Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Walk to the Red Pine Grove

Our woodlot has a very pronounced red pine grove located near the center of the bush. The grove must have been hand planted since the trees are not planted in exact rows and yet they are nicely spaced apart. It is an interesting grove since many of the trees there are shaped like a Y. I am guessing it is because of porcupine damage killing the top of the tree, and leaders then growing out of the sides below the bark damage. I am assuming it is porcupine since some of the red pines located near the house have noticeable porcupine scars which also created leaders.

This renders the wood of the trees quite valueless from a commercial perspective, so I will be thinning this grove over time, besides red pine has to be thinned. If I leave it the way it is red pine will keep growing but become thinner and overtime will not be able to withstand high winds. We have had some incredible wind storms lately with 100 km/h winds.

Today we snowshoed to the grove, my wife, my 4 yr. old grandson and I. We have had quite a bit of snow this winter. The accumulated snow was knee deep ~ 60 cm. (2 feet) next to the trails and the snow shoe trail was packed down to half the depth of ~ 30 cm (1 foot).

Along the trail we came across a well used porcupine highway which is a 15 cm (6 in) deep track in the snow.