Anne Paulk Parker

harvesting Apr 14, 2022

"Pine Ponderings"

My father inherited the land from his father, who inherited it from his father, who inherited it from his father. Since we lived a day’s drive to the north, in Tennessee, some said, “What would Bobby want with all those trees?” But this newly retired rocket scientist had always wanted to be a forester, so he wasted no time in earning his Master Tree Farmer hat and title. Fast forward twenty years, and Dad has cut, planted, replanted, and nurtured many trees on the farm.
I started taking more interest just about the time Dad started having trouble remembering just which trees he had planted where. Thankfully, he kept meticulous records. And thankfully, there are classes for newbies like me. I wasted no time, jumping in with both feet, way over my head. For, according to our new Stewardship Plan from the Georgia Forestry Commission, there were jungles to tame, fire breaks to plow, duff to burn, invasive plants to fight, and fine stands of pine timber ripe for harvest.
I’ve learned a lot in one year. Dad’s brother is a helpful source of information, and shared his trusted local contacts with me.
  • The Longleaf Alliance’s Longleaf 101 lighted a passion in me, so that’s my main goal: plant Longleaf.
  • The Ladies for Their Land class gave me the confidence I needed help my dad accomplish our goals.
  • The Forestry for Non-Foresters class at UGA gave me skills and a language so that I could “talk pine trees.”
It was timber harvest time. Could this Tennessee gal manage a Georgia timber harvest? And from afar? Armed with what I had learned from my classes, and with the benefit of having many relatives in the area, I decided to try.
Last week we completed the successful timber harvest of 30 acres of loblolly and slash my grandfather planted thirty years ago.
I helped my parents go out for bids for a by-the-ton sale with some reputable local timber companies. We chose one, and they did a great job in marking boundaries, sorting logs for best value, and leaving the site in good shape for replanting.
Now for the task of site prep and reforestation...
There is so much I don’t know about planting pines. I’d better pull these big notebooks from my classes off the shelf and start reading!

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