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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Stars of the Yankee Woodlot: Tin Smith

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | August 12, 2014

As you walk the loop trails in the Yankee Woodlot, check out our new interpretive signs! On each sign, you'll learn a little more about the Yankee Woodlot timber harvest project. Be sure to also check out these informational videos featuring some of the stars of the Yankee Woodlot project, which can be accessed using the QR codes found on each of the four signs on the trail. You can also view and read the transcripts for the videos below.

Making the Cut: Tin Smith, Stewardship Coordinator at the Wells Reserve

"We're in the Yankee Woodlot, which we are managing for timber production after this forest had grown up from a farm field. What we are looking for here as we come in to manage our trees is selecting the trees we want to keep for management for timber. We are looking for tall straight trunks, 17 to 24 feet tall, and we'll be trimming these branches off and giving them room to grow. Often that means looking around and seeing which trees are shading them and removing those trees to give the other trees the light they need to grow.

"We are not as concerned about selecting for a specific species. In fact, in this woodlot, we a re looking for a diversity of pine, oak, and birch that we want to grow in the future. That's mainly because we want any tree that's in good condition, and we can't predict what might happen in the future forest, such as insects and disease and storms, and also we can't predict timber markets in the future.

"Poor quality trees are removed, and we can use those for firewood, we can chip them or use them for pulp wood, or sometimes we can even leave them on the forest floor to provide nutrients to the soil and wildlife habitat.

"The trees we are looking to remove are such as this pine tree, which as you can see not only has thick lower branches but has multiple stems as well. A tree like that, even in the next 30 to 50 years, is still not going to produce high quality timber, so in the next harvest we will remove this tree.

"In this section of the woodlot, there are very few high quality trees. and as a result we removed a large number of them creating a large sunlight opening and allowing a new generation of seedlings to appear. We will let these seedlings compete for light for about 15 to 20 years, and then come in again and harvest.

"Our key management strategy is to come in and cut every 15 to 20 years, following the same principles of selecting the best trees and removing the poorer quality ones to give them sunlight to grow."

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