Paul J Hetzler's Blog (17)

Life's a Beech Sometimes

(Note: This is intended as a resource to pass along to general audiences as an introduction to the issue. Peter has loads of detailed information on beech thickets on his blog and elsewhere, so the only thing Forestconnect members will gain form reading this is possibly a smile.)

Beech Gone Wild

The sturdy, long-lived and stately American beech, Fagus grandifolia, has been slowly dying out since 1920, when a tiny European insect pest was accidentally released…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on March 7, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Invasive Forest Pests: ISAW is February 26-March 3

Invasive Species Awareness Week

In Grade 3, a brilliant joke made the rounds. We’d hold up a sheet of blank white paper and announce it was a polar bear in a snowstorm. Genius is relative for kids. But the first time I drove into a whiteout made me realize how accurate that “art” project was. Anything can hide behind a veneer of snow.

This leads me to ask why February 26-March 3 was chosen as “National Invasive Species Awareness Week.” By this time of year, our awareness… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 12, 2018 at 3:51pm — No Comments

Forest-tent Caterpillars

Not in Tents, Just Intense

Winter is not a season when people think about tents, except maybe to be glad they do not live in one. I do have friends who love winter camping, and the fact they have never extended an invitation is evidence of how much they value our friendship.

Oddly enough, winter is a crucial time to look for signs of forest-tent caterpillars (FTC). In spite of their name, FTC do not weave a silken tent-like nest as do the eastern-tent caterpillar and other… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 26, 2018 at 2:19am — 4 Comments

Preventing Tree Breakage

Cradles and Cables

We are a clever lot when it comes to helping our kids settle into bed at night. Apparently, the story of how Jack broke his head fetching a pail of water, with Jill falling down the well after him, or the charming bubonic plague ditty “Ring Around the Rosie,” is supposed to calm small children. The veiled threat about abandoning an infant in a tree on a windy night always made my kids hush up. “Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop; when the wind blows, the cradle will…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 14, 2018 at 8:18pm — No Comments

Timber Theft

Timber Theft

Only the crunch of gravel mars the predawn quiet as a truck, headlights off, rolls to a stop. Working quickly, professional bandits round up your unsuspecting timber. As your herd of prized trees is prodded toward the tailgate ramp, their soft mewling is barely audible amidst all the rustling…

While it does at times parallel cattle rustling, with skilled thieves whisking away a few exceptionally valuable trees in an early-morning or weekend raid, timber theft…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 8, 2018 at 1:38pm — No Comments

Preventing Salt Injury to Trees and Shrubs

Every winter brings its annual a-salt on roads and walkways. In icy conditions, salt can be a good thing, but too much of it is worse than a bad pun. Cars, equipment, and concrete suffer in obvious ways, but damage to trees and other woody plants is much less invisible. Salt injures trees and shrubs by several means.

When road-salt spray hits twigs, buds and, in the case of evergreens, foliage, such direct contact causes yellowing of needles, and subsequent death of evergreen twigs… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 5, 2018 at 2:35pm — No Comments

When Trees Go Over the Hill

Senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all creatures great and diminutive as they close in on the life expectancy of their species. People my age suddenly find it hard to read the phone book. Though I suppose by definition anyone still using a phone book is old enough to need glasses, right?

The onset of this process varies—you probably know of families whose members frequently retain good health into their 90s and beyond, and other families where that is not the case. Of… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 3, 2018 at 7:59pm — No Comments

Don't Let Firewood Bug You

All of us are using more heating fuel this season than in recent winters, and there is still plenty of cold weather to come. It’s bad enough that our wallets are thinner, but those who heat with wood have the additional burden of more time spent lugging in fuel. And to add insult to injury, uninvited guests occasionally show up with the wood.

Firewood, I’ve been told, comes from “trees” which seem to be covered in “bark,” under which insects can hide. As the wood we bring inside warms…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 2, 2018 at 3:50pm — No Comments

Responsible Forestry

Golden Goose Forestry

Paul Hetzler

What do you call a dairy farmer who spends decades improving the genetics of a herd, then abruptly sells all the best animals to start a new herd from scraggly, unproven stock? Crazy, perhaps, or foolish at the very least, right? (Or maybe someone with a gambling debt).

Under normal circumstances, no livestock farmer culls their best animals to start over with random ones. Yet it’s common for a woodlot owner to sell all the large,…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 10, 2017 at 9:17pm — 1 Comment

Predicting long-range weather outlooks

Weather or Not

Paul Hetzler

Weather modeling has become quite a big deal in recent years, with meteorologists falling all over themselves to report what the latest models say. It sounds like a fun job, and I am trying to find out how to apply for a position. No doubt I could model categories like “large stationary front” or “high pressure system” pretty well. If it involves appearing in a swimsuit, though, forget it.

