NSWOOA Update 21: February 2009

The photo above shows forester Patricia Amero in a stand of hemlocks, pines and Yellow birch that are more than 120 years old. The photo is from Patricia's new blog, where she will be talking about uneven-aged management. Her latest contribution to the NSWOOA Update is in this issue.

In this issue:
Details on the Annual General Meeting
A membership privilege
Restoration of the Acadian Forest has been published
Membership renewals
Magazine subscription renewals
Are you interested in joining the NSWOOA board?
A note of condolence
UAM notes: Management plans part 2
Protecting seedlings from browse
A new blogger
How to get in touch with us

Hello Woodlot Owners!

Are You A Car Owner?

By Paul Brison, Editor

Do you own a car or are you a car owner? What is the difference? Well if you own a car, you possess an automobile (small truck?) as a matter of owning a means of transportation. Many of us live in the country, and with no public transportation, owning a car is a practical, even utilitarian decision. Certainly buying and operating a car is a cost, and not an investment! The owner hardly sees the vehicle, and is almost oblivious to it. So long as it is there and works, it is not an influence upon your life.

On the other hand, a car owner is a different type of person. A car owner regularly washes and waxes his car. He or she takes a great deal of pride in this machine, and fusses over it, nurses it along. He or she maintains said auto, vacuums it faithfully. Oil is changed more frequently than the manufacturers recommend, and the owner buys and reads car magazines. These owners enjoy their cars, and are proud of the time and care they invest. There is a reward and pride in this. In some cases being a car owner is becomes part of the individual's identity, status and image.

Recently a friend explained that someone he knew owned a woodlot, but had never become a woodlot owner. It took some thinking to get the meaning of his statement, and like the minister doing a sermon, this discussion is probably a matter of preaching to the converted. For some, as long as the woodlot is there for some firewood, or emergency cash, it is out of sight and out of mind. Others fuss over their lots, investing time and care on the woodlots, planting, pruning, learning about its needs and rewards.

So, do you own a woodlot or are you a woodlot owner?

Notice of Meeting: Annual General Meeting

We want everyone to attend!

Place: United Church Hall, Old Barns. Take Rte. 236 South from Truro 7 Km.
When: Saturday April 18, 9:00-3:30
Who: Members, prospective members, guests
Registration cost: Members $10, Guests $20 (Meal is covered in costs.)
· Review of NSWOOA Forest Management Policy
· Biomass
· Viewing of Eastern Shore Forest Watch's "Honour in the Woods"
· Ecosystem-based management
· Silviculture funding options

A Membership Privilege/Perk

All members have the opportunity, free of charge, to set up a small table-top display of products, to circulate business cards and to distribute pamphlets for their woodlot businesses at the Annual General Meeting.

New this year is the opportunity for members to advertise machinery, equipment or product wanted or for sale. Bring a brief announcement for the buy-and-sell bulletin board.

Restoration of the Acadian Forest

Jamie Simpson has good news about the publication of his book Restoring the Acadian Forest. The book is now published! Contact Jamie at bocabec@gmail.com

Membership Renewals

NSWOOA memberships are for the calendar year. If you have not yet renewed, now is the time. The amount is $30 and the address is P.O. Box 823, Truro N.S., B2N 5G6. Renewals can be paid at the AGM if you are attending.

Please make sure that we always have a current email address--even a neighbour's or relative's—for you so that we can insure you get copies of our Update newsletter. Also advise us of changes of address, phone, etc.

We are also accepting new memberships at this time. Please be sure to include Canada Post address, phone number, location of woodlot, email, etc. The membership application form can be downloaded here. And please recruit your woodlot-owner neighbours.

Magazine Subscription Renewal

NSWOOA members have the opportunity to renew their Atlantic Forestry Review subscriptions for one year through the Association by sending in the $15 annual subscription price with their membership renewals. Important: All subscriptions through the NSWOOA begin immediately after the AGM in April. We do not offer subscriptions after this date.

Wanted: A Few Good Men and Women

New Directors of the NSWOOA are actively being sought. If you are interested, please contact us via the email address, and come to the AGM prepared to join up. We need directors with computer skills, promotions experience and management skills, etc.

A Note of Condolence

The Board and Members of the NSWOOA extend sympathies to Mr. Lorne Burrows, President of the NSWOOA, on the recent death of his twin brother, the Reverend Lloyd Burrows.

