decimation of square mile after square mile after square mile of pinyon/juniper forest.
 
Yup +1. Humans like stasis. In their lifetime things the way they consider 'normal' .... thing is life does not work nor even earth, like that. As my dad used to say " the only change you can expect not to happen is from a vending machine". Boundaries are fluid for plants and animals. Here is the northern woodlands I have been seeing species of birds and animals I have never seen here before. Our climate is warming. Ticks, Opossum, Cardinals and plants too. Our landscape here was once completely forested, then 200 years ago they cut down 90% for agriculture. Now it is 80% forest again. It is sad to see what one had loved about an area change rapidly but it would seem change is happening of late in exponential terms rather than a nice gradual slope. Folks on coastal areas are in for a real rude awakening in the next 25 years. Grandchildren of this current generation will be looking at a very different world.
 

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