Title: Florida forest steward
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Title: Florida forest steward
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2007
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Volume ID: VID00045
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Holding Location: University of Florida
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The Florida Forest Steward

A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals

Volume 14, No. 2 Fall 2007

In this issue: Lessons from the 2007 Wildfire
Season Reduce Damage,
* Lessons from the 2007 Wildfire Season Prevent Future Wildfires and
* Call for Master Tree Farmers / Wildlifers to Pr t Y r
Host and Lead Stewardship Tours Protect Your Property
* Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program to
be Offered Again Between January 1 and June 7, 2007,
* FLRP Practice Deadline Approaching 2,731 wildfires burned 305,347 acres in
* Timber Price Update Florida. Approximately 182,787 of
* Events Calendar those acres (225 wildfires) were on
public land and 122,560 (2,506
wildfires) on private land. 534 structures
(homes, businesses or outbuildings)
were damaged or destroyed. 2,208
structures were saved by firefighters.

For those with property affected by these
fires, the information in this article is
intended to help you evaluate fire
damage in your forest stands and decide
what actions may be necessary and
minimize your risk of future
damage. The tips for wildfire prevention
and protecting your home and property
below should be helpful to all readers.

If You Burn it They Will Come -
225fires impacted private lands in 2007, Prevent Insect Damage
photo by Dale Wade, Rx Fire Doctor,
Bugwood. org. Insect activity is a normal part of the
forest system so we expect to see insects
responding to a damaging fire, but we
can take some


*UF UNIVERSITY of

UF FLORIDA

IFAS


I


LFLORIDA


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actions to prevent significant losses of
timber from insect damage. Several
factors influence the buildup of insect
populations after wildfires: the severity
of fire damage to trees, the rate at which
trees recover and the removal of
damaged trees.

Evaluate tree damage

Identification of dead, dying and stressed
trees will be important for salvaging
heavily damaged stands but keep in
mind that readily visible fire damage
may be misleading. Pines can recover
from significant crown scorch if the
roots, trunk, and buds in the crown are
uninjured. By the same token, pines with
full, green crowns may die if significant
portions of their roots and bark were
destroyed by fire. If the food and water
transport system beneath the bark
(cambium) is severely damaged the tree
will likely die. Evidence of any one of
the following factors indicates a dead,
dying, or severely stressed tree:

* Bark is charred on more than 75% of
stem height.
* No green needles are present in the
crown two months following the
fire.
* Resin "weeping" or "bleeding"
occurs around the entire
circumference of the tree.
* Any sign of ambrosia, wood-boring
or bark beetles is observed on or
around the trunk. See http://www.fl-
dof.com/forest management/fh inde
x.html for information about these
insects and detecting them. Your
DOF County Forester can help you
evaluate possible insect problems.
Find your county forester here:
http://www.fl-
dof.com/field_operations/county for
esters/index.html


Any combination of two or more of the
following factors also indicates a dead,
dying, or severely stressed tree:

* Bark is charred on more than 50% of
stem height.
* Resin "bleeding" occurs on more
than 25% of trunk circumference.
* All organic matter (needles, duff,
humus) is absent at the tree's base,
creating a sunken ring around the
tree.
* Large lateral roots are exposed and
charred in two or more quadrants
around the tree.

Recommendations

Salvage: If necessary and if possible,
remove dead, dying, severely damaged
and stressed trees as soon as
possible. Removing these trees will
lower populations of damaging insects,
such as southern pine beetle, by reducing
the number of highly susceptible host
trees which they would use to reproduce.
Harvest severely damaged areas of
sawtimber first, and then remove smaller
patches of smaller trees. If finding a
logger or buyer is a problem it may help
to coordinate the sale with a nearby
landowner who also has trees to harvest.
For steps to selling timber, see
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR130. Seek the
services of a consulting forester if you
need assistance. See this publication for
tips on selecting a consultant:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR125.

