July brought a round of severe storms to our area, the severity not seen in our communities for quite some time. According to the National Weather Service, the damage path from the storm was 60 miles long and 10 miles wide. The hardest hit areas saw 100+ mph winds. Over 300,000 acres were damaged with particularly hard hit areas here in Kretz Lumber Company’s back yard. Some of the landowners we are working with lost 90% of the timber on their property. The damage is unprecedented.
As I write this, most roads and structures have been cleared, however the concern now is getting woodlots cleaned of downed trees in a reasonable amount of time. While the damage is hard to look at, a silver lining is that the majority of hardwoods in this area were impacted by straight line winds. Because of this, root balls are generally still left attached to the base of the fallen tree and the threat of the logs staining quickly is reduced. Staining happens when logs sit and aren’t processed in a sawmill in a timely manner (ideally, within a few weeks). Prior to entering the sawmill, logs are susceptible to a staining fungi. September and October are notoriously fast staining months in our area given the changing temperatures. When staining occurs, the lumber grade is lowered. Hence, the urgency in our cleanup efforts.
As you can imagine, resources in our area have been stretched to the max. There just aren’t enough loggers and trucking to haul the cut trees to log yards as fast as we all would like. Additionally, this event will most definitely lead to a lumber surplus in our local mills. Our team is working overtime to assist and support landowners impacted by these storms. If you have storm damage related questions or if you’d like a forester to advise on the cleanup of your property, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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:
Submit your best Wisconsin spring photo!
Enter our Wisconsin spring photo 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:
Get to know our new head Forester, Nate Gilbert!
Question: What made you want to become a forester?
Nate's answer: I chose forestry because growing up in Upper Michigan I spent the better part of my childhood enjoying the outdoors. I became a forester so I would be able to spend more time outdoors doing what I am passionate about and sharing that passion with others, through timber management, wildlife and taking care of the environment.
Question: When did you start working at Kretz Lumber Company? What is one aspect of your job you really like?
Nate's answer: I started working at Kretz Lumber Company in July of 2018. One aspect of the job I really enjoy is the not knowing what the next day will bring and the constant challenges that arise.
Question: What is a common question you often receive from landowners? How do you answer it? And how do you offer value to the landowners you work with?
Nate's answer: A common question I receive from landowners is how can they make their property more attractive for wildlife. My answer is to properly manage the land by doing necessary harvests, which provide food and shelter, for many different wildlife species. Also by providing diversity across the property. I offer value to landowners by assuring them that I have their best interests in mind and I am always available to answer their questions. I am here as a resource to assist them in properly managing their woodlands while ensuring they are comfortable with any harvesting or other management related to their property.
If you have forestry related questions you'd like to ask Nate personally, you can reach him by phone at 1-800-352-1438 or by contacting him using this form.
A fair number of folks feel that any disturbance days or even weeks before the deer hunting season is to be avoided at all costs because it will scare away the deer and ruin the hunt. The 2018 gun season proved the opposite for Todd Wanta and his boys as the story and pictures below illustrate.
From Todd Wanta: "The Wisconsin 2018 gun deer season will be one that I will remember for a long time. Not because I harvested my largest buck, but because I got to share my hunt with my young sons. On the morning of opening day I found myself overlooking a recently logged area that would provide both some food and a great advantage point for seeing deer. It was not long that my hunch was right; I believe we had a “hot” doe in front of the stand and saw multiple deer. After glassing a couple of young up and comer bucks, I spotted a decent eight point that I chose to harvest. After the shot, my boys Clay (7) and Sawyer (4) tracked the buck for me!
As you can imagine this was a big spectacle and were by far not the quietest tracking bunch, but I got to experience them enjoying the woods. With my eldest in the lead and not so subtly informing his brother to be quiet, to which he completely ignored busting through every available brush pile, they found the buck! After experiencing this I know now that my family has made the right decision by owning this land to ensure that they have the opportunity to hunt. That combined with them seeing what transformations are going to happen in the woods due to the recent logging, I know the future is going to great!"
Submit your best Wisconsin winter photo!
Enter our Wisconsin winter photo 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:
As soon as the Kretz volunteers finished filling backpacks last year for the WeekEnd Backpack (WEB) Program; the crew started discussing ways to do more for this very important and necessary joint venture between the Antigo Unified School District and the Antigo Community Food Pantry.
"We made a monetary donation from our Kretz Score for Charity campaign, and brought a crew to help fill backpacks," said Kretz salesman Jason Brettingen. "Once we learned more about the program, and how many kids throughout the school district relied on these weekly backpacks to get themselves through the weekend ... it became obvious to us that we needed to step up our efforts.
This December - besides for sending a crew of packing volunteers and making a nice "Score for Charity" cash donation, the company was able to donate 360 packets (12 cases) of Boy Scouts microwave popcorn that the company purchased from the local troop. "We though what an awesome way to support two great organizations at the same time," Brettingen added.
The WeekEnd Backpack (WEB) Program helps sustain Antigo's future through nutritional support and education. From October to May, backpacks are prepared weekly and sent home through Antigo area schools. This year between 300-350 backpacks are filled weekly. They contain easy-to-prepare food, and nutritional information such as recipes, for children and families. Personal hygiene items are also included for high school aged participants. Applications are available through school secretaries and guidance counselors. Cost per child per school year to fund WEB is approximately $160.
With the start of the winter sports season, Kretz Lumber Company is pleased to announce another season of charitable giving tied to the athletic success of the Red Robin varsity teams.
Similar to last year’s program, 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:
The gun deer season is here and it's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2018 Kretz Lumber Company’s Big Buck Contest and you could win more than just bragging rights. Every entrant has a chance to win!
There are two ways to win:
To enter our contest:
2. Bag your buck and post a picture on our Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on 11/26/18.
All photos submitted must be bucks taken during the 2018 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
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.
We will announce the winners the week of November 26, 2018 on our Facebook page.
Good luck and have a safe hunt!
This contest is in no way sponsored or administered by Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for this contest's purposes.
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.