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Entries in Camp Deerpark (8)


Sandy Damage at Deerpark

Spent a wonderful weekend at Camp Deerpark (see Camp Deerpark Forestry and Cabins at Camp Deerpark) working on some forestry stuff (thx, CDFST). Some of this was directed towards the large blow-downs (shown above) caused in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. What a mess. The forest was really torn up and we lost a lot of trees. We were able to salvage some of the white pine trees that blew down and saw them up for boards for the cabins [NOTE: These will be finished soon and I will post some pictures].

The residual hardwoods seem to be appreciating the increased light levels. As is shown below in a core from a red oak growing in one of the blow-down areas, the post-Sandy growth rings (indicated by the red line) are considerably larger than those produced before the storm. Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess.


Lowell Cores a White Pine

This photo provides the back story to this. Dear friend Lowell Jantzi muscles an 8-inch increment borer into a white pine to collect some growth data for the Camp Deerpark management plan. We collected about 30 cores - and unfortunately chipped the bit in the process. All of our last cores had a funny little spiral swirl around them. [NOTE: This can be easily removed when the cores are sanded for measuring].  


More Cabins at Camp Deerpark

And, speaking of beautiful white pine boards and gorgeous roofs (see Roof Aesthetics 2), this is what the ceilings in the new cabins at Camp Deerpark look like. All of the boards shown, even the joists and the 8x8 center posts, were grown, cut, milled, and planed on-site. What a lovely bit of carpentry and nature to reflect on as you are laying in your bunk looking up (bows to the Camp Deerpark Forestry Stewardship Team).  


Tree Cores

Spent the weekend at Camp Deerpark (see Camp Deerpark Forestry) taking cores from the commercial tree species in the forest. The growth data collected from the cores will be used to recalculate the allowable cut each year. Its been years since we've done this, and the forest has been logged several times and we have also done some timber stand improvement. There's a very good chance that the residual trees are growing faster as a result of our management efforts.

Analysis of a few of the cores suggest that this is exactly what is happening in the forest. Look at the white pine (WP) and Red oak (RO) cores shown above (the ones with the red bars). The annual ring widths, i.e. growth rates, during the past seven years - the period delineated by the red line - are notably larger than those shown to the right of the red bar. The management activities at Camp Deerpark are clearly having a positive effect on the forest. The wider growth rings are a tree's way of smiling.


Camp Deerpark Forestry

Spent the weekend before Hurricane Sandy up in the Catskills at Camp Deerpark running inventory transects to update the allowable cut calculations in the management plan (see Tree Marking and Elias Drops a White Pine). My crew did 48 plots, i.e. 9,600 square meters of inventory, and had a great two days shuffling through the autumn leaves counting and measuring trees.

Walked by what used to be an old field and saw that it had been turned into a log yard. That's the red Wood Miser portable sawmill in the background. Very proud  of how the Camp has taken to the sustainable forestry concept. Useful example of what a small, faith-based organization can do with 100 hectares of forest. Great job, guys. 


Remembering Juliet Skinner

Another image from the tree marking at Camp Deerpark. Walked by this family graveyard after finishing up in Harvest Area #1 on Saturday. The whole setting was quite powerful. The blowing snow, the freezing cold,  and the tombstones: "For Mother, Juliet, wife of Thomas H. Skinner, DIED Apr. 25 1853". The smaller stones are for the children: "Henry J., Aged 1 Yr, 2 mos, 18 D", "Matthias P., Aged 17 D", and "Thomas G. Aged 8yrs, 2 mos & 6 D". Sigh. I bet times were really hard in the lower Shawangunks 160 years ago. [NOTE: Requiescate in pace, Skinners]. 


Tree Marking II

The video of the forestry work at Camp Deerpark posted yesterday (see Tree Marking) was filmed on Sunday morning under a beautiful sunny sky. The weather on Saturday - when we did most of the marking - was a bit more challenging. As shown in the image above, Saturday afternoon was characterized by blustery wind and driving snow. Image below shows the lovely fire ring in the field next to Harvest Area #2. [NOTE: That's Kenton Baer on the left with the can of tree marking paint (and no gloves!) and Lowell Jantzi on the right with the clip board]. 



Diverging Paths

Start of the trail system at Camp Deerpark (see Stonewalls and Elias Drops a White Pine) before the blue, white, red, and yellow trails diverge. Robert Frost got it right:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

[NOTE: The entire text of Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken (1915) can be viewed here.]