Saturday, April 16, 2005

Workshop on Conifer Plantation Management

April 16, 2005

The Ministry of Natural Resources through the Ottawa Stewardship Co-ordinator put on this one-day workshop at the Fred Barrett Arena in Gloucester Ward. The City of Ottawa Municipality also sponsored the event. It was a good opportunity to meet some local woodlot owners or persons interested in woodlot management. Through casual contacts I was made aware of an interesting supplier of machinery that might ideally suite my scale of operation.

This workshop covered many of the basics of woodlot management, and like any event there is always something new to be learnt.

The programme ran from 8:30 to 15:00 hrs:
1. Introduction to Plantation Management – Gleaned titbits; the bible of silviculture management is available from entitled: Silviculture Guide to Managing Ontario Forests for a very reasonable $25.00. The Ontario Woodland Improvement Act or WIA operated from 1967 to 1995. Our property was planted through that program in 1973. The first thinning should occur in 25 to 30 years. Thereafter subsequent thinnings are to occur every 8 to 10 years. It is proposed that every fourth row be removed and every 5 or 6th tree in adjacent rows.

2. Forest Operations – Titbits; when hauling trees out to minimise collateral tree damage, cut trees to 16 feet (4.88 M.) before hauling them out that is don’t pull out full-length trees.

3. Timber Sales and Marketing – Titbits; there are three types of tree sales: Stumpage, Roadside, and Delivered. Stumpage is the sale of the uncut tree; for Roadside the trees are stacked ready for pickup by the buyer; and then Delivered means the transaction is at the sawmill. Stumpage is usually priced per unit or at a lump sum. As good fences make good neighbours, good contracts make good friends.

4. Biodiversity and Wildlife Values – Human impact will reduce more species in the next 25 years than natural selection during the last million years. To encourage biodiversity thin plantations near hardwoods first.

5. Field visit by bus: conifer plantations to be thinned and/or recently thinned) Visited three plantations in various states of management.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

American Woodcock on Soggy Ground

Last weekend there were patches of bare earth peaking out through the snow. This weekend we have a few patches of snow remaining on bare earth. The last 24 hours we have had a very intense rainfall estimated around 2.5 cm (1. In.) in a day and this deluge has contributed considerably to the disappearance of the snow.

In my short walk today I flushed out an American Woodcock, [Philohela (1) minor (old scientific name) Scolopax (2) minor] a very orangy-brown coloured bird in flight. It was interesting to flush out something other than the usual ruffed grouse. The ground was quite soggy everywhere throughout the forest floor other than those few patches where there was still some ice and snow on the ground. The streams are all overflowing. The fields in the adjacent lots are completely flooded in many cases. For example one field west of here in the next concession, is a solid lake. The Canada geese will come down into these fields for a stopover. At night you can hear the cacophony of honkers. There are also several small coveys of pintail ducks.

1. Field Guide to the Birds, Roger Tory Peterson, 1947 and Birds of North America, Robbins, Bruun and Zim. 1966.

2. and other current webpages.