Sunday, March 15, 2009

Woodsy Wanderers

We took a little time this weekend to walk our wooded acreage. Every few weeks we walk our trails to make sure that they are clear of fallen trees and branches. Every 15 or so years our woods are harvested for the most mature trees...giving the younger saplings a chance to reach for precious sunlight...hopefully assuring the health of our forest. The treetops left behind become refuge for the local fauna and eventually make their way onto our wood pile. The beauty of this is the fact that we never have to chop a tree down for firewood. Between the leftover treetops and the fallen timber, we have a lifetime supply of firewood.


We were saddened to find several large Hemlock trees that had snapped in half from Winter wind storms. This particular tree trunk will be cut into segments to use as bases under our five new beehives. A friend told Hubbs that Eastern Hemlocks (Pa's State tree) are succumbing to some disease. This is quite alarming for us as a large part of our forest is comprised of these lovely conifers.

Addendum: Jack did a little research and it seems that the "disease" of hemlock trees is actually and infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a sap-sucking bug from East Asia. Apparently an infestation of this pest can wipe out a hemlock forest in short order, thereby changing the carbon cycle of that area. There is some experimentation with releasing a type of beetle from Japan that will eat the Adelgid. The use of biologicals is not without risk however......we always pay some price for "playing" with our ecosystems.

4 comments:

  1. What kind of wood do you burn there. We burn oak exclusivly. There's lots of pine but we never burn it.

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  2. We start our fires with pine, as it is quick to light. We plan to use our pine to burn...but only after it has aged on the woodpile for a few years. There are regions of the country that burn pine exclusively...due to its' availability. If you use pine for firewood, you must be a little more vigilant about regular chimney cleaning to prevent the build-up of creosote which can lead to chimney fires.

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  3. We also have oak, poplar, maple, cherry and walnut in our woods...so we have a good variety of firewood.

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  4. there was an article in the newspaper this week about the Adelgid and the fact that it is becoming seen more and more in this area..keep an eye on you Hemlocks

    ReplyDelete

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