Talkin’ around the Christmas tree
The Pacific Northwest—particularly western Washington and Oregon—has historically been a major Christmas tree production region. Today, it produces about a third of the Christmas trees sold each year in America.
In general, there are two types of growers: large-scale farms producing trees for the wholesale market and smaller, often family-run operations for the choose-and-cut market.
Christmas trees around the United States:
The top Christmas tree-producing states are: Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.
The average growing time is seven years, but it can take as few as four and as many as 15 to reach the typical height of 6 … » More …
A burning issue
On the straight, tall, and narrow
The straight, long rows of tall and thin loblolly pine grow very fast in the South’s flat lands, especially compared to the slow-growing Douglas fir on steep Pacific Northwest slopes.
It’s just one of many differences that Travis Keatley (’99 Forest Mgmt.) has witnessed as he manages more than seven million acres of timber across 11 states for Weyerhaeuser.
As vice president of southern timberlands for the timber, land, and forest products company, Keatley works out of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and travels from Florida to Virginia to Louisiana, and all states in between, as he oversees Weyerhaeuser’s … » More …
TalkBack for Spring 2017
Where would the wood?…
I enjoyed the article “Wood Takes Wing” in the Winter 16 edition of Washington State Magazine on the many possibilities for wood as a new source of carbon molecules for all of those polymers we take for granted. Technologies that allow us to reduce burning of fossil fuels for energy recognize its highest value. The potential for atmospheric carbon reduction is a plus.
But there was an unasked question hanging behind the article—where will the timber come from to fill the old mills? The same environmental groups who just say no to transporting or burning fossil fuels also eagerly block … » More …
Wood Takes Wing
The most complex chemistry lab on the planet is growing in your neighborhood. There might be a tree in your own backyard, cranking out chemicals as it converts sunlight to food, wards off pests, and circulates water and nutrients through it roots, branches, and leaves.
So diverse is the chemical compendium produced by trees that we get aspirin (willow bark is a natural source of salicylic acid and has been used to treat pain since ancient times), the ink Leonardo used in his notebooks (from leaf galls produced by wasp larvae), and natural antibacterials (the fiber in cedar chips is used to make hospital gowns).
… » More …