By Jim Kostrzewa, Forester, Kretz Lumber Company

If you own wooded property, you likely have a list of goals you’d like your land to achieve. A land management plan can help you identify those specific goals, establish a strategy for achieving them, and then also set a timeline to make it all happen. I’ve highlighted some of the more popular goals landowners share with me. Do your interests include any of the following?

Submit your best Wisconsin summer photo!

Get outside and share with us your best summer 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 summer Facebook photo contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on August 1, 2018.
    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 August 2. Kretz Lumber Facebook fans can then vote by liking their favorite image through August 12. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on August 12, 2018 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!

By: Al Koeppel, Kretz Lumber Company, with insight from Linda Williams, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

This spring and summer, we have found that spruce trees, which include blue, white and Norway species, are under attack. They are being impacted by a fungal disease which goes by the name of Rhizosphaera needle cast. It’s a mouthful, no doubt, and it’s wreaking havoc on our spruce population.

I reached out to Linda Williams, Forest Health Specialist - Northeastern Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to get her insight into the disease. This is what she shared:

Submit your best Wisconsin spring photo!

Get outside and share with us your best spring scenery photo. Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook pageWe’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The photo 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 CST on May 14, 2018.
    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 15 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through May 22. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on May 22, 2018 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:36

Buckthorn and white-tailed deer

By Dick Ballou, Volunteer Coordinator, Cedar Lake Buckthorn Control Project

There is a red barn in northwest Wisconsin, and adjacent to this red barn is a 3-acre woodlot that is not unlike one that might be found almost anywhere. The land was used primarily for nature walks and hunting in the fall; sadly, it is now nearly useless for either activity. The little red barn was once part of a real farm, and years ago it was converted to a popular summer theatre, where the actors, stagehands, and theatergoers all loved watching the graceful white-tailed deer around the barn. But gradually there were fewer animals, and then none at all.

This woodlot had gradually become ‘choked off’ by an invasive tree known as buckthorn. Some tall pines, oak, cherry, and other native trees could be seen above the 12-15 foot canopy of buckthorn, but all that remained underneath was a wall of invasive growth that was so thick that neither man nor animal could enter. Moreover, the invasive growth was so dense that seeds from native plants could not germinate and grow – the ground underneath was plain dirt, with no grass, weeds or other new growth. When it rained there was mud.

This example should serve as a wake up call to landowners who own woodlots – check your land for buckthorn!

Friday, 09 March 2018 09:52

What happens when trees get too big?

Kretz Lumber Company, joined by landowner and logger Rick Peters, head out to the woods of Wisconsin's Shawano County to discuss economic and physiological challenges that can occur when growing large diameter trees.

In order to answer what makes a log a veneer grade log, let’s first define what veneer is. Most people understand what lumber is (logs that are sawn into boards which are generally 1 or 2 inches thick and 4 to 10 inches wide). Veneer on the other hand is produced when logs are put on a lathe and long continuous sheets of wood are peeled off. These sheets of wood are generally around 1/42 of an inch thick for hardwood. Plywood (which you see sold at retail lumber yards) is actually sheets of veneer glued together. Hardwood doors and furniture are generally made from veneer.

Now we will get to the question. Defects are what determine whether or not a log is graded as a veneer log. Knots is one form of defect. A knot is created when limbs prune off and the tree grows additional wood over the area. Knots can fall out of the sheets of veneer during production and they can be a visual deformity. Seams are a major defect, which cause the sheets of veneer to break and come apart. Other defects include bird peck, gum, ring shake, insect damage, color and mineral. Another criteria for veneer logs is diameter and length. Logs that are too small or logs that are too big in diameter affect grade and quality. Logs that are 12 inches in diameter or larger is a common size that is utilized in veneer mills. Logs that are over 30 inches in diameter are generally not desirable because there are limitations to the size of logs that a lathe can handle.

During the autumn months the leaves on deciduous trees turn colors and soon thereafter fall from the tree. But have you noticed that some species retain their leaves until spring? In central Wisconsin this is most common on oak and beech trees. The term for this leaf retention phenomenon is called marcescence, which basically means “hold on to stuff”. On a tree that loses it leaves such as maple, when the nights get longer and the days get shorter, the cells at the junction of the leaf and twig start to divide. This forms a layer of cells that slowly block the transport of carbohydrates from the leaf and nutrients from the twig. Ultimately killing the leaf and severing it from the twig. Ecologists have yet to figure out the exact reason that some species retain their leaves. With this lack of scientific evidence brings on some interesting theories and speculation to why this occurs.

Dry infertile sites are where we commonly find oak and beech trees. These soil conditions may play a role in why leaf retention is important to these species. Retaining leaves until spring would definitely slow the decomposition and would increase the organic material on the forest floor during the growing season for the parent tree. This could give that tree a competitive advantage on poor sites by increasing nutrition and retaining moisture on the forest floor. 

Submit your best Wisconsin winter photo!

Get outside and share with us your best Wisconsin winter 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 CST on January 31, 2018.
    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 February 1 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through February 7, 2018. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on February 7, 2018 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!
Friday, 08 December 2017 11:49

Kretz Score for Charity

Kretz Lumber Company is tying Red Robin athletic success to charitable donations throughout the community.

For the remainder of the winter sports season, the hardwood lumber manufacturer will select a weekly local charity, and make a monetary contribution based on the play of Antigo’s varsity teams during that week’s home contest. The company will donate $5 for each:

  • Three point shot made (boys/girls basketball)
  • Each goal scored (boys/girls hockey)
  • Each individual win (wrestling)
  • Each 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place event finish (gymnastics)
  • Each 1st and 2nd place event finish (boys swimming)

“Our company is very team orientated, with many of our employees former Red Robin students and athletes,” commented company president Troy Brown. “We figured this was a unique way we could show our community pride, while supporting our local high school teams and student athletes, all the while helping some of our great local causes.”

"We chose the winter sports season because it’s the longest, and has the most teams competing," continued Brown. "We're hoping by highlighting home contest in these sports, we may encourage more fan support as well. We are planning on making this a recurring yearly commitment.”

Local charities selected by Kretz include: The Giving Tree of Langlade County, Langlade County Humane Society, Avail, Antigo Community Food Pantry, Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County, Antigo High School Athletics, WeekEnd Backpack Program (WEB), Habitat for Humanity of Langlade County, and Langlade County 4-H. A $100 minimum donation will be made to each cause.

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