UAM Notes: Management Plans Part 2

By Patricia Amero, RPF

In the last NSWOOA Update I explained why woodlot owners benefit from having management plans. In this issue, I discuss how management plans are developed, what they contain, and what they cost.

How is a management plan developed?

Four main steps are usually required to complete a management plan for a woodlot owner:
· Understand the woodlot owner's short- and long-term goals and objectives.
· Obtain and interpret aerial photos to delineate stands and determine the number of stands to assess. Use contour maps and ecological classification maps to help determine forest stands.
· Conduct the forest inventory via a field cruise (assessment) of each stand. The forest inventory describes each stand in terms of species composition, age, number of age classes, height, density, vigor, growing conditions, wood product volumes, potential, and so on. The inventory also describes terrain and soil characteristics, soil drainage, number of watercourses and seepages, land capability, environmentally sensitive areas, windfall risk, access, and usually boundary line conditions.
· Develop the final woodlot map, calculating stand areas and wood product volumes for each stand and for the entire woodlot.
· Write the plan, including both descriptive and prescriptive information.
· Have the woodlot owner review the plan and then discuss it one on one.

What does a management plan contain?

Forest managers combine the information collected in a forest inventory with knowledge of your values, experience, and needs to complete the forest management plan. We:
· identify priority areas for treatment (where to focus efforts first);
· recommend appropriate harvesting and silviculture activities, including techniques that aim to reach your objectives;
· recommend methods of harvest and extraction; timing of activity, access, and operating considerations that aim to limit ground disturbance to ensure long-term productivity and ensure ecosystem health;
· indicate stands/areas and treatments that are eligible for silviculture funding; and
· identify areas suitable for recreation activities such as trails, camp sites, and rest stops.

How much does a management plan cost?

The cost of a management plan depends on amount of detail desired, management objectives, acreage and amount of productive land, the variability of stands, and the number of stands to assess. The cost of a management plan for a 100-acre woodlot that is mostly productive with a variety of stands might be in the range of $750 to $2,000. Although a management plan can be considered a significant investment, woodlot owners often find that the benefits are worthy more than the costs.

Question and Two Answers: Protecting Seedlings from Browse

Question: For Update 21, I wonder if you could solicit some opinion from our members on the use of tree shelters and tree protectors for planting seedlings. I am planning to plant out newly sprouted red oaks, walnuts, chestnuts this season. There are several different variants of shelters on the market made from different materials. The basic design for the ones I've been looking at are ventilated tubes (rigid, fabric, mesh) 4 or 5 feet long that are either removable or photodegradable. I wonder if any Nova Scotian woods-folks have any experience using these and if there are any kinds that would be recommended and if anyone is producing these in the Maritimes or in New England.

S.N. Warren

Answer #1: What I do is buy page wire cattle/sheep fence at about 42-26" high with smaller openings at the bottom than the top. I try for a protector about 30-36" in diameter, which is 17 squares in my present roll. So you cut that piece off and it naturally curls up and then you connect the ends and have your "tree fence", I call them. If the diameter is larger, I think you're wasting fence, smaller and the deer reach in when the leader or tree top clears it and they nip off that terminal. If you're going to transport any number of "fences" to the woods, leave them "in the flat", they're easier to carry that way. Form them up at the planting site.

Then you need two fence posts about 5-5.5' long. I sap peel mine and don't use too large a diameter, 3"-4" is good as they're easier to drive in. We have a lot of young hemlock here that needs thinning and it lasts longer in the ground. Also good is larch and black spruce. White spruce will do if you have lots of it and want a use for it. Balsam fir will rot "while you're in eating your lunch", I've been told. A friend uses electric-wire posts, which are metal, reusable and very long lasting, but I don't know their cost.I put them on the east/west sides, 180 degrees apart, and use 2 fence steeples per post. Posts on the inside of the wire, easier to drive/remove steeples. For added protection around the bottom you could wrap chicken wire (2' height should be good) to keep the hare out, but that would be "gold plating" it.

