Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:58

2016 Fall Forestry Festival Recap

Forestry Field Festival


To help landowners better utilize forest management practices for improving wildlife habitat, Kretz Lumber Co., Inc. presented its 14th annual Fall Forestry Festival in early September, hosting over 250 landowners on the 29 acre Ray Kretz Industrial Forest in Antigo. The biennial event provides attendees from across the state an opportunity to unite, learn and share best practices for forest sustainability and conservancy. Sustainable forest management happens when educated landowners have the tools, resources and knowledge needed to effectively manage their land. Our goal, this year, was to teach landowners correct forest management practices in order to assist them in meeting their own personal wildlife goals while also preserving the legacy of their woodlands. 

Rather than start the day with a keynote, this year’s festival featured an expert panel discussion on the topic of forest management for wildlife habitat. Panel members included Scott Walter from the Ruffed Grouse Society, Janet Brehm from the Department of Natural Resources, Ron Eckstein, a retired wildlife biologist from the Wisconsin DNR, and Brian Hoppe with Reed and Hoppe’s Wildlife Food Plots. Panelists took audience questions with topics ranging from invasive species and how to start a forest management plan, to what, if anything, can be done to divert destructive badgers. 

Q: I've always thought leaving a forest undisturbed was the best strategy for attracting wildlife. But recently, I've heard otherwise. Can you clarify?

Did you know that Antigo Silt Loam is Wisconsin’s state soil?

In 1983 state legislators voted to make Antigo Silt Loam our state soil. It is found prevalently in the area of Antigo, Wisconsin. Antigo is where our Kretz Lumber sawmill is located. This soil provides nutrition for the hard maple, basswood and red oak trees that are grown, harvested and hauled to our mill for processing into lumber. Our high quality northern hardwood lumber is then dried and sold throughout the United States and all over the world.

During the last ice age, which ended 11,000 years ago, a sheet of ice three miles high covered our area. When the glacier melted the soil it held, settled in the region that includes the Kretz mill in Antigo and extends almost to Minnesota. The soil the glacier deposited was then mixed with organic material over time to create the fertile Antigo Silt Loam.

Antigo Silt Loam has a unique mixture of sand, clay and silt. This combination can hold moisture, yet drain excess water. Its composition is capable of holding optimal nutrients to grow quality agricultural products including the forest we are surrounded by in North Central Wisconsin. Quality hardwood trees thrive in this type of soil.

Next time you visit Kretz Lumber, or the city of Antigo, it is worth a trip to the northeast side of the city to view our historical marker. It is pictured here and overlooks our treasured soil resource.

Get outside and share with us your best winter 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 Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on January 31, 2016. Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. The image must have been taken in Wisconsin.

  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album February 2 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through Thursday, February 11. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on February 11 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!


Contest Rules

No purchase necessary. One valid entry per person. This contest is void where prohibited by law.

Winners will be notified by a Facebook post. If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days, or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment, an alternate winner will be selected. If Kretz Lumber cannot find an eligible winner for the prize, that prize will not be awarded.

No phone-in, email or mail entries allowed. Contest open to all Kretz Lumber Facebook page fans.

All eligible entries must be posted to the Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on 1/31/16.

In the event of a tie, one winner will be randomly selected.

All entries must be original images taken by the individual submitting them. No purchased or copyrighted images allowed. The image must be taken in Wisconsin.

Photos become the property of Kretz Lumber Company and submitter agrees to allow photos to be used in Kretz Lumber Company promotions.

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

All disputes will be settled by Kretz Lumber Company.

Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to change the rules at any time or cancel the contest.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


Did you know that Kretz Lumber Company’s roots go all the way back to 1929? Kretz Lumber was founded by Joseph and Myrtle Kretz on the site of their dairy farm in 1929. That year they cut hemlock trees from the farm’s property, stripped the bark, and sold it to a local tannery. Having the logs leftover, the dairy barn needed repair, so they bought a portable sawmill from a “farmer up the road” for $75. As word got around the neighborhood the Kretz family was running a sawmill, other farmers from the community brought their logs to the Kretz family to be sawn into lumber for their own use.  The picture above are three of the Kretz family members and that portable mill.

Having success with the portable sawmill, the family built a permanent sawmill at the same location of the farm. Through wise business decisions the Kretz family survived the Great Depression in the lumber business. Joseph and Myrtle succeeded the business to their three boys in the 1960’s. A grandchild, Dan Kretz, took the reins of the operation in 1973 and ran the business until 2006.

In 2016, Kretz Lumber produces 9,000,000 board feet of North American hardwood lumber that includes species like; hard maple, soft maple, red oak and basswood through their sawmill in a year. It also kiln dry’s 12,000,000 board feet of these same northern hardwoods and sells its products nationally and internationally.

It's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2015 Kretz Lumber Company’s Big Buck Contest and you could win more than just bragging rights. Every entrant has a chance to win!

