Monday, 19 April 2021 15:13

2021 Wisconsin Spring Photo Contest

Submit your best Wisconsin spring photo!

Get outside and share with us your best Wisconsin spring scenery photo. Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CDT on April 30, 2021.
    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.
  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album on May 1, 2021 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through May 6, 2021. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CDT on May 6, 2021 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

Contest Rules

I have been assisting landowners with the management of their woodlots for over 25 years. As foresters at Kretz Lumber Co. Inc., we spend most of our time within northern hardwood stands marking timber for harvest and setting up timber sales for the landowners we serve. We do this while producing timber products that are used in our industry as well as sawlogs for our hardwood sawmill located in Antigo, WI. We also harvest other timber types but for the context of this article, I am going to keep the focus on northern hardwood thinnings.


In my initial meeting with woodland owners I have been asked many times, “How do you know which trees to mark for harvest within a thinning of a woodlot?” I answer this by first asking them, what are your objectives and goals for your woodlot? Is it good forest management, wildlife viewing, hunting wildlife, income, recreation, or something else? By knowing the landowner’s goals, I am able to gel these goals within the setup of the timber sale and what trees to mark or not mark.

Monday, 01 February 2021 16:48

2021 Winter Photo Facebook Contest

It's time to get outside and take some pictures of Wisconsin's winter scenery!

Share your best winter-in-Wisconsin picture with us by uploading one of your photos (photo must have been taken by you in Wisconsin) to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period takes home the top prize of a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card. 

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on February 14, 2021.
    Only one photo/submission per person. Any photo submitted must be your personal image and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.
  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album February 15, 2021 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through February 21, 2021. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on February 21, 2021 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!
Thursday, 28 January 2021 11:53

Winter Logging Update

It has been an interesting winter given we haven’t had the below zero cold temperatures we are generally accustomed to seeing by this time of the year. (Sounds like that may be changing later this week though.) With the weather we’ve had, we don’t have enough frost to do a lot of our winter logging just yet. Lack of snow has been great because it has made it easy to get through the woods, but now we need some cold to push the frost down into the ground.

Thursday, 28 January 2021 11:00

Meet the Forester: Blake Persha

Get to know our new Forester, Blake Persha!

Q: What made you want to become a forester?


I love the outdoors and have always been interested in anything related to it, so forestry seemed like a natural fit. Plus, my Dad has been in the industry my entire life so I was introduced to forestry at a young age. As a child, it had always been a job I was interested in having when I got older. 

Q: When did you start working at Kretz Lumber Company? What is one aspect of your job you really like?


I started in mid-December and I have to say I really enjoy meeting and working with landowners. I also love getting to explore the forests around here. No two woodlots are the same and it’s always interesting to talk with landowners and learn about the history of their land.

Q: What is a common question you often receive from landowners? How do you answer it?

A lot of people ask me about what what I would do to manage a property best for deer hunting. The answer really varies based on the property, but a few common strategies I generally recommend are: 1) encourage oak regeneration; 2) create bedding habitat and travel corridors; and 3) ensure good food sources are available. Being a hunter myself, I understand the passion a lot of these landowners have. Ultimately, the individual should create a land management plan of some sort and then work with a forester to implement the plan to best meet the landowner’s goals.

If you have forestry related questions you'd like to ask Blake personally, you can reach him by phone at 1-800-352-1438 or contact him using this form

The gun deer season is here and it's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2020 Kretz Lumber Company’s Big Buck Contest and you could win more than just bragging rights. Every entrant has a chance to win!

Two ways to win:


  1. Biggest Buck: $50 Fleet Farm gift card
  2. Wild Card: $25 Fleet Farm gift card (One winner will be randomly selected from all eligible contest entries.)

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Bag your buck and post a picture on our Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on November 29, 2020.
    All photos submitted must be bucks taken during the 2020 Wisconsin rifle season and shot in one of the following counties: Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Shawano, Menominee, Forest, Oconto, Portage, or Waupaca. No other submissions will be accepted.
  3. With your submission, include your score. We are using the honor system. To determine your score: 

    1 point per inch of inside spread + 1 point per “Point” number of antlers 1” and longer = Total Points.

    An example:
    Inside spread = 15 inches
    Eight 1-inch “points”
    15+8 = Total score of 23.

Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to disqualify any entries suspected of cheating.

Winners will be announced on our Facebook page the week of November 30th.

Good luck and have a safe hunt!

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 10:20

Preparing for Winter Logging

As we anticipate the snow to start flying, we begin to prepare our winter logging grounds, getting them prepped and ready by opening roads and log landings. Winter is a very important time of the year for logging as we try to ensure we acquire enough logs to carry the mill through spring break up. During the springtime roads get posted with lower haul limits and very little logging takes place so we need to plan accordingly.