Reinspect: Frequently revisit all
remaining areas of burned residual forest
and investigate any new or enlarging
pockets of mortality or stress. If bark
beetles are present, try to identify the
species so you can determine the
appropriate response. Southern pine
beetles should be given high priority for









control because of their potentially
aggressive nature. See link above to find
your DOF County Forester for assistance
with beetle identification.

Delay some activities: Delay planting
pine seedlings within or adjacent to
burned areas for one planting season
(until the winter of 2009 or 2010)
because seedlings planted earlier may be
killed by debarking weevils. If you can't
delay planting, seedlings should be
treated with an approved insecticide
labeled for use against regeneration
weevils.

Finally it is best to avoid forest
disturbance (e.g., thinning, burning)
within one-half mile of significant
wildfire activity because such
disturbances can greatly increase the risk
of insect outbreaks.

Beware of other stressing factors: The
timely removal of fire-damaged trees,
and trees that are already infested by
insects, is an important step in reducing
the threat of insect outbreaks. However,
other factors will play a role as well.
Insect outbreaks are more likely to
increase if fire-damaged trees suffer
additional stress in the months following
fire. Drought, poor soil fertility, severe
storms, and other disturbances can
further weaken a tree, increasing the
amount of time it requires to regain its
resistance to insect attack. Many parts of
Florida have experienced an extended
drought over the last year so trees in
these areas may be particularly
vulnerable to insect outbreaks.

Prevent Wildfires on Your Property

Forest fuels accumulate rapidly in pine
stands. It only takes four to six years for
heavy understory fuels to grow up to


hazardous levels. Regular prescribed fire
is the most cost-effective and practical
way to maintain low fuel loads under
pine stands. But fire may not be an
option due to proximity to urban or
residential areas, prolonged drought
conditions, or already high fuel levels.
Mechanical and/or chemical alternatives
may be used in those situations, after
which prescribed fire may be introduced.

Prevent fire with fire

Wildfires that bur into areas where
fuels have been reduced by prescribed
burning cause less damage and are much
easier to control than those that burn in
areas where fire has been excluded for
an extended period. A fuel reduction
burn in a pine stand, especially a young
one, requires very specific wind
conditions, humidity, and temperature.
Higher wind speeds and cooler
temperatures can minimize scorch
damage to trees. The appropriate
interval between prescribed burns for
fuel reduction depends on the rate of fuel
accumulation, past wildfire occurrence,
property values at risk and risk of a fire.
A two- to three-year fire cycle is usually
adequate after the initial fuel-reduction
burn.

After the initial fuel reduction burn it is
best to break up fuel continuity by
burning patches of the property. Another
advantage of patchy burns is habitat
diversity for wildlife. Unburned patches
provide cover and food for wildlife.
Note that these unburned areas could
become a hot spot during the next fire,
especially if a head fire is used in dry
conditions. As always contact your local
DOF Field Office to obtain a burn
permit before you burn: http://www.fl-
dof.com/field onerations/index.html.









For more information on prescribed fire
see http://fireinflorida.ifas.ufl.edu/

What if I can't burn?

Using fire to reduce hazardous fuels is
not always an option, especially on
smaller ownerships, near residential or
urban areas, or when conditions are
simply not appropriate for using fire for
an extended period.

Hand or machine piling and burning or
chipping is effective and causes minimal
site disturbance but can be labor or
equipment intensive depending on the
fuels. If burning piles, they should be
small enough to bum in a day.
Resprouting will occur so this treatment
will likely need to be repeated in three to
five years.

Mowing or bush-hogging changes the
structure of forest fuels by reducing
shrubs to the ground. This practice
generally causes minimal impact to the
soil and roots so hardwoods will
resprout. Mowing can encourage
herbaceous browse if done at the right
time of year. Fall is generally a good
time to mow. Avoid mowing in April
through August so nesting birds are not
killed or disturbed. Mowing in winter
and spring can lead to rapid resprouting
of shrubs.