Monday, 06 October 2014 00:00

2014 Fall Forestry Festival Recap

On September 13, within the 29 acres of the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest located on the property of Kretz Lumber Company in Antigo, over 250 individuals came together to learn proper forest management techniques and celebrate the 13th Fall Forestry Festival. It’s all part of Kretz Lumber Company’s focus on teaching land owners correct forest care in order to strengthen forests and preserve the legacy of Wisconsin woodlands.

View pictures from the event here!

Friday, 05 September 2014 19:00

Fall Forestry Festival - NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Troy Brown
Phone: (715) 623-5410
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wisconsin Landowners to Converge for Fall Forestry Festival Program to educate landowners on woodlands management, celebrate good stewardship of Wisconsin lands. 

Antigo, Wis., Sept. 9, 2014 -- Hundreds of landowners will come together this Saturday in the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest, located on the property of Kretz Lumber Company in Antigo, to educate themselves on proper management of their woodlands and to celebrate good stewardship across Wisconsin and Michigan forests. It is all part of the 13th Landowner's Fall Forestry Festival hosted and sponsored by Kretz Lumber and co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee and EXPERA specialty solutions.

The festival provides community members and landowners from across the state anopportunity to unite, learn and share best practices for forest sustainability and conservancy. Festival organizers say sustainable forest management happens when educated landowners have the tools, resources and knowledge needed to effectively manage their land.

"With proper technique, planning, and dedication to forest health, we are able to educate and empower landowners on sustainable practices," stated Troy Brown, President of Kretz Lumber Company. "We believe in preserving a commitment to good stewardship of the land and proper forestry techniques. This festival is one of the tools we use to assist landowners in achieving their property goals while also educating attendees on woodlands management."

The Landowner's Fall Forestry Festival encompasses an entire day of hands-on forest activities, including exhibitions, learning stations, tours, discussions, trainings, guest speakers and a northwoods lunch. This year's legacy landowner recognitions include the Brandt and Shuman families, Palmquist's Farm, and the Peshtigo Preserve. Other highlights this year include keynote speaker Henry Schienebeck, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, DNR stream shocking, chainsaw safety training, forest insect and disease discussions, and hayride tours of the Merry property. The festival begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m.

About Kretz Lumber: For over 80 years, Kretz Lumber has served as Wisconsin and Michigan's leader in professional forest consulting. Headquartered in Antigo, Wisc., the company manufacturers green and kiln dried northern hardwood lumber and veneer, and also manages privately owned timberland throughout the midwest. For more information, visit www.kretzlumber.com or call 715-623-5410.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014 19:00

Fall Forestry Festival

Fall Forestry Festival

Forestry field day is less than three weeks away!!  The event this year is scheduled for September 13, 2014 and it is our favorite day of the year at Kretz Lumber Co., Inc.!!

On the brochure this year, you will notice that the name has changed to Fall Forestry Festival. In addition to the preparation for the seasonal change, FALL, has a new meaning to us; Forestry Assistance Landowner Legacy.

This year is exciting to put together as we have four legacy landowners that we have worked with through the years that have exciting stewardship stories to share. We thank the Brandt Family, Palmquist’s Farm, the Shuman Family, and Peshtigo Preserve for their willingness to share their experience with us.

One other slight change to note, for returning guests from other years, is that lunch will be served this year as opposed to a breakfast.

The Festival’s activities include the famous walking tour of the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest, the hayride tour of the Merry Property that is back by popular demand, a Dimension Plant tour that will consist of products produced by secondary manufacturer’s, a sawmill video tour, the popular DNR stream shocking, a forest insect and disease discussion, chainsaw safety training, and many tent displays with plenty of information.

Our schedule for the day is set. Registration is at 9AM with coffee, cookies made by local 4-H families and plenty of stories. We will kick-off the event at 10AM. Tours begin at 10:20AM as you will be able to pick any of the day’s events that are interesting to you. Lunch at your leisure is set for 11AM and concludes at 1PM. The entire event will conclude at 2PM.

Finally, I want to give a huge shout of thanks to this year’s co-sponsors, The Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee and EXPERA Specialty Solutions. Their commitment is above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you!!

We look forward to seeing everyone on this special day, rain or shine.

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 14:29

First Steps as a New Timberland Owner

When making an investment (which land is an investment) you should do your homework first. Sometimes land comes up for sale and you need to act quickly which doesn't allow that. In some cases people inherit land; what do I do with it?

Sit down with a pencil and paper and start jotting down what you know about the property and what you would like to use the property for. Things you may want to jot down, what do the property taxes cost per year and how will I pay for them? Besides hunting what do you want to use this property for; recreation, skiing, camping, relaxation etc.? What kind of trees do I have and what condition are they in? Is aesthetics important, wildlife management, timber management?

Once you have started this process the next step is to get some help, contact a forester and set up an appointment to walk the property. Bring your list of ideas and questions.

Once the forester has a good idea of your goals and the conditions of the trees they can start making recommendations. Think this conversation over and work with the foresters on developing the plan. The plan does not have to be elaborate but should cover short term and long term goals.

You should have a good idea of what the results of implementing the plan will be. Educating yourself is really the first step and getting professional help is a big part of that first step.

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