Woodland Notes Spring 2021
As I travel across the Willamette region making landowner visits, it seems like one big disaster area. On the positive side, after both fire and ice, it has been good to see so many people working together with their neighbors to take care of the initial disaster response. Going forward, many people need help deciding how to deal with the longer term recovery. Ongoing issues include assessing the survivability of trees, pruning damaged trees, and disposing of all the pieces. And then there is the challenge of establishing new trees and managing all the vegetation that will be coming back – wanted or unwanted.
Based on responses to our Reforestation Assistance survey of landowners affected by the fires, I am corresponding with over 300 landowners who reported about 17,000 acres of burned forest that they want to replant. There are not enough seedlings growing in nurseries to meet demand, and it looks like a 3-5 year process to catch up on the shortage. (For more of the story, Ongoing recovery from wildfire and ice damage)
As we continue to pick up the pieces from the recent disasters, we are also ramping up our “Fire aware. Fire prepared.” education campaign to help people plan for the future. From the home landscape and into the woods, there is much we can do to prepare, starting with each of us individually and working together in our communities. This theme also runs through the ongoing Tree School Online program with another session focused on managing forests with fire in mind on May 18.
Of course, there are also the normal seasonal tasks and events of importance for woodland owners and other forest enthusiasts. Tree planting season is winding down, weed management and fuels reduction season is ramping up. With light at the end of the Covid tunnel, we are optimistic about holding more in-person education events taking advantage of seasonal opportunities. Stay tuned for announcements about summer field days and a Master Woodland Manager Training starting in August.
All the best to you and your trees this spring!
OSU Extension Forester, Clackamas, Marion, and Hood River Counties