I read a Richard Jagels article in WB and he mentioned Catalpa. History/Lore/Use:
The Catalpa tree is found in forests from southern Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and Arkansas. First cultivated in 1754, the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot coupled with the fast growth rate of the tree. In the south, Catalpa trees are traditional sources of fish bait. Catalpa worms, the larvae of Catalpa Sphinx Moths, are eagerly sought in early summer by anglers.
Ponderosa Pine: 0.46
Coast Redwood: 0.40
Incense Cedar: 0.40
Engelmann Spruce: 0.35
Sugar Pine: 0.36
Cork Oak Bark: 0.24
White Fir: 0.36
NJ cedar -
Background - Atlantic white-cedar grow in freshwater wetlands along the coasts of southern Maine to northern Florida. White-cedar stands commonly occur in swamps, flood plains, stream headwaters, tidal wetland borders, drainage ways and bogs.
Atlantic white-cedar typically forms pure stands with thousands of trees per acre, nearly all the same age. Young cedar seedlings, intolerant of shade, require strong sunlight to grow. Stands will develop only after an area has been cleared and sufficient seed source exists.
Within the NJ Pinelands, cedar swamps provide habitat for 19 species of mammals. According to studies conducted by the NJ Pinelands Commission, 14 herpetologic species with declining populations live in the cedar wetlands habitat, including the Pine Barrens tree frog, bog turtle, timber rattlesnake, northern pine snake, and several species of salamander. Unique plant species growing in Pine Barren cedar bogs include the rare curly grass fern, several species of orchids, milkworts, sedges and cotton grasses, and the federally endangered swamp pink.
Disturbances such as flooding, storms, ice damage, indiscriminate harvesting, deer browsing on young stands, beaver damage, cranberry bog expansion, and development continue to adversely affect the Atlantic white-cedar population.
Outlook for the Future - Through the efforts of the Atlantic White-cedar Steering Committee, Best Management Practices have been developed to provide guidance and assurance that cedar will be maintained and sustained into the future.
Better technology, including the use of an electronic mapping system and an ecological classification system, is helping the New Jersey Forest Service identify the current cedar resource and potential regeneration areas.
Electric fencing also has been effective in controlling deer browsing, which is a severe deterrent to regeneration.
To enable research, conservation and regeneration efforts for Atlantic white-cedar to continue, both public and private support for this costly endeavor must increase.
Current Situation - In New Jersey, Atlantic white-cedar forests are located principally in the Pinelands region in Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Atlantic white-cedar forests were once widely distributed across the state, with major stands in the Pine Barrens, the Hackensack Meadowlands and Sandy Hook. Lack of proper management, loss of wetland habitat, theft and illegal harvesting, wildfire, deer browsing, a rise in sea level and other natural factors have contributed to its steady decline.
In a study of Atlantic white-cedar stands in Bass River State Forest, it was determined that the average age of an Atlantic white-cedar stand is 40 to 60 years old. Depending on habitat conditions, as cedar stands get older they tend to break down and begin to convert to hardwood forest. The study revealed that currently there are no young cedar stands growing in Bass River State Forest. Deer browsing has had a negative impact statewide on cedar regeneration.
About 15,000 acres of Atlantic white-cedar stands in the state have begun to convert to hardwood forest, with the dominant species being red maple. If conservation and restoration efforts are not begun soon, the costly regeneration of these stands will become more difficult and require increasingly greater funding in the future.
Course of Action - In July of 1995, the NJ Forest Service formed an Atlantic White-cedar Steering Committee that began the Atlantic White-Cedar Initiative (AWCI). The committee comprises representatives of the NJ Forest Service, Rutgers University, Stockton State College, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the NJ Forestry Association, as well as private resource management consultants.
Goals and objectives of the AWCI include:
- Facilitating communication and encouraging cooperation among agencies, researchers, private landowners and the public;
- Exploring and demonstrating approaches for restoration and sustainability, and increasing the acreage of Atlantic white-cedar;
- Providing a management model for the Atlantic white-cedar resource;
- Increasing Atlantic white-cedar seedling or rooted cuttings production;
- Developed Best Management Practices for Atlantic white-cedar.
Since 1978, the Division of Coastal Resources has protected white-cedar stands from disturbance as part of its permit review process. Development near Atlantic white-cedar stands and the harvesting of cedar also are regulated under the New Jersey Pinelands Commission's Comprehensive Management Plan. In addition, the NJ Forest Service reviews all forest management or harvesting plan submitted to the Pinelands Commission and Land Use Regulation for permitting applications.
