PLEASE BE CAREFUL TIMBER HARVEST IN PROGRESS
WHY ARE TREES BEING CUT ON BEAVER BROOK ASSOCIATIONS LAND?
BBA has had a long history of forest management. Jeff Smith, one of the founders of BBA, was one of the first Tree Farmers in the State of New Hampshire. In fact, he donated his Tree Farm to BBA; thus, some of the woodlands have been managed for forest products since the 1920’s.
Every year, BBA conducts at least one timber harvest, as part of its long-term forest management plan. The harvest is designed to enhance wildlife habitat, maintain long-term aesthetics, increase the productivity of the forest for growing timber products, and generate income for the operations of BBA’s facilities and trails. The volume of timber harvested from BBA yearly, is less than the volume that grows on BBA each year.
The timber harvest maintains long-term aesthetics by ensuring that trees have enough room to grow, and by removing unhealthy or trees at risk of being damaged by the elements, or disease. Wildlife habitat is improved by creating a variety of vegetation types and age classes to provide food and cover. Productivity of the forest is improved by removing crowded, unhealthy, and mature trees to provide space for the remaining trees and encourage regeneration of the forest.
WHY HAS BBA SELECTED THIS AREA TO HARVEST?
This area was last harvested in 1989 by Wilkins Lumber of Milford, NH. At that time, enough of the tree canopy was removed to encourage regeneration of the stand by allowing more light to reach the forest floor. Many large healthy trees were left in the overstory as a seed source and for continued growth.
In recent years, we have seen dieback in the living branches of the large pine. We have discovered that the dieback is caused by Caliciopsis canker, a fungus that is not well understood. A look at the growth rings of infected trees shows slow growth. After consulting with the Hillsborough County Forester and the State of NH Forest Pathologist, BBA has decided to try to fight the disease by removing more of the white pine in the overstory. This harvest will leave large pine as a seed source. The objective is to regenerate pine in this area without the Caliciopsis canker spreading to the newly regenerated pine.
Wilkins Lumber of Milford, NH is conducting the harvest. The white pine and hemlock will be milled at Wilkins Lumber and sold to local area residents for building projects. Pulp will be sent to New England paper mills or turned into shavings for animal bedding, hardwood logs will be sold to other mills in New Hampshire and hardwood firewood will be sold locally to firewood dealers and used in BBA’s buildings.
The limbs and unmerchantable portions of the trees will be left in the woods to decompose and provide nutrients to the soil. The brush and rotting logs are important for salamanders and insects at the bottom of the food chain.
If you would like to find out more, please call the Beaver Brook Association office at 465-7787.