The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Monday, May 20, 2013

Fun in the Mud

Here's an entertaining and highly informative field presentation by Penn State plant scientist Art Gover, who is speaking on and demonstrating actions he and his team are taking to reclaim some streamside acreage from the tenacious invader reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea). Over the course of the talk Art touches on the site treatment, and other topics diverse as impact of deer and elk, different tree species planted on the site, plant succession regimes, and other problems such as tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) which he addresses for the last five minutes of the talk. Art has a great folksy way of teaching fairly technical biology, and we all had a few chuckles here.

I shot the video ten days ago at a forest landowners conference in Central Pennsylvania, so those of you in other places around the world can spend thirty minutes in springtime Pennsylvania with a great teacher, if you care to.

This is a really tough struggle for landowners, as those of you who have ever seen a field of kudzu down south can appreciate. Penn State forestry extension educator Dave Jackson recently wrote a great piece based on his personal experience of fighting the various invasive species we have here in the Northeast, and his story conveys the sense that many landowners feel after fighting this battle for awhile...they just want to give up. It can be that exasperating.

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