Chopping, disking and harrowing also
reduce fuels to the ground but have more
soil impact so they can also disrupt
resprouting of some plants such as
palmettos. Disking and harrowing
expose bare soil and can limit fire
potential until regrowth occurs. Root
damage can result if tree overstory is
present and erosion may be a problem on
slopes.


Thinning reduces the risk of crown fire
by separating trees and is very beneficial
for other objectives such as growing
higher value timber products and
wildlife habitat improvement. Thinning
does not remove ground level fuels,
although it may crush down shrubs
temporarily, and residual slash may
increase fire potential for a period
following the treatment.

Livestock grazing defoliates most shrubs
from the ground to about 5 feet, converts
the fuel to organic waste and encourages
herbaceous plants and grasses. This can
be a costly option if other infrastructure
such as fencing, shelter and water are not
already available and may not be
compatible with other objectives such as
habitat for some wildlife species.

Herbicides are relatively easy to apply,
provide more long-term control, and
result in no soil disturbance. However,
the fuels are not removed and the
remaining dead shrubs or trees are very
flammable for one to two years after
treatment. Herbicides can be costly
although they are usually less so than
mechanical treatments.

Combine treatments: You may find that
some of these treatments may be
combined for the best results. For
example, an herbicide treatment can be
followed by mowing or chopping to
reduce the dead fuel to the ground and
then perhaps a prescribed fire cycle can
be introduced to maintain control. Or
you may wish to follow a chop or thin
with an herbicide treatment to gain
longer control after reducing the fuel to
the ground. The right treatment or
combination of treatments will depend
on your particular ownership situation,
management objectives, equipment or
labor availability and other factors.










Protect Your Property


People who live in the Wildland-urban
interface (people whose home or
neighborhood is within 14 mile of a
forested or wildland area) should take
action to make their property less likely
to ignite from the flames or flying
embers from a wildfire. Modify your
landscape to better withstand a wildfire
with relatively simple improvements:

* Create a "lean, clean and green"
landscape within 30 feet of the home
by removing highly flammable
plants (such as palmetto, gallberry
and juniper), trimming low hanging
limbs and limbs within 15 feet of the
home, replacing pine straw or other
organic mulches within one to three
feet of the house with lava rock or
gravel, and generally cleaning up dry
combustible materials in this area of
defensible space.
* Clean leaves, pine straw and other
debris from roofs and gutters.
* Keep 100 feet of garden hose at an
outside faucet.
* Screen the underneath portions of
raised decks or floors so flammable
materials cannot accumulate.
* Locate stacks of firewood at least 50
feet from the home.
* Install a section (8-10 feet) of non-
combustible fencing between any
wooden privacy fence and the home.
* Be sure the home address number is
clearly visible at the nearest roadway
(4" high, non-combustible, reflective
letters) to help emergency vehicles
find you.

Even if you live in an urban area we
suggest that you move any organic
mulches one to three feet away from
walls or other structural elements
constructed with wood or vinyl siding.


Anon. 2004. Wildfire Mitigation in Florida.
Florida Department of Community Affairs,
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services
(http://www.fl-
dof.com/wildfire/wf pdfs/Wildfire Mitigation i
n FL.pdf)

Anon. 1998. Insects and the Wildfires of 1998.
Southern Pine Beetle Working Group, appointed
by the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services, Division of Forestry.

Latt, C (ed.). 1999. Insects and the Wildfires of
1998: Reducing the Risk of Additional Tree
Losses. The Florida Forest Steward, vol. 7, no. 4,
Forest Stewardship Publication, Florida
Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS, University
of Florida. Gainesville.

