Releasing the Under-story

While Mike is doing the actual logging of the area, I continue the work of the WRS (Wood Reclamation Specialist), cleaning up the landing from pieces of wood that are not sent to the mill and hauling them to the wood burning furnace.
Another aspect of WRS is to clean up the under-story of the trees that are left in the plot.

A stand of multi-generational trees in a forest plot. Going from tree to tree, I limb up the small branches of the kept trees just above head high. The branches get piled between the trees, it cleans up the area and creates habitat for small woodland animals. I have seen spots where I have put a few green bows in a pile before leaving the site for the evening, and in the morning found that deer had used the soft pile as a bed.

The piles of branches also feed the forest as they decompose and create a spot for water to collect, trapping the needed moisture to grow new seedlings, mosses, and mushrooms.

A before picture of the young trees that will be limbed up during under-story release.
The work that we do on this plot should create an area that is conducive to giving the younger trees room to grow and reproduce. In thirty years, this small plot of forest will be ready to thin again with large trees towering above a thick patch of a younger under-story that is loaded with trees.

Yound Douglas Fir trees that have been limbed up in a forest plot.

At first glance it looks like a lot of space between the trees. The trimming and cleaning up under these trees will help them with a growth spurt, within a few years this plot will still have trees too close together for optimum growing. Some cleanup will be needed throughout the next thirty years.

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