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.

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.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020 10:25

2020 Summer Photo Facebook Contest

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:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page
  2. Post your photo submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on July 31, 2020.

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

  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album on August 1, 2020 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through August 10, 2020. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on August 10, 2020 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

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.

Thursday, 23 January 2020 08:09

2020 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 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 6, 2020.
    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 7, 2020 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through February 14, 2020. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on February 14, 2020 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!
Thursday, 02 January 2020 11:49

Wisc. Summer Storm/Blowdown Cleanup Update

Kretz Lumber Company Forester Dennis Fincher provides an update on the cleanup efforts of this summer's historic storms here in central Wisconsin. How does the snow effect cleanup? And what silver linings are to be found?
 
 

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:

  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 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.

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 on December 4.

Good luck and have a safe hunt!

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