Eye Catcher

In my position there are many outreach events and such and yesterday I was on my way out of town to a planning committee meeting out of town and dragged one of my conservation district board members with me. I go to a lot of meetings and the drives get long so the company was much enjoyed. Regardless back to the meaning of this post, I was driving along then all of a sudden screech I’m slamming on my breaks and I start drooling… I saw out of the corner of my eye a large tree! I yelled what is that?! What kind of tree is that? It can’t be an Aspen! Trying to function off no coffee and running late we drove on. But that tree never left my mind for the 5 hour meeting… You better believe on our way back my hazard lights blinked bright as my board member got out and started thing pictures for my. I needed no HAD to have proof of this tree for my story! It looked like a cottonwood on the bottom and an Aspen on top. But it was so large and so old looking how could it be an Aspen?!  Well my friends, it is most definitely an Aspen. Check it out!!! Even with looking at hundreds of Aspen a week, this Forester can still be blown away by an Aspen! 


State Tree–White Pine

When asked “Whats your favorite tree”? My first response is Gingko–but then realizing most people don’t know this one of a kind species I say well native species would have to be the White Pine-which also happens to be Michigan’s State Tree. We will get back to the Gingko at a later date.  I like white pines because of the versatility to grow in a variety of soils and because they are naturally beautiful with their soft needles and they grow to beautiful heights.  They are also a commonly liked tree by the Bald Eagle for nesting (What a perk!!). Although like many species–they are susceptible to many diseases but if in good conditions can be a great yard tree, forest plantation species, or for a Christmas tree.

White Pine--young and old.
White Pine–young and old.

That First Moment…

Forestry…. in technical terms is the planting or management of forests.  Forestry to me, however, as well as many others in my field its an art workIt can be a blank canvas providing the endless options of reforestation or a full canvas that needs work to make it the full beautiful forest it should be– Healthy and full of diversity.  We often see beautiful photos of trees, wildlife with trees, or forests in general…but do you every stop to look at the picture and think…”What factors made that forest the beautiful forest it is in the picture?” I do- which is why my passion for forestry conservation is so deeply rooted into me and I love sharing that passion with everyone I can…

My job involves a lot of site visits to landowners woodlots.  When I first pull up to a property I get that rush and excitement of the adventure of a new forest I am about to embark on and learn about.  Not one woodlot is the same as the next, there are so many components that makes every site visit unique and exciting.

I get out of my car, pending I didn’t already get stuck, and my mind starts racing like that 5 year old girl in the candy store!  I begin to look around at the species present, age of the trees, how the are spaced/competing with each other, then I think about the wildlife that might be present if I wasn’t intruding their space. I think about weather patterns and if they forest would sustain in hazardous weather…my mind races to the point of not keeping up. Then after that split second and rush of thoughts, I ask the landowner their goals with the property.