Logging in Walker Woods- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Logging in Walker Woods

    I noticed while driving up to Durham Forest that SW of the parking lot there was signs of logging in the Woods. Any idea how extensive it was?
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8
    Apsley, Ontario, Canada

  2. #2

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    Can someone explain to me the reason for taking down these trees? Is it a land management thing, if so are there any links I can read up on.

    Thanks.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by capun_canuck
    Can someone explain to me the reason for taking down these trees? Is it a land management thing, if so are there any links I can read up on.

    Thanks.
    History lesson first. Everything following comes from a great book called Oak Ridges Moraine compiled by the STORM Coaltion and published by The Boston Mills Press, 1997.

    "Pressure from deforestation and land settlement was especially intense in the 1800s. Between 1830 and 1833 the population of Ontario increased by 50%. So great was the pressure for land that a new settlement policy was adopted against the advice of the colonial office. Settlers were enabled to put down a 10% deposit on land and pay off the balance in instalments. Many settlers, lacking capital, bought the land, and then, rather than suffer forfeiture, either sold it to land speculators or stripped it of its timber and abandoned it. One way or another, much of the forest was recklessley stripped from the Oak Ridges Moraine.

    Effectively, this led to the creation of deserts, as the removal of forest cover, in conjunction with poor agricultural practices, resulted in the formation of blowsand and shifting dunes [see attached picture]. As early as the 1870s, foresters wre calling for extensive replanting of such areas. Eventually, priority tracts were acquired and planted as county agreement forests in the 1920s."


    Hence, Durham Forest, York Regional Forest, Ganaraska Forest, Walker Woods (although this was a private endeavour - see below) etc.

    Walker Woods

    "The forest here is a mix of natural woodlots and reforestation. The reforestation was carried out largely by one man: James Walker. As a young lawyer, in the 1930's, Walker visited the area. He witnessed its barren farm fields and blowing sands - the result of decades of poor farming practices combined with light sandy soils and a number of years of drought.

    James Walker bought his first farm and started to plant some trees. He did some reading and soon believed he could make trees work for him and the landscape. Walker foresaw a continuous and sustainable harvest of wood fibre from a forest that would restore the landscape, bring back the wildlife, and hold more water in the ground to feed the springs that supplied Duffins Creek.

    Walker eventually sold this land - about 450 hectares - to the MTRCA ..."


    So as you can see, these woods were originally concieved to be harvested. Most of the planted trees are red pine, white pine, larch and spruce used for their ability to quickly grow, stabilize the land and be harvested. However, given today's conservation practices, there's a slightly different philosophy in terms of management - read on ...

    "Today, with the soil stabilized, forest management has more complex, second stage objectives. In particular, it aims to create a more diverse forest of deciduous and coniferous trees similar to the natural forest that existed here before European settlement. This is not something that can be done overnight through bureaucratic regulations or massive replanting. Instead, over a much longer time horizon, and with continuous experimentation, it relies heavily on the natural process of forest succession and natural regeneration.

    If we want a healthy, diversified forest, not only do the [planted] pines and other trees have to be thinned from time to time, but account must be taken of the shade tolerances of different species. For example, young red oaks do not grow well in deep shade under the overhead canopy provided by more mature trees. Where red oaks are wanted, therefore, holes or appropriate size in the canopy must be created by removing some of those mature trees. These cuts effectively mimic what nature does via disease, windstorm and fire."



    Okay, I'm sick of typing, if you want more, buy the book - it is really a great read about the natural and human history of the Moraine. You'll appraciate the land much more when you see how bad we screwed it up once and can easliy do it again.
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  4. #4
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    Good job!

    Once a forest reaches a cutable stage, for optimum growth, the plantations should be thinned out every 25 years.

    My parents have a 136 acre woodlot that has a couple of areas of white pine "volunteers" or naturally occurring trees. They are thick & too close together (2 or 3 feet apart, never thinned out, last logging performed by my grandfather in '62).

    The trees are about 2 to 3 inches in diameter & up to 20' tall. They are very spindly & susceptible to breakage from snow loads.

    We've had the property logged & have planted over 3,000 red & white pine seedlings since we purchased the property in '92..
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8
    Apsley, Ontario, Canada

  5. #5

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    Actually that all makes sense. The book you cited sounds rather interesting,

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Great post Draystex, thanks.

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