Peeling Poplar Bark

Yellow poplar bark can be seen not only on trees, but also on the side of buildings. You will see poplar bark in Blowing Rock, Boone, and any number of towns in the mountains of North Carolina, and increasingly across the country. Using bark for building material is not a new concept. American Indians used bark on their huts and examples of buildings sided with American chestnut bark are still with us. Michael Smith and Gary Church of Smith Brothers Logging make peeling bark look easy. They peel bark in the evenings after a long day of logging. The work is seasonal, possible for only about 2 months of the year when the sap is rising. Also, not every poplar tree is suitable for peeling. Some

What’s eating the poplar leaves?

This is a question I was asked about a week or so ago. I was able to dig deep enough into my memory bank to come up with an answer, backed up with a quick Google search. Yellow Poplar weevil is the culprit. This weevil not only likes to chew on poplar leaves, but also sassafras and magnolia leaves. Both the larval and adult stages of the weevil enjoy a good meal of poplar leaf. Normally the yellow poplar weevil is not considered a serious pest, but in the 1960’s the US Forest Service reported damage to yellow poplar trees in large areas of the Appalachians. There is typically no reason for concern until trees are defoliated several years in a row. #yellowpoplarweevil #yellowpoplar #poplar #s

Honey Lovers Rejoice

Sourwood trees are budding and the blooms will not be far behind here in the second week of June and yo u know that means the bees will be making sourwood honey. Well, IF there is nectar the bees MAY make a crop but not always. Interestingly, you can have a good bloom, but there will not be much nectar produced. It all depends on the year. I've never paid much attention to the fine points of honey production even though I know it is an important forest product. My involvement with honey has always included a hot homemade biscuit and butter. On a recent walk with B Townes on his family farm I learned honey is not always what it might appear. I have heard through the years that sourwood honey

Too Many White Pines

Having the right number of trees is always a concern when managing stands of timber. Too many trees and they will grow very slowly, too few trees and they will turn into wolf trees (trees that have a wide-spreading crown) that have low timber value. Foresters refer to this as stocking level. NC Forest Service County Ranger Brandon Keener is thinning a stand of white pines with a brush saw in the photo. This stand was planted five years ago and after planting, natural white pine seedlings appeared. The result is a dense, overstocked stand. A brush saw is used to thin the white pine seedlings back to a spacing of approximately 12 feet by 12 feet. This stand is part of a field tour for the Soci

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