rich/ January 29, 2007/ Farm, Farm photos/

Farm friends John and Jim came by the other day to help tackle an oak thinning project.

Before we started

We have a strip of the native White Oak (Quercus garryana) that is growing along the south boundary of the farm. Historically, oaks grew in our area as widely scattered trees in a savannah; while the trees start as seedlings in thickets, fire tended to control their spread, and only large (and lucky) trees grew big enough to grow fire-resistant bark. In the absence of fire, local oaks become densely packed, and of small diameter. Thinning them gives them room to grow big and majestic as oaks should, and this go ’round gave us about a cord of firewood to split between us.

Allie guarding the spoils of thinning

We removed about a third of the oaks along one stretch of the stand. We got about halfway along the roadside, so there