One of the greatest threats to Wisconsin forests is spreading rapidly and some experts consider it more destructive and dangerous than oak wilt, dutch elm and emerald ash borer combined. Invasive species garlic mustard and buckthorn are decimating forests and forestry experts say many landowners and outdoor enthusiasts aren’t familiar with the plants. In order to change that, leaders are hosting a free program for anyone interested in learning how to identify and treat these forest killers.
“This is the greatest threat to our northern Wisconsin forest since the Peshtigo fire,” stated Dennis Fincher, Kretz Lumber Company Forester. “The growth of garlic mustard and buckthorn is exploding rapidly. The horror stories are beginning, yet many landowners don’t know how to identify these plants or what to do if they find them on their property.”
To raise awareness and educate the public, local forestry professionals are presenting a free program to teach residents how to identify and treat garlic mustard and buckthorn.
Anyone with questions can call Dennis Fincher, Kretz Lumber Company Forester, at 715-493-4041 or Cody Brauner at 608-220-2665.
The program is sponsored by Kretz Lumber Company, the Department of Natural Resources, Langlade County Forestry, Verso Paper, and F.S. Co-op.
Submit your best Wisconsin 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:
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:
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 page. We’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:
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!
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.