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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Enjoy the outdoors and good luck!
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.
We’ll keep you posted as we look to reschedule in 2021. Until then, take care of yourself and one another.
The effects of Covid-19 have begun to disrupt our forest operations. With the shutdown of the Wisconsin Rapids mill and other hardwood pulp mills running idle, finding a place to go with hardwood pulp is becoming increasingly difficult.
What does this mean for you as a landowner? Today, if your standing hard timber is harvested, you may have to leave the pulp behind in the woods due to the fact we currently have mills operating that are only accepting bolts and logs. The unknown of what the future holds makes it difficult to know whether to harvest or hold out and wait for the market to come back. We understand this puts landowners in a precarious position.
From our perspective, if we do not get these local pulp mills up and running soon, it will have a devastating impact on not just the timber industry, but the whole great lakes state region. Hundreds of jobs have already been lost because of the Rapids and Duluth mills being shut down, however, other suppliers to those operations are also beginning to suffer with additional layoffs imminent.
Our team of foresters is staying up-to-date on this situation and will stay in touch with our landowners to keep you updated on this situations as well. Please feel free to reach out to our forestry team with any questions or concerns related to your own woodlots.
Submit your best Wisconsin summer 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:
When the most recent guidlines came out defining essential and non-essential businesses, Kretz Lumber Company was deemed essential. You might be wondering, what makes us essential?
One of the core products we provide is pallet boards. From food to healthcare, pallets are instrumental in shipping and transporting of goods. The pallet industry needs these boards to protect against supply chains disruptions.
Our sawmill also produces animal bedding to farmers, and chips to paper mills. The majority of these products stay here in the central Wisconsin region. It is a good feeling to know our efforts are helping out people right here in our backyard.
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 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:
The gun deer season is here and it's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2019 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:
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 December 3, 2019.
All photos submitted must be bucks taken during the 2019 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 a complete 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.
Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to disqualify any entries suspected of cheating.
Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on December 4.
Good luck and have a safe hunt!