Concern has slowly been changing from preserving individual species
on a piecmeal basis to preservation of specific environments. Thus
there is some degree of movement to leave more woods untouched, even
though the trees therein are not scarce.
One problem with second growth in general and back cherry in
particular is that the first trees to colonize open land branch
out close to the ground and so produce knotty twisted wood.
You don't live here, where the poplars (real ones) and cherry run neck and
neck in any clear spot.
BTW, the only way I know of "preserving" anything is in some fluid like
formalin. Anything else is just some short-lived human's pipedream.
Preservation in formalin has a limited lifetime too.
There is still a lack of consensus among cosmologists as to whether or
not the universe itself has a finite lifetime.
Paleontology has made it clear that forests can last for thousands
of human lifetimes. Once established, a forest may last until
geological forces harshen the climate and even then forests can
last thousands of years after the climate would have become too
harsh because the forest itself influences the local climate.
That's not very long, really. Don't know what you're really driving at
--forested regions will remain forested under no intense changing
environment essentially forever. But over geological epoch time scales,
things <don't> stay the same very long at all, at least in some areas.
Large-scale defoliation from external forces such as Easter Island or
the importation of foreign pests (US Appalachia) for examples, are
something else entirely different.
That's what I'm driving at. Forests can be preserved over
a time frame of thousands of years. Nothing can be preserved
forever so a statement that foo cannot be preserved is true
while not being partricularly illuminating.
Getting back to an earlier analogy, forests left on their
own typically will outlast a specimen preseverd in formalin
so if the lifetime of a specimen preserved in formalin es-
tablishes the time frame that constitutes 'preservation'
then indeed, forests can be preserved.
Now, there are a few people here and there who think
the Earth is only 7,000 years old and the end of time
is just around the corner. Those folks will have a
different perspective, given that most of the world's
forests in the pre-industrial are were alread far older
than that. It is easy to discount such people as nuts
but some of them vote, run for office and otherwise
get into postitions in the government where they get
to influence decisions. E.g. since forests can't be
preserved forever there is no point in keeping them
around at all. When you combine those with the nut-
cases that claim a forest will grow back from a clear-
cut in seven years you realize that a certain degree
of vigilance is needed.
I'm not clear where Mr George fits into the scheme of
things, maybe he'll elaborate.
Fred, I'm not getting into this whole topic. I'd just like to let you
know that in certian circumstances you'd be amazed at what a clear cut
job can look like after seven years. I'm not being unrealistic but I'm
thinking of a basswood job we cut 12 years ago. The trees were reaching
the point of being over mature and were harvested in the winter. The
trees that were shaded were mostly totally hollow (which is normally
how it goes) so they all went. Harvesting in the winter will allow for
stump sprout. At least here in the northern region. When you have 5
trunks competing you get tall straight trees. 12 years later those
trees are 30 to 40' tall and maybe 12" average at chest level. It's
now a nice woods compared rotting out over time. My point is that every
woods is basically different and areas in the woods differ as to how
they should be logged.
That is a bit faster than I would have expected. How much longer
do you think it'll take befor those hollow trees are replaced
with more hollow trees?
Probably forever, because you want to manage that woodlot to keep
producing good wood, right? That's fine with me but its not
a forest unless trees therein can progress all the way through
their natural life-style. I do NOT insist that every patch of
woods must be left to grow into forest, I only argue that if
if it is not allowed to mature into a forest, it is not a forest.
Sorry, those forests blew down, burned down, succumbed to drought, diseases
predation and insect infestations thousands of times.
Not to mention, with cherry at best a transition tree - rare in any climax
forest, you only have it in abundance in transition phase.
No need to apologize, I don't think it was your fault.
The trees in those forests blew down, burnt, were destroyed in
ice storms succumbed to drought, predation, insect infestions
and the like millions and millions of times. That is normal
for trees in a forest. From time to time, large contiguous
areas were set back. But the forests remained. What makes a
forest a climax environment is not that it cannot be set back,
(though some forests, those where fire was very rare, or very
common were much more stable than many believe) it is that it
keeps coming back after being set back by natural forces.
Agreed. But let's not forget that transition areas are a normal
part of the forest environment.
What paleontology clearly shows is that while an area may remain
forested for thousands -- or millions of years -- the composition of the
forest changes radically and repeatedly throughout the time it is in
What ecology shows us is that even a 'climax' forest is not stable.
'Climax' is an attractor, not an end point.
So, no, forests cannot be 'preserved' in the sense that most of the
environmentalist tree-huggers use the term.
Certainly a number of the more vocal ones use 'preserved' in that way.
I'm aware that some (a minority) of environmentalists have a deeper
understanding of forest health. But even many of those seem to fall into
the 'preservationist' line when push comes to shove.
The result is that 'environmentalists' as a whole can appear a lot more
rational in print than they do in the ground, because the more rational
ones aren't the ones applying pressure.
Right now for example the 'environmentalists' are waging war to the
knife against efforts to prevent fires like the ones that burned about
250,000 acres of Arizona a couple of years ago. Since the effort
involves cutting trees they oppose it. They carry this to utterly
idiotic extremes, such as opposing thinning lanes along roads to create
barriers to fires jumping the roads. (Note I said 'thinning'. The
proposal in question would have allowed the US forest service to take
out brush and trees as necessary, not clear-cut the forest.)
But as the saying goes, 'the truth is out there. Anyone who wants to can
go look at the evidence. Those who don't want to can have a nice day.
I just killfiled one silly pointless debate in this newsgroup and I'll
be damned if I'll charge into another.
I've met hundreds of environmentalist tree-huggers and never once
met one who though forests were static with each tree living forever.
I think the opposite for both environmentalists and timber interests.
Sam Donaldson explained why when he described a classic 'schtick'
used in journalism. "You interview one person on one side of the
issue, one person onthe other side, and one person somewhere
in-between. It's not scientific, but its good journalism" IMHO
it's not journalism becuase it creates the impression that two
extremists represent a consensus on two sides of an issue that
probably is multifaceted.
Tell, me, does the policy call for clearing the brush while leaving
tha largest (most fire resistant) trees in place? Or does it
call for removing large trees which will encourage understory
growth making the forest more succeptible to fire?
Everybody should take a walk in the woods at least once in a while.
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