Monday, June 2, 2014

2014 Timber Tour at Moore Memorial Woods

Wildlife/Forestry specialist Travis Smith led an hour long hike through Moore Woods, showing some of the various stands.  There is an area that was clear cut 25-30 years ago where GSWCD staff and ODNR service forester have been doing crop tree release demonstrations and taking measurements on selected trees.  
There is another area that was clear cut in the recent harvest, and people were interested to see how quickly the oaks are regenerating in that area.  They also took a look at the reclaimed logging roads to see how reseeding and adding in water bars help to control erosion.
Although it threatened storms all afternoon, they went north of the woods, and the hike and presentations in the pavilion were dry and  thankfully lightning free.  
After the hike, the group came back to the pavilion and 4 experts in their fields spoke to the crowd and answered questions.  In the rear in bright blue shirt is Jim McKinney, who has been contracted by the district to do TSI - timber stand improvement work in the woods.  Before the harvest, he cut many grapevines that were growing in the trees, breaking out branches and making it dangerous for the loggers to cut trees.  He also cut and treated the few Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven) trees that are popping up in the woods.  These trees are an invasive species, and can take over large areas of the woods if given a chance.  They are a fast growing, soft wood tree that has little or no timber value.   The female trees produce large amounts of seeds, blanketing an area with seedlings that quickly outgrow and choke out native trees that are valuable for timber and for wildlife mast, such as oaks.

Standing in the light colored hat is Jeremy Scherf, ODNR Service Forester for Guernsey(and surrounding) counties.  Jeremy provided information on how he works with landowners to help them manage their woods.  His goal is to help form a plan for what you want from your woods - timber, wildlife habitat, recreation, etc., and then will work with you to reach those goals.

Seated in the front is Koral Clum, and beside her in the white shirt is her husband, Randy.  The Clums are retired ODNR Service Foresters, and now have a business in forestry consulting.  The Clums were hired by the board of the GSWCD to mark the trees for harvest, figure board feet and put out the trees for bids, and then managed the sale and oversee the subsequent harvest of the trees.  Koral explained to the crowd how a forestry consultant works, and the benefits they provide.   
The crowd listening as Koral Clum speaks.

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