Last Week This Week

Remember the stories last week about the Washington County and Columbia County Small Woodland Associations and their dueling/competing plant sales happening at the same time?

Marilyn had the fun and pleasure of working in St. Helens with the event taking place outside in the worst plant sale weather in the history of the event (she had a blast, by the way, her co-workers and the customers made the day fun). But the driving snow and wet pavement had everyone bundled up in winter garb.

I worked the Hillsboro sale where I watched from inside a wall of windows as fits and starts of snow  that swirled furiously between bouts. Both counties worried that the weather would deter the plant people that flock to these sales each year. Both counties were surprised by the attendance numbers and the support of the respective communities.

And now for this week… Of course it stands to reason that after each of us working at a plant sale last week, the story today is of us now planting the seedlings that we each brought home. Mike got to enjoy the job of helping to plant the seedlings we had brought home.

It began along the riparian zone of the river where Mike had bulldozed a path gouging out invasive blackberry plants. We are trying to establish trees in this area before the blackberries try to take back over their ground and are using about fifteen varieties of seedlings in the hope that some will stretch up before the berries encroach too thickly.

Then we moved to the hillside that had the small acreage that was cleared of timber last year and filled in Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar seedlings in spots that were thinly planted in February.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

Weyerhaeuser Forest Nursery

The REALOregon group had the opportunity to visit one of the Weyerhaeuser Forest Nurseries located in Aurora. The rows upon rows of one year and two year mixed species seedlings filled the grounds that once belonged to some of the early settlers of the area. Douglas Fir dominated the fields with vibrant growth.

One of the nuances of growing vigorous seedlings has to do with forcing the root systems of each of the seedlings. This is done by cutting the roots below the tap-root while the seedling is growing. A long thin blade is dragged underground at the right angle and depth as a tractor pulls it down the row of seedlings. One small error in the placement of the blade can cut too low to be effective or too high causing damage and death to the seedling.

Root cutting happens twice before the seedlings are ready to be ‘lifted’ or raised from the beds and hauled to the handling room to be counted, bundled and packed before stacking into cold storage while the seedlings await shipment for planting.

The group moved up the road a couple of miles to see rows of seedlings in the process of being lifted. The machine that was hooked on the back of a large tractor, scooped under the row of seedlings to bring them out of the dirt bed. The machine vibrates the excess soil loose around the plants so workers can walk behind  to bunch and place into totes that fill the back of a large trailer. The trailer filled with totes hauls the seedlings to a cement floor warehouse space so the trees can be counted, bundled and placed in boxes or bags.

The boxes or bags are then palletized and moved into cold storage at the other end of the facility. The cold storage space is as large as the work area to bag and box the seedlings and holds the trees first at a refrigerated temperature at one end of the cold storage. For trees that need to be held a longer period, they are moved after being chilled to the colder section and frozen. Millions and millions of trees can be sitting in cold storage awaiting to be shipped out the thousands of Weyerhaeuser cleared sites throughout  Washington, Western Canada, and Oregon.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

The Farm From Above

Our long drive around the backside of the farm. the pack into our section with all our gear and supplies, with a brief stop to collect our strength and re-hydrate gave us stunning overviews of the farm.

This one small section of the forest had trees that were no longer healthy and were in danger of creating hazardous conditions during storms and after storms passed through. We wanted to clear the trees in order to open up the area for a full replant. This is some of the steepest ground on the property with the slope being more than an 80% grade, the only other area that is steeper is the sheer cliff above the river where a slide dropped earth and rock over two hundred feet straight down the hillside more than 100 years ago.

Where we disgorged all the supplies from the several trips in, a few stumps became our thrones as we took a few minutes to enjoy the view. Directly below us, the main herd of cattle graze along the base of the hillside. Inside the fence where the hayfield has become a 26 acre nursery field, the six cows with their six calves meander the area. The Nehalem River bends and curves around the fields/pastures in lazy swoops and arcs through the landscape. We observed hawks and bald eagles surveying and monitoring the river as the late salmon have been coming upstream as of late since the high water has receded a bit.

