Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

 

I was given Norwegian Wood this summer. No, not the Beatles’ famous 1965 single about a John Lennon romance.  The gift is a book about the Scandinavian romance with firewood.  Its full title is “Norwegian Wood: chopping, stacking and drying wood the Scandinavian way” (by Lars Mytting).  I loved it.  I would probably hesitate to admit that to most people, but Tree Topics and Compass readers are not most people.  You are wood people and will understand.  dscn5054

Norwegian Wood is an embrace of all things firewood. It delves into the historic Scandinavian reliance on wood to heat hearth and home when having enough wood on hand (at far northern latitudes) was a matter of life and death.  That dependence seems to still shape the collective Scandinavian psyche.  People there respect wood.

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By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

Happy fall!
Happy fall!

For the fourth installment in our series on native shrubs that are beneficial to wildlife, I’ve chosen one that appropriate to the season, provides some nice fall color to our forests.  Now I’ve met more than a few woodland owners who are not fans of vine maple; it’s not a favorite of those who prefer a tidy or parklike forest. Working or wandering in mature forests you’ve probably tripped over it or crawled under it and possibly cursed it under your breath.  Nevertheless, vine maple is another of those “brush” species that benefits wildlife in numerous ways. With some tolerance for its rambling ways you can find a place for this species to provide that service on your woodland in concert with your other land management goals.  If you are interested in enhancing wildlife habitat on your property, read on for our species profile.

Species name: Vine maple (Acer circinatum)
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By Amy Grotta and Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Group mortality of Douglas-fir in May 2015.  Douglas-fir beetle was found in all these trees.  Photo Kara Shaw
Group mortality of Douglas-fir in May 2015. Douglas-fir beetle was found in all these trees. Photo Kara Shaw

We have certainly experienced some significant drought conditions lately.  Stressed and dying trees are showing up all around the Willamette Valley, with concern that this could lead to beetle outbreaks and still more trees killed.  Is it time to throw in the towel, cut your losses (so to speak) and just salvage everything that is looking poorly?  Maybe, maybe not.  The decision needs to be considered carefully, weighing individual sites and stand conditions along with your objectives for your property.  Anybody considering a salvage harvest needs to look before they leap. Continue reading

Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

DSCN3241Continuing on the general theme of young stand management and especially the need for thinning, I’d like to look at strategies for thinning a young stand. Let’s start with some things to keep in mind about Young Stand Thinning or YST (also called precommercial thinning or PCT):

  • The idea of young stand thinning (YST) is to avoid harmful overcrowding later by removing excess trees early on.
  • The impact of thinning out a tree is very local. The overall stocking level (trees per acre) can be misleading. It is the spacing among immediate neighbors that counts.
  • The greatest benefit of YST is increased growing space rather than selection among trees. Creating more growing space to benefit as many leave trees as possible is the primary goal. Culling is secondary.
  • YST is key to achieving longer rotations and many non-timber objectives many family forest landowners desire.

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By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

oceanspray floweringIf one of your land management goals is to provide wildlife habitat, you’ll want to consider keeping a mix of native shrub species on your property. Shrubs provide a host of services to wildlife, including shelter or cover, nesting space, and food from their twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruit. With thought given to species selection and location, retaining existing shrubs or planting them can benefit wildlife without compromising timber growth or forest operations. This is the third article in our Shrubs for Wildlife series (see others here and here). Each article highlights one species that benefits wildlife in northwest Oregon forests.

Species Name: Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)

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Stephen Fitzgerald flagging a stake found on the presumed property line
Stephen Fitzgerald flagging a stake found on the presumed property line

By Stephen Fitzgerald, OSU Research Forests Director and Extension Silviculture Specialist, and Amy Grotta, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

Management activities are underway at the Rubie P. Matteson Demonstration Forest near Hagg Lake. As any new property owner can attest, the first year of property management entails a mix of addressing immediate needs and thinking about longer-term goals and plans.  This year, our activities are focused on mapping, inventory and rehabilitation as well as readying the property for public use. Below is a summary of recent and ongoing projects on the forest. Continue reading

By Brandy Saffell and Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Snowberry leaves and fruit in the fall
Snowberry leaves and fruit in the fall. Photo: Pat Breen, OSU

If one of your land management goals is to provide wildlife habitat, you’ll want to consider keeping a mix of native shrub species on your property. Shrubs provide a host of services to wildlife, including shelter or cover, nesting space, and food from their twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruit. With thought given to species selection and location, retaining existing shrubs or planting them can benefit wildlife without compromising timber growth or forest operations. This is the second article in our Shrubs for Wildlife series (first is here). Each article will highlight one species that benefits wildlife in northwest Oregon forests.

