Growth Rings showing 1/2 inch growth per year
Growth of White Spruce
The Summer of 2011 was warm and wet. It was one of the best growing seasons we have had since we first began planting these trees. Growth rings on White Spruce showed almost 1/2 inch growth in diameter over the past four seasons (NOTE: multiply this by aprox. 80,000 to estimate total biomass production for this tree farm).

Over the past winter we have continued to prune up these evergreens and thin where they are already too crowded. We are knocking down any white pine that have been infected (totally) with blister rust and removing infected branches where the main tree still looks like it might recover (lesions and symptoms haven't reached the main trunk).

2012 I plan to spend a lot more time at the farm and in longer stretches. This will allow me to apply a more consistent effort to some troubling management areas and hopefully this added attention (quantity and quality) will pay dividends.

The primary areas of concern are:
  1. Area to the west of the homestead ("West 40") where trees have been planted multiple times but can't seem to compete with the grasses to get a start.
  2. Clear invading brush and undesirable trees from the woods to the west. Re-establish fire buffer between our woods and the neighbors.
  3. Continue removal of invasive trees and brush like box elder and buckthorn.
  4. Continue clearing underbrush from 'old windbreak' and promoting desired species - either planted naturally or by us. Knocking down areas where growth is thick and tall. Spot spray roundup on areas that have been previously knocked down to prevent re-growth. Much of this break had blown down and now the trees are rotting to a point where they don't prevent the use of a tractor with bucket and brush hog.
  5. Watch Eagle pair as they raise their young.
  6. Continue de-constructing old barn.
Nursery in March
March 2012 we began transplanting White Oak and Red Oak seedlings in the area west of the homestead. This is the 3d planting of much of this area (heavy sod and weeds have so far defeated our attempts at release). This year we will try using some heavy mulch to control weeds around the new seedlings.

The seedlings were raised from seed in my back yard in Madison. They were planted in the fall of 2009 in a screen covered raised bed that was filled with compost to make digging easier when it came time to transplant. I wanted to transplant these last spring but time didn't cooperate. The second summer of growth in that tight bed caused a lot of the plants to be crowded out. I probably lost half my trees but I still had 650 which is plenty for me to plant.
I dug 200 and brought them along on a short trip in March. This year March was so warm (record month) that they had already begun to break bud when I dug them. David, my nephew, and I dug them in the sod and mulched them with some of the rotting wood and shingles from the de-construction of the old barn. The soil had nice moisture so this went fairly fast.

Nursery in April

May 2012: Transplanting 500 remaining Red Oak and White Oak seedlings form personal nursery.

Last Updated:
May 9, 2012 7:15 AM
Webmaster: Stuart Baker
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