A Walk In The Pines
July 23, 2012, 4:59 pm
Filed under: July 2012

Our white pine plantation

                                                        July 23, 2012

     We have a few small white pine tree plantations on our farm. They were planted in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. They were planted in rows by a machine coordinated with the Soil and Water Service. I think the government expected our hardwood forests to be waning, so by planting the white pine seedlings, a landowner would profit from the mature trees.

     The idea sounded good, but most people only gave up a small portion of their land to try the idea out. Most, like this farm’s former owner, took a “wait and see” approach. Some folks went whole hog on the idea, because the government agencies were to build and secure a market for the growing softwood lumber.

     The market never came. Most plantations were neglected so the trees didn’t grow the best lumber either. Many plantations, like ours, were not thinned or groomed in any way. The trees are too close together and actually short to boot.

     They have almost no commercial value…. BUT, if you need building material, they are like a savings bank. I am picking out a few crowded ones to cull and salvage. I am planning an addition to our pig barn, so the native lumber will work fine for that project.

    I will drop the trees, trim them and haul them to a loading area with the horses. A friend of mine with a small sawmill will cut the logs into the lumber I need. Any boards that are left over, will just be stacked and saved for another project. The softwood will dry and still take a nail many years from now.

     I have selected a few trees that need to come down. Some are shading other trees. One has a big “first” log, then quickly turns into three small limbs for a top. The first log will be long enough to become the ridge board for the addition. It will also provide some 2″x4″ and some siding boards too.

     The holes in the forest canopy will soon be filled by other nearby trees. Some of those trees are other white pines that are craving space and sunlight. I will only use 5 trees and one that got blown down by a storm. The rest will be left to grow in our woodlot savings bank 😮


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