Species Name: Common snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus Continue reading

Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

 

Our final days of the tour included meetings with the local landowners’ cooperative in Telemark County and visits to two specialty sawmills.

The Tinnoset sawmill specializes in shaping large logs for traditional style log homes. Most are sold to builders, but they do some custom building on site too.

Nearly completed home on site.
Nearly completed home on site.
Harald explaining the building process.
Harald explaining the building process.

 

 Getting a closer look at construction details.

Getting a closer look at construction details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Svenneby family sawmill has been working with leading architects and looking for less traditional uses of wood, including many exotic (USA) species. We lucked into a presentation by nationally acclaimed architect Einar Jarmund who talked about the expanding role and popularity of wood in both commercial and residential buildings in Norway and showed a number of projects done by his firm  ( http://www.jva.no/ ) using materials developed and delivered by the Svenneby mill.

 

Turid Svenneby discusses weathering of oiled oak siding with trour member Claude Rowley.
Turid Svenneby discusses weathering of oiled oak siding with tour member Claude Rowley.
The Svenneby mill and farm is yet another example of a multi generation, multi-enterprise business.
The Svenneby mill and farm is yet another example of a multi generation, multi-enterprise business. Next to Kirk (ID) are Thorvald, Turid and Ole Svenneby.

 

 

 

 

We could not help but noticing how common and prominently wood was being used in Norway, and particularly as architectural and visual elements around Oslo.  Why does wood seem less used, less celebrated here?

 

A building on the Oslo waterfront are sided with wood prepared by the Svenneby mill.
A building on the Oslo waterfront area sided with wood prepared by the Svenneby mill.
Another, renovated building on the waterfront.
Another, renovated building on the waterfront.

 

 

 

Large wood laminated structural elements visible in the airport.
Large wood laminated structural elements visible in the airport.

 

Smaller wood furnishing and finish elements abound in the airport
Smaller wood furnishing and finish elements abound in the airport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brad Withrow-Robinson. OSU Forestry & Natural Resources agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

In the fjord regions of Norway, both forestry and farming are limited to the area between the rock and the water.   The bottom of the valley is farmed, and the narrow toes of the valley walls are forested. Many communities were not connected by roads until the 1920s.  It is beautiful country, but it strikes me as a beautiful place to starve. It is not hard to see why so many people left for America in the late 19th Century.  Those who stayed looked for alternative sources of income to supplement farm incomes/earnings.

Looking up valley and seeing patches of spruce and pine on lower slopes of valley wall.
Looking up valley and seeing patches of spruce and pine on lower slopes of valley wall.

 

Local County Forester Rune K. discussing management of Spruce in the Valley.
Local County Forester Rune K. discussing management of Spruce in the Valley.

 

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Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural resources Extension.

 

One of our visits was to a cooperative forest jointly owned by about a dozen families from Bengtshedens village. The Mellanskog landowner cooperative also has a significant share of ownership.

One of our visits was to a cooperative forest jointly owned by about a dozen families from Bengtshedens village. The Mellanskog landowner cooperative also has a significant share of ownership. We were greeted on arrival by two family owners with coffee and cinnamon rolls before touring the forest.
We were greeted on arrival by two of the family owners with coffee and cinnamon rolls before touring the forest.

 

Mellanskog Forester Lars Eric explaining management practices such as regeneration, thinning and fertilization in a 100-year-old stand of Scotts pine.
Mellanskog Forester Lars Eric explaining management practices such as regeneration, thinning and fertilization in a 100-year-old stand of Scotts pine.

 

 

 

We visited the Log Max factory in Grangarde, innovative producers of logging processing heads.
We visited the Log Max factory in Grangarde, innovative producers of logging processing heads.
Our group observing Log Max and Eco Log equipment in their native habitat of central Sweden.
Our group observing Log Max and Eco Log equipment in their native habitat of central Sweden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regeneration of pine with seed tree cuts is common in Sweden and Norway.
Regeneration of pine with seed tree cuts is common in Sweden and Norway.