Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The search for Camp Stranded, treehugger edition

(No giant redwoods in Iowa, but plenty of other native hardwoods to choose from.)

This chapter is titled:
You can't see the forest if there's no trees!

I will not claim any sort of expertise regarding hardwood tree and forestry management. I'll defer to experts like True Blue Sam who knows way more than I do on the subject. I like my hardwoods about an inch and a quarter thick and wide enough for the planer and I was lucky enough to work with my dad using many of what he used to call "shades of wood." My kitchen table was made by him after we moved into our present home, simple and well made construction of native Iowa red oak.

In Iowa, the extension service provides a forester for different areas of the state. The ISU Forestry Extension has some good resources such as publications and links for information and you can signup for conferences and local field days.

From the department of repetitive departments, we have the Iowa DNR providing much of the same service at the Iowa DNR Forestry site. But they have unique information as well. Here's a list of native trees and shrubs of Iowa. They also run the State Forest Nursery which can be a good place to get trees on the cheap. But you gotta go by their rules:

TO PURCHASE you must agree:

  • to plant and use the nursery stock requested upon the described property for establishing or improving existing forests, erosion control, game or water conservation with these restrictions;
  • to NOT resell or give these plants away with roots attached to any person, firm, corporation or agency nor to plant any of them for new windbreak, shade or ornamental purposes;
  • to protect all planting from fire and domestic livestock grazing;
  • to forfeit for destruction any trees planted or used in violation of the above restrictions.
Since you can't use a DNR tree for a windbreak, there are other sources: Henry Fields, The Nurserymen (for some non-native species) and the University of Idaho Nursery are a few of the many places out there.

On a previous post I mentioned that one parcel we looked at had a very good amount of timber, some of which could be harvested soon. But we also looked at ground that seemed a bit bare for us.

This last parcel we looked at (and one I cannot lay claim else I jinx it) has over 2500 walnut, about 1000 oak and hundreds more of maple that the current owner planted 5 years ago by seed. Most of the walnut are about 3 feet tall now as the grasses are not giving them a chance to grow.

Could be, could be...

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