Robert A. Zampella1 and Richard G. Lathrop2
|(1)||Pinelands Commission, PO Box 7, New Lisbon, NJ 08064, USA|
|(2)||Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA|
Atlantic white cedar wetlands - Chamaecyparis thyoides - disturbance - succession - Pinelands
Publication: Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science
Publication Date: 22-MAR-03
Delivery: Immediate Online Access
Author: Dugan, Christopher P. ; Kuser, John E.
ABSTRACT. Although the ecological importance of Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), New Jersey's only obligate wetland tree species, has been well documented, it was not known whether the geographic origin of the propagule had any effect on the growth rate of the individual. To determine the effect of geographic origin on the rate of propagule growth, measurements were retaken during the fifth growing season of a previously undertaken provenance study in Jackson, New Jersey in which qualitative but not significant quantitative differences were found between one North Carolina and three New Jersey populations following two growing seasons. After three additional growing seasons, however, a highly significant difference in height was found among the populations, with the North Carolina provenance consistently averaging taller heights than the three New Jersey provenances. Trees of the southern and central New Jersey provenances were also significantly taller than those of the High Point, New Jersey p rovenance. Although no significant quantitative difference could be found for diameter, provenance differences appeared to be present and may become statistically significant in subsequent growing seasons.
KEY WORDS: Atlantic white-cedar, Chamaecyparis, Cedar Swamp, Provenance
Atlantic white-cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides (family Cupressaceae), is New Jersey's only obligate wetland tree species. Its historic range once covered perhaps 200,000 ha, fragmented and isolated in non-continuous populations ranging down a narrow strip of the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Florida, and west into parts of Mississippi (Little and Garrett, 1990; Kuser and Zimmermann, 1995). Today, it covers significantly less area within the same range - approximately 44,000 ha - most of which occurs in pure stands or mixed hardwood forests with wetland swamp conditions (Little and Garrett, 1990; Kantor and Pierson, 1985; Kuser and Zimmermann, 1995). Its narrow ecological amplitude is associated with specific abiotic factors - pH, hydrologic conditions, substrate below root zone, and total incident light penetration (Little, 1950; Ehrenfeld, 1995a, b). Historic loss of habitat has had its origins in agricultural clearings and human alteration of hydrological and ethological (increased deer and rabbit populatio ns, decreased beaver populations) conditions (Kuser and Zimmermann, 1995). Other reasons for habitat loss have included logging for the cedar's decay resistant wood, boat building, and the production of buckets, shingles, stakes, and utility poles (Little, 1950; Kuser and Zimmermann, 1995). Still other sources of destruction have resulted from an indifferent attitude towards cedar's ecologic role, an historic attitude applied towards wetlands in general. Many hectares of cedar swamp were even burned in the Hacken sack Meadowlands in 1791 as a means of protection from pirates, who were using the swamp for cover (Kantor and Pierson, 1985).
More recent times, however, have seen a resurgence in appreciation of wetlands, now recognized as stabilizers of streams, storage basins for storm waters, and filterers and purifiers of ground and surface waters. Additionally, cedar wetlands contain rare plant species, such as the curly grass fern (Schizaea pusilla) and swamp pink (Helonias bullata), and various animal species, such as migratory thrushes and warblers, small mammals, and amphibians (Wander, 1980; Zappalorti, 1994). This resurgence has led to the desire for cedar swamp restoration, which has proven to be difficult and expensive. It is our hope that some of this difficulty may be alleviated through a faster rate of growth, which is not only advantageous in the competition for sunlight and other resources, but also lessens the amount of time needed to...
Saturday, March 17. 2007
Want to save the urban forest? Try logging it.That’s what urban forest expert Eric Oldar at the California Department of Forestry says. It may sound heretical, especially to Sacramentans known to boast about living in the “city of trees” and who extol the virtues of its majestic old canopy.
But what is less well-known is that the urban forests here and in many California cities are old, riddled with disease and may one day collapse entirely.
“If we just continue to practice geriatric forestry, the situation is never going to get better,” Oldar said. “Inevitably, the bubble is going to pop.”
By geriatric forestry, Oldar means the reluctance to remove trees even when they are diseased or dying. At its extreme, this philosophy can be summed up as “A dead tree is better than no tree.”
What Oldar recommends is removal of troubled trees sooner rather than later. But just as important, he says cities must recognize that many urban trees make for valuable hardwood once they are logged, milled and sold. By milling and marketing diseased or geriatric trees, cities could fund better urban forestry practices.
The key to a sustainable urban forest, most experts agree, is one that is as diverse as possible in terms of the species and age of trees. But most local governments, Sacramento included, are unable to do much more than respond to emergencies, trees downed by storms or those posing an immediate threat to life or property.
Hundreds, even thousands, of dollars are spent maintaining ancient elms, oaks and other trees that have long surpassed their healthy lives. For the most part, proactive approaches to promoting a diverse and healthy urban forest fall by the wayside.