Sound like a lot of work? It is! But it's only just begun. You should monitor these fences yearly (or more often). Sometimes I remove the steeples, turn the fence over to put the smaller openings at the top and lift it off the ground a bit to make it too high for the deer to reach in and nip off the top. 4-5' tubes will still be susceptible to deer browse. The wider diameter of my fences will help keep them back, but as they say, "the best laid plans of mice and men...". The straightest white ash (naturally seeded) I ever saw was protected thusly until about 7' tall and I removed the fence, rather smugly as I recall. The next fall a Whitetail buck rubbed that little beauty with his antlers and may have killed it. But I still do the work, at least that ash was still straight when rubbed.

These wire fences could be used for decades or longer so the initial expense is it. I think 330' was $170.00 in Spring 2008. That's about 35 fences(3' diameter) at about $5 each. Forget to remove and the tree is 15' tall? Just untie or cut the wire and reuse. I put orange winter flagging on my fences so I can see them when I walk about and take a look at how they're doing.

Old fence may be available for the taking down and using. Most of mine were made from old stuff found when we moved to our farm. It's of varying quality and was experimented with to come up with the desired diameter. I'll probably re-work some of it, but checking the store room of the local Co-op shows some different types and was educational in itself. And they have green colored that looks so good in the woods!

Anyway that's one man's version of too much work, but it feels like a necessary thing as the deer and hare populations are pretty good. If you go with the tubes get the tallest ones. Would be good if you did, then you could tell us about it!

Tom Miller, Past President NSWOOA

Answer #2: As a member of NSWOOA and as a biologist who perceives trees to be valuable wildlife habitat as well as an integral component of forest ecosystems, I began converting a pioneer forest that had grown in on 56 acres of abandoned pastures and former treed swamp back to more long-lived Acadian forest species in 1975. After planting my first oaks, yellow birches, pines, hemlocks and walnuts it quickly it became evident that about all I was doing was feeding snowshoe hares (rabbits), deer, porcupines, and, in the case of black ash, muskrats who were naturally programmed to have these items on their menu.

I investigated tubes. Use mouse guard-type tubes on young orchard trees. On at first snow in the fall and off at snow melt in spring is the rule there. I looked into grow tubes for trees years ago, checked with some folks that used them, and subsequently avoided them. I must say there may be new ones on the market that perform better. The inherent danger with grow tubes is the greenhouse effect they create inside. Cold realities can strike hard when the young trees finally the top their container. And anything must be well-staked against the violent winds we get or the tubes/wire will topple with the tree inside.

Instead, I opted for 1" x 36" x 50' rolls of poultry netting cut to fit around appropriately spaced electric fencing stakes. I use 3 or 4 electric fence stakes around each tree, depending on the tree size and configuration. The three feet height lets you reach in to tend the young tree, weed and so on. This setup works well except when there are high mouse populations under the snow and then they do not stop girdling. And the present situation is that the snow is about three feet deep in the woods. But I've found this approach to be generally successful and over 34 years have recycled a great number of electric fence stakes and wire to new trees. The stakes and wire can serve their purpose many times.

Electric fence stakes are configured in such a manner that they can pin the wire down on the ground. It cannot be lifted up by most wild animals. These stakes currently cost about $1.20 each. I usually get a better deal by buying in bulk.

Where beaver are a consideration, one has to use heavier material. I use roles of 4' high, 1" welded wire mesh stapled to an existing tree, or held by 7' rebar into the ground so that the young trees do not tip over with their container in heavy winds. This 1" welded wire mesh costs more than $250 a roll.

Given a mild, consistent climate, the tubes may work well for you.

Bob Bancroft

To our readers: If you have advice or recommendations on this matter send it in to us and we will pass it along.

Patricia Amero is blogging

Forester Trish Amero, who was coordinator of the Uneven-Aged Management Outreach Project in 2008 and now is a regular contributer to the NSWOOA Update, has started a blog. The blog is linkied to Picea Forestry Consulting's new website.

Trish will be sharing some of the knowledge and experience she and partner Sandy Hyde have gained working woodlot owners who are dedicated to managing their woodlots not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of future generations .

Lines of Communication

Members are encouraged to contact the Board of Directors, the Executive and other members through our email address or by phone (902-633-2108 or, for member services, 902-673-2278). Please feel free to use these methods to keep us informed of what is going on in your woodlot or in your community or area. We try to keep you informed through these updates, newsletters and mail outs, our column in Atlantic Forestry Review, the Annual General Meeting, and this website.