By Amy Grotta and Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
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.
Continuing 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.
By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent for Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.
Dalarna County was the seat of a very old and important copper and iron mining industry, an early source of wealth and power for Sweden. We visted the Falun copper mine, active since the 10th century and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Why is that part of our forestry tour?
Forest products were a critical part of early mining industry, which needed massive amounts of charcoal and round wood to extract and process the metals. Forestlands near the mine were hard pressed to provide these products. The mine is also the birthplace of world’s oldest stock company, which eventually became large forest and paper corporation Stora Enso.
Over-exploitation of forest resources by the mid-16th century led to a series of perhaps the world’s oldest forest protection rules. In 1607 King Charles IX issued a ban on logging and charcoal production within a one-mile radius of the Falun mine (using the old Swedish mile, about 7 English miles). It was named the “Peace Mile” in hopes it would reduce disputes over unregulated charcoal production.
However it was not until 1754 that the surveyor Johan Brandberg finished measuring 112 points around the circumference of a the circle, marking each with stones.
See old and new maps of the circle drawn by Brandberg at:
Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties
A New Approach
Dalagård farm & forest retreat is a large working forest owned by Cecilia and Leif Öster. These first -generation landowners are developing an active silvo-trouism enterprise to diversify the farm’s income and promote its sustainability. Forest products and hunting leases are other significant income streams.