Sustainable Forestry in My Woodlot


After years of learning about sustainable forestry with the help of the Kawartha Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association, I decided to have trees marked for selective cutting on my property. It was a huge decision for me to make since no significant cutting had been done here since the 1930’s.

The McMahons who originally lived, here cut trees and sawed lumber with a water-powered sawmill. The house and barn here were almost certainly built with wood cut on the property.

In the hot summer of 2016, forester Dave Pridham marked trees on approximately 40 acres of the southern half of the property. What was marked was selected very carefully. In keeping with principles of sustainability, large old trees which will provide seed for the future were left. Cavity trees which provide habitat for birds were also left. No trees were marked in the many ravines.

And no cutting was done in the spring and early summer when birds are nesting.

Some tree species like red oak require open spaces to regenerate and small spaces were created to accomplish this. A lot of poplar which was holding back the hardwoods was taken out.

Brant Jones, his son Eli and Curtis Tamblyn of JT Forestry were very conscientious in their work here.

Walking through the bush in the fall after the cutting was done, there was a lot less mess and disturbance than I had expected. The tops of all the trees harvested went for firewood. The skid trails where the logs were pulled out will soon be filled with new tree seedlings and the growth cycle will start all over again.

There seems to be a huge disconnect with regards to where wood comes from. I think we can all work on learning more about forest sustainability. Wood doesn’t come from somewhere else. It comes from here.

By Jill Williams

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