Winter logging in low wet areas is dependent on the amount of cold weather we get before the snow. Loggers use equipment to drive frost into the ground so their forwarders and log trucks have stable roads to run on throughout the winter. If they can’t get the frost in the ground, they risk the likelihood of rutting the roads and accumulating standing water in the ruts, which will prevent the roads from becoming solid. A technique loggers will use on skid trails in the woods is to lay brush and tree tops down in front of the machines creating what is called a slash mat. This technique helps keep the equipment up and reduces the risk of rutting.

Typically more logging occurs in the winter time than any other time of the year. This is due to more available people because they have other jobs the rest of the year (construction workers, landscapers etc.). Also in the winter you have the opportunity to harvest in all timber and soil types, which gives access to many more acres of timber.

If you are interested in having one of our foresters talk to you about logging options on your woodlot, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-352-1438 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, 09 October 2020 11:52

Fall: A Forester’s Favorite Season

Another summer has come and gone. Each year it seems to go by a little quicker. Now fall is here and it is time to enjoy our annual blessing of fall colors. I picked a great day to mark timber today, as the colors are in full swing. This particular property I was marking has been intensively managed over the years and is producing beautiful timber. The landowner has taken great care of his roads and landing areas, I did not observe a single invasive species throughout the property. The soil type is silt loam with a well-drained subsoil. The property has undulating contours, which has provided excellent drainage for the timber.

Some of the things we take into consideration as we are choosing which trees to retain for future growth and which to harvest within this particular property are:

  • Trees that appear to not be growing as vigorously as neighboring trees
  • Substantial defects that may prevent a tree from gaining grade
  • Trees with tight spacing, harvesting one tree may allow us to allocate more nutrients to a healthier stem
  • Trees bordering previously made canopy gaps, allowing for regeneration within the canopy gap
  • Which species the site is best suited for- this property grows excellent red oak. When confronted with promoting either a sugar maple or a red oak, we should promote red oak on this particular site
  • Soil type/drainage relating to species best suited
  • Legacy trees: trees that have a special memory tied to them. In this case a tree that the landowner leaned up against to shoot a 10 point buck years ago while family members were making a deer drive

As I was marking, each gust of wind showered me with golden leaves. Even the dark shadows under the hardwood canopy seemed to have an amber hue. It truly is a great time of year to be out in the woods. Seeing all of the colors brings back a memory made at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where I studied forestry. I remember during my freshman year a professor asking our lecture hall, “Why do leaves change color in the fall?” to which the lecture hall returned a series of blank stares. The answer to this question is that the chlorophyll within the leaves (shades of green) is breaking down. Days are becoming shorter, signaling to the tree that winter is on its way. The other three pigments within leaves are carotenoids (shades of orange), anthocyanins (shades of red), and xanthophylls (shades of yellow). Carotenoids are within the leaves for the entire growing season but are covered up by chlorophyll, while anthocyanins and xanthophylls are produced in the fall as a last ditch effort for the tree to garner any nutrients left in the leaves. Trees start coloring from the top down, being that the top of the tree is furthest from the root system from which nutrients (xylem) are being delivered. Hopefully you find this as interesting as I do, and are not saying, “Chlorophyll? More like bore-ophyll!”

When my day of marking was through, I was lucky enough to enjoy some apple brownies, one of my favorite fall recipes that my wife makes with apples from our yard. Perhaps you will enjoy them as much as we do. Give her recipe a try. Apple brownies are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and a clear, crisp view of fall foliage. The foresters at Kretz Lumber wish you and your family a happy fall and a successful hunting season! Be sure to spend plenty of time in your forest.

Apple Brownies

  • 4 cups of sliced apples, peeled
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (or one bag if I am allowed in the kitchen) of chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix apples, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, walnuts and chocolate chips. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Spread in a greased 9x13” pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Freezes very well.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 15:02

2020 Wisconsin Fall Photo Contest

Submit your best Wisconsin autumn photo!

Get outside and share with us your best autumn photo. Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our fall Facebook photo contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on October 11, 2020.

    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased, copyrighted, or taken off of the internet. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.

  3. We’ll add all submissions to a Facebook photo album on October 12, 2020. Kretz Lumber Company Facebook fans can then vote by liking their favorite image in the official album through October 19, 2020. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on October 19, 2020 will win one $25 Mill’s Fleet Farm gift card.

Enjoy the outdoors and good luck!

Tuesday, 14 July 2020 10:58

2020 Forestry Field Day Postponed

After consulting with our team and taking into consideration state and national recommendations with regard to Covid-19, we have made the tough decision to postpone our 2020 Forestry Field Day. Our hope is that we can reschedule it in 2021.

We are just as disappointed as you. We love this event and look forward to hosting it. But bringing hundreds of people together on our watch just doesn’t seem like the responsible thing to do right now.

It’s worth mentioning, while we all can’t be together as a group this year, our forestry team is still available to meet with you one on one. If you have questions related to your woodlots, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone 800-352-1438 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or directly to your Kretz Lumber Company Forester.

We’ll keep you posted as we look to reschedule in 2021. Until then, take care of yourself and one another.

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