Monday, March 08, 2010

Second-growth timber

Every day when we walk on our forty-plus acres, Cliff keeps up a running commentary about the trees we pass:  "I need to cut down that old snag," and "Look at how those trees grow away from one another."  He enjoys our timber, and even trims back the trees when they need it, if possible.   You'd never know at first glance that practically all our woods is made up of second-growth timber.  
Almost thirty years ago, the then-owner of the biggest part of our land, Lewis, was injured and had to go on disability.  He was not a person to sit and twiddle his thumbs, so he cut every tree he could reach for firewood; he used what he needed in his wood furnace and sold the rest.  Hampered as he was by a hip injury, it amazed us how he managed to climb those steep banks and harvest so many trees.  I still don't see how a disabled man made it up and down those banks alone, cut trees, and pulled them up to higher ground without killing himself.  It would have been a dangerous task.  
The next owner, Tim, the fellow from who we bought the back part of our property, had the place logged: This got rid of the magnificent trees that had been too big for Lewis to cut for firewood.  Cliff and I just shook our heads at how many huge logs were trucked out of there.  
A year or two later, Tim divided up the property (because we couldn't afford to buy all fifty-some acres) and suddenly we owned forty-two acres instead of just six.  My grandson Arick was less than a year old when we made the purchase, so that would mean we've owned that part of the land for twenty-five years now.  The only big trees the loggers had left were hollow or diseased ones, and some of those have since fallen.  Most of the other trees on the place have come up from stumps left by Lewis, previous to the logging activity. 

An old stump from over twenty-five years ago gave birth to a tree on either side.  The lake in the background, by the way, is not on our property.  


This particular tree has almost encased the stump that gave it life.  You can see the old wood inside, almost hidden.  Of course this makes for a weak tree, since its core is long-dead wood.  But it isn't hurting anything back there in the woods.  


These are the trees that Cliff often talks about; it's as though they don't like one another, so they've spent their time growing in opposite directions.  Like virtually every tree on our land, they are second-growth.  The picture on my header, too, shows such trees; look closely and you'll see some of their "donor stumps".  I'll be changing that picture to something more springlike before long.  
Within trees, there seems to be some spark that says, "I will survive; I might not survive as a perfect specimen, but I will survive." 
I've seen that spark in a lot of human beings, too. 


(You can click on any of these pictures to make them bigger.)

6 comments:

Sonya said...

Interesting....had to laugh about the trees not liking one another. lol Hope you all have a great week.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'll be waiting to see the buds on the trees and the green leaves once more. It will be great to see it after this long winter for sure.

Midlife Mom said...

Very interesting the stump that is almost encased by the tree. I love the woods especially in the spring and fall when there aren't any blackflies!

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Are those oak trees?

Sayit-baldys said...

TREES ARE WONDERFUL.
ONCE DURING YOUNGER YEARS, I BOUGHT 40 ACRES OF WOODED LAND IN WEBSTER COUNTY MISSOURI.
PAID 850 DOLLARS FOR THE 40 ACRES.
OAK OF DIFFERENT KINDS, HICKORY, BLACK WALNUT, BLACK LOCUST, A FEW PINE, SYCAMORE AND SOME SASSAFRAS.
LOTS OF BLACKBERRIES AND WILD STRAWBERRIES.
THE CHILDREN LOVED IT AND THE SPRING WITH WATER RUNNING A STREAM.
WILD DEER AND FOX, RABBITS, SKUNKS AND OTHER.

WE ENJOYED IT FOR YEARS AND AS TIME PASSED AS IT MUST, POPULATION INCREASING AS WELL AS PROPERTY VALUES.
SOLD THE 40 ACRES FOR 15,000.
SUCH GOOD MEMORIES OF COOKOUTS, CAMPING AND ENJOYING TREES. sam

Donna said...

Guy, I don't know one tree from another in wintertime, but I asked Cliff. Yes, he said they're white oaks.