Yet removing the junk trees is no small task.
For example, in Sacramento County there are some 80,000 Modesto ash trees that dot the yards of the county’s older suburbs. On the whole, this population is unhealthy, dying, riddled with the parasite mistletoe. But removing these “junk trees” and planting anew would most likely be a financial nightmare for the county.
Some of that cost could be offset, however, if the removal operation somehow paid for itself. It turns out that it could. And that’s where Oldar comes in.
While trees such as the Modesto ash are a bane to the health of the urban forest, they are potentially a boon to the market for much-sought-after exotic hardwoods. Once milled, an urban ash tree can fetch more than $3 per board-foot (12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch).
Some exotic species, such as the Acacia, can go for as much as $7, $8 or $9 per board-foot. Compare that to the forest products from our nearby wild forest. Sugar pines and redwoods typically command $3.20 to $3.50 per board-foot.
The question is whether local governments are savvy enough to turn the problem of declining urban forests into an asset rather than a burden. That’s why Oldar has begun a pilot program through CDF that loans “micro-mills” to communities and organizations that are interested in milling wood that comes from the cities. The 30-foot-long mills are portable and cost around $25,000.
The pilot program includes just a handful of organizations. Palomar Community College is one, where students are using one of Oldar’s micro-mills to earn a professional certificate in wood-milling. A nonprofit organization in San Francisco has applied for a mill to begin making urban wood furniture. And in Sacramento, some of the wood from municipal tree removal is sent to an Auburn company called California Hardwoods Producer and milled for use as hardwood paneling and flooring.
Oldar says the program could be greatly expanded in the Sacramento region and in other cities: “California is sitting on a very rich forest of hardwoods, and they don’t know it.”
Sacramento alone currently removes about 800 of its 150,000 street trees every year. It is estimated that about 28,000 board-feet per year could be harvested, just in the removal of dead or diseased trees. Right now, most of that is recycled as firewood, turned into wood chips for landscaping or turned into mulch.
All of this might lead one to believe that CDF is promoting making a quick buck off our backyard trees.
“The public is skeptical. They think an agency like ours just sees the wood value,” he said. But Oldar isn’t talking about clear-cutting the elms around McKinley Park or taking chainsaws willy-nilly to downtown. Instead, Oldar is advocating the return of age-old forest practices for the trees that line our city streets and hang above our yards.
“A couple of years ago, people told me I was crazy,” Oldar said. “I’m not here just to harvest all of your trees. I’m here to enhance your forest.”
Oldar suggests that by looking at the urban forest as having a real, measurable value, urban forestry will come of age. Part of that value is seeing wood as a resource. But the way people have historically looked at trees has become disconnected in the urban environment.
“The problem is that most people don’t see the real use of an urban tree. A tree is thought of as an aesthetic amenity, no more than the Christmas wrapping on our development,” said Oldar.
Yet Oldar may get some help from community activists such as Kevin Keegan, who has made it his personal mission to rid his boyhood neighborhood of Del Paso Manor of the dreaded Modesto ash.
“We have an immense problem here. A lot of these trees need to be brought down,” said Keegan.
For years, he has been needling county officials to take a proactive approach to getting rid of junk trees and planting new, more appropriate species. He has spent thousands of dollars personally removing trees and replanting new ones for his neighbors. He says he is about halfway done with replanting all of Del Paso Manor.
If the county would underwrite something like Oldar’s program, the benefits could be enormous, Keegan said.
“It’s going to take a very long time to get caught up. This could be a very beautiful place,” Oldar said. “Or it could become a complete nightmare.”
Sunday, March 4. 2007
NEW YORK — Donald "Stubby" Warmbold remembers the day he saw a 100-year-old oak tree cut into 12-inch lengths of firewood. A new homeowner in suburban Mercer County, N.J., wanted to expand a driveway, so the tree had to go.
"It was a beautiful, beautiful red oak," says Mr. Warmbold, who had recently lost a lucrative telephone polemaking business because new environmental laws had reduced his lumber supply.
"That's a waste," he recalls thinking. "That's when the little light bulb went on."
Warmbold realized the tree could have been put to better use. Such high-quality wood could be turned into furniture or flooring or, at the very least, park benches.
Traditionally, urban trees chopped down because of disease, age, or development have been sent to the dump. But increasingly, entrepreneurs and small businesses are identifying ways to more constructively use the estimated 3.8 billion board feet of timber — about 25% of the annual hardwood lumber production in the United States every year — that is removed from cities and suburbs annually. That's roughly enough wood to build about 275,000 new homes, and only a small fraction is now recycled.
More arborists and city officials are using the timber from these trees for firewood or wood chips. Warmbold and a handful of others are trying to take that a step further, turning unwanted oaks, pines, and ash trees into flooring, cabinetry, custom molding, and high-end furniture.
