We finished our burning today in the clearings and under the loblolly. I will pick up the first 3000 longleaf seedlings on Sunday and plant them over the next week. I figure I can plant 600 trees each day. The professionals can do thousands, but they are skilled, besides being younger and stronger. The kids will help with the next tranche.
Espen helped with the burn today. He did a good job and persisted. Burning is fun, but it is also hard work. Adam Smith plus two other DoF guys did a lot of the heavy lifting, but Espen and I did a day’s work too. Glad to have Espen’s help and I think his first burn was good for him too.
I think this was good fire. It rained on Sunday, so the ground was damp and it cool with a decent wind. The wind pushed the fire, but the damp and cool protected the soil. I hope that it did not kill too many of the trees I want to keep and I don’t think it did.
We planted some longleaf under the loblolly last year. In theory, they can survive the fire. I examines some (see picture) and they seem green in the bud area.
We are burning for a few reasons. It is important for the southern pine ecology and we want to further the longleaf transition. We also want to encourage southern grassland in both in the widely spaced pine and in grass and forb in patches and under the power lines. The third picture shows Espen setting that part off. First picture is me and a little longleaf. Next is Espen and me. #4 is just a kind of artistic picture of the fire and last is a burned over section
Other pictures show the fire in process and burned over longleaf stands. Last picture is my prickly pear. I burned about it, so the fire was not too hot. I think it likely will survive. They are native to Virginia pine forests and they do survive fires, but since I have only one, I thought it wiser to give it special treatment.