I love it when a radio announcer chirps “clear and sunny”… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 8, 2017 at 8:59am — No Comments

Yule enjoy this tradition

Yule Logs

The tradition of burning a Yule or Christmas log has largely fizzled out in most parts of the world. Although often depicted as a modest-size birch log, the monster Yule logs back in 6th and 7th century Germany were tree trunks that were intended to burn all day, in some cultures for twelve days, without being entirely consumed. It was important that an unburned portion of the log remained after the marathon Yule-burn, because this insured good luck in the upcoming year. The Yule… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 7, 2017 at 7:07am — No Comments

Pining for a Better memory

Pining for a Better Memory

During the Christmas holiday season, new memories will likely be made, and recollections of past seasons may be recounted as well. But the holiday season itself can aid in remembering events of long ago.

Speaking as a guy who can hide his own Easter eggs and still not find them all, I marvel how Father Christmas, who is a few years older than I am, manages to keep track of so many kids and presents. Lucky for us that the most enduring memories are those with… Continue

Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 6, 2017 at 7:08am — No Comments

Forget About Reforestation

Forget About Reforestation

Paul Hetzler

Squirrels have been criticized for hiding nuts in various places for future use and then forgetting the places. Well, squirrels do not bother with minor details like that. They have other things…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on November 20, 2017 at 8:29pm — No Comments

Giving Thanks

Thanks for Giving

Paul Hetzler

Many historians feel the Pilgrims would have all perished during the winter of 1620 if not for food provided by the Wampanoags, on whose land they settled. The following spring, the Wampanoags gave the Pilgrims seeds to plant, as well as a tutorial (possibly an App; we can’t be sure) on the production, storage and preservation of indigenous food crops including corn, beans, and squash.

That fall—no one is sure if it was October or…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on November 20, 2017 at 8:19pm — No Comments

Tree Quiz

Tree Guys Don’t Know Anything          Paul Hetzler

What is an arborist?

1. What a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan calls herself/ himself.  

2. A person who has received extensive training in all aspects of tree care.  

3. As opposed to your borist.

Tree topping is:

1. A type of syrup that forest-industry workers prefer on their ice cream.  

2. An incorrect way to reduce a tree’s height, one which leads to a very weak and…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 23, 2017 at 8:15am — No Comments

Planting Tips

Only Bury Your Tree After It’s Dead

Paul Hetzler

In springtime, driving around on weekends makes me sad. Invariably I’ll pass someone out in their yard, shovel in hand, maybe with their kids or spouse, and they have a cute little tree from the garden center on one side of them, and a wicked deep hole in the ground on the other. If I wasn’t so shy, I’d stop and offer my condolences, because clearly they are having a funeral for the tree.

Here’s an arborist joke: What do…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 23, 2017 at 8:12am — No Comments

Maple Seed Crop

sorry fdor the NNY bias...feel free to use this any time/way you like, and to edit out the offending parochial sentiments.

Helicopters and Handkerchiefs: Signs of Stress

Paul Hetzler

Here is a forecast the entire region can bank on: this spring will be characterized by pollen storms, and in a related development, it will rain helicopters this summer. Don’t panic—it has nothing to do with aircraft. It has everything to do with stress.

Short-term, moderate…


Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 18, 2017 at 2:33pm — No Comments


Forest Health

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Forest Health Mar 8. 0 Replies

Why Logs Are Important ---…Continue

Forest Adaptation Resources Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers

Started by Alicia Rose in Forest Health. Last reply by Carl DuPoldt Mar 1. 1 Reply

Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers, 2nd edition link --…Continue

New Forest Farm

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Agroforestry Feb 15. 0 Replies

Welcome to New Forest Farmhttps://newforestfarm.usNew Forest Farm is a diverse Restoration Agriculture research site in the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin.Founded and stewarded by the Shepard family…Continue

Dutch Elm Disease

Started by Bob Schumacher in Forest Health. Last reply by John McNerney Feb 3. 4 Replies

Our elm trees that have survived the last fifteen years of the disease being in our woods are looking very healthy.  I really enjoy the elms and we have a few very good size ones now.  I would lie some day to make some lumber with them.Continue

The Role of Insects and Diseases in Aspen Biology

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Forest Health Feb 2. 0 Replies

The Role of Insects and Diseases in Aspen BiologyJohn Guyon, Forest Pathologist, USFS, Intermountain RegionDate: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 ----  Time: 12 pm (MST)   ----  …Continue

COMET-FARM - Greenhouse Gas Accounting System

Started by Alicia Rose in Agroforestry. Last reply by Alicia Rose Jan 25. 1 Reply

 COMET-Farm is a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system. The tool guides you through describing your farm and ranch management practices including alternative future management scenarios. …Continue

Silvopasture Workshop

Started by Alicia Rose in Agroforestry. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn Jan 2. 1 Reply

Silvopasture Workshop 4-5, 2017La Crescent, MinnesotaThe University of Minnesota Extension,…Continue

Beech Leaf Disease

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Tim Levatich Dec 1, 2017. 3 Replies

This just in...  Would be interested to know if anyone sees this in their woods come spring.…Continue



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