"We're about repairing things and not throwing them away," Warmbold says.
Warmbold and his wife, Maria, started Citilogs, six years ago in Pittstown, N.J. They salvage trees from urban parks and suburban homes and have clients all along the East Coast and in Chicago.
Warmbold typically hauls away trees that have fallen down due to weather or disease for clients who want them made into customized tables, desks, cabinetry, or other woodworks. After removing them, he usually ships the wood to Amish craftsmen in Pennsylvania, who create custom pieces made with non-toxic glues and finishes. Sometimes he turns the trees into lumber his clients will use in construction projects. He charges for overseeing the removal of trees, the milling, and furniture production, which he subcontracts to the Amish craftsmen.
Though his fees vary widely, a table typically costs about $1,500, he says, and that covers all expenses.
Warmbold was asked by Willow School, a private primary school in Gladstone, N.J., to remove about a dozen ash trees and turn them into chairs, desks, and tables. While the new school was being constructed, Warmbold organized the tree removal and furniture production. The furniture was ready a few months later, when the school's doors opened.
Recycling city trees slated to be chopped down remains a mostly unregulated cottage industry, where business is generated primarily through word of mouth and a few websites.
"When we try to sell the idea to policymakers, that's when we hit the wall," says Stephen Bratkovich, a forest products specialist with the USDA Forest Service.
Dr. Bratkovich is trying to encourage more municipalities to recycle unwanted timber and perhaps turn it into park benches, stakes for new trees, or school desks.
He acknowledges that two of the biggest problems is a lack of information and too few timber recycling programs.
Some cities don't allow businesses like Citilogs to bid on municipal projects because, by law, they must have a competing bid from another company, Bratkovich says. There aren't enough timber recycling companies out there to get that second bid.
For homeowners, the costs of disposing of a tree can be exorbitant. Depending on the size and weight of a tree, arborists may charge between $500 and $1,500 to cart away what is often useable, or even high-quality wood.
Urban Hardwoods, a high-end furniture design company based in Seattle, often saves homeowners disposal and cutting costs if they can salvage long vertical sections of a large tree.
The company reclaims between 150 and 200 trees a year from the Seattle area, mostly from independent arborists and property owners who don't want them.
The company was founded in 2002 by Jim Newsom, a self-taught woodworker and master craftsman who began making furniture out of driftwood in the late 1990s.
The company employs two designers and makes a wide range of commercial and residential furniture. The key to the company's success, says designer John Wells, lies in the type of wood they can recover.
"The beauty of the material is really what sells the product," says Mr. Wells.
Most urban trees are larger, older, and of better quality than younger, rurally logged trees, which are often cut down when they are just six years old, he says.
The trees that Urban Hardwoods collects are usually several decades old and include Douglas firs, bigleaf maples, madrona, and oak trees. They make striking tabletops, mantelpieces, and beds that sell for thousands of dollars in upscale showrooms across the country.
"That's our business advantage right there," Wells says. "The scale of the trees that we get is what determines their value — the scale and the quality of the grain of the wood."
Another company in Michigan has also found a way to successfully recycle unwanted timber.
Brothers Dan and Charlie LaMont are helping nearly a dozen counties dispose of ash trees that are being cut down by the millions in an attempt to stop a growing infestation of an exotic beetle from Asia. The brothers are taking the rough logs, milling them, and selling them primarily as railroad ties.
Citilogs's business is driven by a niche market, a savvy "green" marketing plan, and Warmbold's forestry and resource expertise. Lately he has also been focusing on restoration projects at historical sites, saving wood flooring or furnishings inside buildings.
"Some people say what we're doing is revolutionary. Well it isn't, it's just common sense," Warmbold says.
"If a guy's got logs, if he's got to get rid of them, why not use them?"
Sunday, March 4. 2007
Sunday, March 4. 2007Practicing What They Preach
In 1999 the New Jersey Forestry Services purchased a portable sawmill that is housed at the Division’s Forestry Education Center. In addition to being used for education purposes with school groups and tree service firms, the mill produces lumber for Division use, such as picnic tables, landscape ties, and paneling. Lempicki proudly notes, “Our mill saws only urban logs. We practice what we preach.”
For additional information:
New Jersey Forestry Services
501 East State St.
Trenton, NJ 08625-0404
USDA Forest Service
State and Private Forestry
180 Canfield St.
Morgantown, WV 26505
Cesa, Edward T.; Lempicki, Edward A.; Knotts, J. Howard. 1994. Recycling municipal trees: a guide for marketing sawlogs from street tree removals in municipalities. NA-TP-02-94. Morgantown, WV: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry; 49p.