Turpentine beetles and grasslands

 A few problems in the forest. Looks like we have some turpentine beetles. As far as I can tell, only two trees are affected, but no reason to not to react quickly. I called Adam Smith from Virginia Dept of Forestry and we will go and inspect them tomorrow. The trees affected are in the SMZ with lots of hardwood around and some distance between them and other pine trees, so I think we can control the outbreak. Will see what Adam recommends.

Otherwise things are good on the farms. We will do brown and burn in fall and winter and then plant longleaf in the quarter acre openings we made last year. Right now they are full of brush, hence the brown and burn. I took some pictures.

We will also burn under the longleaf. This is their second burning. I noticed that there was a greater variety of flowers int the burn year. Hope to get that again.

My first picture is the beetle tree. Next is one of the 1/4 acre plots were will burn and plant this winter. Picture #3 is my prickly pear and rattlesnake master, more garden for me than forestry, but interesting. Next is the longleaf-loblolly border. I assert that the natural boundary of longleaf goes exactly through my land in Freeman at exactly that stop. It’s science.

For longleaf enthusiasts, notice that the longleaf are as tall or taller than the loblolly. They were all planted at the same time, i.e. 2012. Longleaf have more variety of sizes. Some are still small and some are tall, but it is a myth that longleaf all grow slower than lobolly. IMO, site prep is the key. That area was browned and burned prior to planting and then burned 4 years later. We will burn again this late year or early next.

Last shows the longleaf stand with a shiny sumac understory. They are getting big.