Saturday, January 23, 2010

Timber Cruising with Bill

I met Bill and Tina's mom at Bill's timber this morning. We spent a little over two hours with Steve reviewing each larger tree for defects or decay that would mean it should be harvested sooner rather than later. We saw lots of medium to large White Oaks and Shagbark Hickory trees, some nice Black Cherry and many large Red Oak trees. Tina's mom, Donna, joined us to interpret for us and get to spend a very enjoyable morning in the woods.

Steve showed us "cat faces" and how to tell Gray Elm from Red Elm. The Gray Elm has a distinctive white band in the cross-section of the bark while the Red Elm has a reddish-brown band nearest the sapwood. Bill marked several dead and dying trees for cutting in the fall. There are some very nice sized Red Oak, but the question is always "when" should they be cut. Most of the Red Oak's had frost cracks and various degrees of "starring" at the base of their trunks.

There were trails from horses pulling a sleigh or sled and lots of deer and squirrel tracks in the snow. The warm temps were a welcome change from the bitter cold January we've had so far. I can't wait to get out to my timber now and do some more cruising and TSI (timber stand improvement).