Winter 2020 NW Woodlands Magazine

The Winter 2020 Northwest Woodlands Magazine is now available for download. Topics include:

Forest Goals: Expanding Your Vision

  • Making Your Goals Fit the Real World
  • Plan for the Future of Your Forestland
  • What About Carbon?
  • Share Your Science Data
  • Developments in Certification

Head over to the OSWA Members Area to log in and read this edition!

Umatilla/Morrow

This is a new OSWA chapter!

More information coming soon!

Thanks for visiting.

2018 Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year 2018: Oakes Investment LLC – June 2019 Tour

On Saturday, June 22, Oakes Investment LLC hosted a Neighbor to Neighbor tour to celebrate its selection as the 2018 Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year. We had the opportunity to see what the Carr-Oakes family has been up to on their tree farm over the past year.

Photo by: Nancy Hathaway

We took a drive along the excellent forest roads where we had the opportunity to get a sense of the past history of farming with sheep, goats and pigs in the early 1900’s. Their new acquisition of an adjacent 227 acres has diversified their age class of trees (12 years old) to allow for the younger generation of the family to have stands they can manage and harvest.  We took a look at a 16 acre site logged in 2018 that yielded almost 1 million board feet. Some of these logs were sent to Hull-Oakes because they were over 28” diameter, but at only about an 11% lower price, with a shorter haul.

Dan Carr explains the family harvest activity
Photo by: Nancy Hathaway

Family members from three generations showed us a planting site where each of the six families took responsibility for planting a section. They emphasized how important it was to build a sense of individual ownership by allowing each family member to participate in their own way, whether making signs, encouraging wildlife, marking, thinning or logging.

A walk along “Kayla’s Trail” led us to a small pond where Kayla has worked to enhance the population of red-legged frogs and has introduced Oregon chub with the help of Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife. Kayla shared her enthusiasm for this small native minnow that was listed as endangered in Oregon in 1993 and then, in 2015, became the first fish to be successfully delisted.

Kayla Carr presents at her pond
Photo by: Rachel Unrein

We visited a Douglas fir stand with Mike Cloughesy from Oregon Forest Resources Institute (the sponsor of the tour). Mike led an informative discussion of how to assess the condition of the stand and its need for thinning. He showed us how to use the stand density table developed by OSU Extension (EM9206 June 2018) to determine the level of crowding and competition in a stand of trees and determine when to thin the stand.

Marsha Carr, one of the six children of Don and Donna Oakes, was active in the Benton Co Chapter prior to her passing in September 2018. Marsha developed their forest management plan and endeavored to bring all four generations of her family together around management of their forest land. It was clear to me that Marsha’s legacy lives on in the Carr-Oakes Family and their forest.

David & Marsha Carr
Photo by: Nancy Hathaway

March 2019 – Harding Discussion Group Tour

The Benton County Chapter has revived our popular “discussion group tours” or “twilight tours” where we visit each other’s properties and discuss forest management ideas. It’s an opportunity to see what/how others are doing things, show off our accomplishments, make suggestions, ask questions, discuss issues and problems and just have a general learning experience. No formal agenda, just sort of an in-the-woods discussion session.

On the morning of March 30th, the discussion group visited my place. We have about 285 acres on the Marys River in Wren, where we have lived for about 35 years. Our land is a mixture of conifer forest, oak woodland and prairie. We have planted thousands of western red cedar and Douglas fir over the years – that now need some serious thinning. We took a look at a few of these stands and discussed whether it was time to thin the 20-30 year old western red cedar stands, why some of our Douglas firs are dying, whether to thin an older stand of grand fir and how to approach thinning our mixed hardwood/fir stands. We came away from the discussion with some great input and ideas.

Our western red cedars display a fair bit of variability in diameter within the stand that was planted on a 10-12’ spacing, but with a number of older fir and oak trees scattered throughout, retained from a harvest about 50 years ago. We cored a couple of the trees to get a sense of whether some had slowed in their growth, but found that the annual growth was relatively consistent and did not show any recent slow-down. We discussed how cedar, with its greater shade tolerance, was able to sustain growth without thinning for longer than fir. However, it was suggested that the rate of growth might increase if we thinned. It was also suggested that unless we have a specific market or need for the cedar, we might want to leave it for now or do a test area and see if we observe any increase in growth rate.

We looked at an area where 40-50 year old Doug firs are dying, particularly along the outer edges of stands. It was theorized that because the soils are relatively wet and of higher clay content, the firs don’t extend their roots very deeply. Then, when there is even a short droughty period, the trees are more likely to experience stress.

As we were walking through the forest, one of the participants with a forest pathology background noticed a needle fungus on our Douglas firs. He identified the fungus as Rhizoctonia butinii, and the disease as web blight. The hyphal threads grow from needle to needle, on the outside of the needles, webbing them together. It is apparently native to our area, widespread but not really common. Some years it is more visible than others, but even in a bad year it doesn’t do much beyond a little growth loss. Sometimes it ruins the appearance of Christmas trees.

Needle fungus on Douglas fir.

We rounded out the tour with a visit to an older established stand dominated by Grand fir and located on a bench high above the Marys River. The tree spacing is irregular but dense and the trees appear healthy. We discussed whether it would make sense to thin the stand. We learned something from one of the tour participants – that Grand fir have notably thin bark and that retained trees are easily damaged during a thinning operation. It was suggested that it might be best just to leave this stand alone.

Older Grand fir stand above the Marys River

Our next “twilight tour” will be hosted by Sarah and Ken Edwardsson in the evening on Friday, August 23rd (see Schedule of Upcoming Events). Sarah & Ken have been actively logging to improve their oak woodlands, so it should be another interesting event. Bring your own drinks and snacks, if you wish, and dress for the weather.

Announcements of the “twilight tours” are sent to BCSWA members via email and are posted on our Chapter page of the OSWA.org website. If you know of other landowners, family members or anyone else who would be interested, or would benefit from this event, by all means, invite them along.