Where we were sitting, we saw evidence of coyotes, elk and deer that had been in the area in the last 24 hours although we did not have any sightings while planting seedlings, the dogs took off several times during our work to track what we could not see.

I have to admit, it was hard to tear myself away from the serene scene that was laid out before me and begin the work of planting. I could have stayed in this spot all day and would have been happy despite the winds that picked up from time to time ahead of rainy squalls that would pelt the clearing with fat raindrops between breaks in the clouds and bright sunshine.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

Timing Is Everything

I love going out into the forest. It is my calming spot even when there is a grueling, eight hour workday ahead (for the sake of honesty here, I rarely, RARELY work or play at ANYTHING for eight hours at a time. My tasks are simply too dis-jointed to have one job last that long in a single day, but I do love to go into the forest for work, play, or meditation).

I was kind of hoping that after all the hustle of trying to fill the garage with cribs of firewood and kindling that I would have a day off before heading away from the farm. My kind of hoping did not work. As I was down to one last day of splitting and stacking firewood for the garage, and one day to change gears from farm to session, our neighbor showed up with the seedlings we had ordered from the Columbia County Small Woodlands Association.

The seedlings are grown at the Lewis River nursery in Washington State with seed that was purchased over two years ago by the Association. The members of the Association get to order trees when they have been grown first in small plugs for one year then transplanted into the ground for a second year of growth before digging or ‘lifting’.

A lot can go wrong along the way. Seeds do not always germinate well, or small seedlings can have die off from extreme weather or soil disturbances. Lifting can’t occur if snow is on the ground or the fields are too wet to dig. Last year, because of a nursery issue, the seedlings for Western Red Cedar were only one year old and very tiny from the trees we normally plant. This year the nursery was not able to supply any Western Red Cedar at all. The Association was able to get enough  trees to fill orders of the native Western Red Cedar stock from Scholls Valley nursery located in the Willamette Valley.

With all the ifs, maybes and possibilities surrounding the delivery of the seedlings to the farm, I was hoping that I would be away to the REALOregon class in Salem and miss all but the tail-end of the planting for the year. As luck (however you describe it) would have it, the seedlings arrived two days before my departure.

The family switched gears from splitting and stacking, to planting. And now the race is on to complete this round of forest re-planting before I get to take off for Salem.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

 

Our Own Seedling Nursery

In the forest, we transplant as many of our own native grown seedlings as we can. We have always had ok survival rates and are proud that we use our own seedlings that we thinned out of overpopulated areas of the forest to move them to areas that needed planting. But that process is very slow and the digging can injury the other seedlings growing close by. The growing process dramatically slows for the first couple of years since the trees are not used to yearly transplanting and moving like the nursery stock. The seedlings are willowy and tender compared to the nursery stock during those settling years and they are easily damaged. Continue reading

Second Pickup Load Of Seedlings

We are now on our second pickup load of seedlings for the riparian zone along the river. We have been concentrating on the four areas where Mike had used the bulldozer to eradicate (if only for a short time until they start growing again) those huge patches of invasive blackberries have now been replanted with a mixture of willow, cedar, white fir, hemlock and a few of other species that like ‘wet feet’. That means these seedlings are close enough to the river that and surface water to have moist ground all year long and sometimes may be underwater during flooding or prolonged rainy spells.

The rest of this load of mostly Douglas fir with a few other varieties prefer not to be in the wettest areas and they will be planted around the established alder trees that are nearing the end of their natural life span and on those higher banks of the river. The sandy soil drains quickly in these areas and their root will not stay submerged for extended periods.

With the last pickup load I had both Mike and Marilyn as full time helpers. Mike packed the trees into the area to be planting while Marilyn and I had to hustle to keep up with the flow of seedlings headed our way.

For this load, helpers came from farther away. It was a wonderful treat to get to visit with friends while we are digging and planting, with the sun shining on a glorious fall day.

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