Wade, D. D. and J.D. Lundsford. 1989. A Guide
for Prescribed Fire in Southern Forests. USDA
Forest Service Technical Publication R8-TP 11
(http://www.pfmt.org/standman/prescrib.htm)

See these Web sites for more information and
publications on these topics:

Fire in Florida Web page
(http://fireinflorida.ifas.ufl.edu/
Interface South
(http://www.interfacesouth.org/fire/


Call for Master Tree Farmers
and/or Master Wildlifers to Host
and Lead Stewardship Tours

This year we'd like to continue to give
Florida's Master Tree Farmers and
Wildlifers an opportunity to volunteer by
hosting and leading a Stewardship tour
at their property. Many of you reading
this newsletter have completed one or
more of the Master Tree Farmer or
Master Wildlifer shortcourses offered
through the Southern Forest Resources
Extension Team, UF-IFAS, Florida
Division of Forestry, Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission and


References









Florida Forestry Association. The
certificate you received after completing
one or more of these programs states that
you have:

"completed 21 hours offorestry and/or
wildlife management training and
hereby given the title Master Tree
Farmer (or Master Tree Farmer 2 or
Master Wildlifer) for volunteering to
work to advance forestry and/or wildlife
management in Florida. "

This is your chance to volunteer.
Another objective for the tours this year
is to visit properties in central and south
Florida as we rarely get to these areas. If
you own land in these regions and are
interested in hosting a tour please
contact us. As in past tours, agency
and/or private natural resource
professionals will facilitate the
discussions by providing additional
information as needed. We will
continue to solicit funding from
sponsoring organizations to cover the
meals provided at the end of each tour.

If you have completed the Master Tree
Farmer and/or Master Wildlifer courses
or otherwise wish to volunteer by
hosting and leading a landowner tour at
your property during the 2007-2008 tour
season, please contact Chris Demers at
352-846-2375 or cdemers(g@ufl.edu.

Southern Pine Beetle Prevention
Program Offered Again

Beginning July 30, the Division of
Forestry is re-offering the Southern Pine
Beetle Prevention Cost-Share Program
to eligible private forest landowners. The
program offers up to 50 percent cost
reimbursement for precommercial
thinning and prescribed burning
treatments, and a $50 per acre incentive


payment for landowners who conduct a
first pulpwood thinning. The program is
limited to 44 northern Florida counties
located within the range of the southern
pine beetle. The minimum tract size
requirement is 10 acres and funding
requests may not exceed $10,000. For an
application and more information on
program requirements and procedures,
contact your county forester.
Applications will be evaluated on a first-
come-first-serve basis.





FLRP Practice Deadline
Approaching

The Division of Forestry requests that all
remaining Forest Land Recovery
Program (FLRP) grant recipients please
complete all practices funded by FLRP
by September 1, 2007. The FLRP cost
share program will end on September
30, 2007 and any additional extension of
time to complete practices cannot be
granted. Once completed, contact your
County Forester so that they can
coordinate the inspection of your project
and submit your invoices no later than
September 10, 2007 to prevent any
chance of not being reimbursed due to
late submission.

If you will not be able to complete your
project or if you will only be able to
complete part of your project prior to
September 1, 2007, please contact your
County Forester immediately and let
him/her know exactly what your
situation is.









Timber Price Update


The timber pricing information below is
useful for observing trends over time,
but does not necessarily reflect current
conditions at a particular location.
Landowners considering a timber sale
are advised to solicit the services of a
consulting forester to obtain current
local market conditions. Note that price
ranges per ton for each product are
included in parentheses after the price
per cord.

Stumpage price ranges reported across
Florida in the 2nd Quarter 2007 Timber
Mart-South (TMS) report were:

* Pine pulpwood: $16 $28/cord ($6 -
$11/ton), slightly (on average from
1st Quarter)
* Pine C-N-S: $49 $60/cord ($18 -
$23/ton), {
* Pine sawtimber: $86 $108/cord
($32 $40/ton), {
* Pine plylogs: $83 $110/cord ($31 -
$41/ton), {
* Pine power poles: $114 $183/cord
($43 $68/ton), {
* Hardwood pulpwood: $7 $23/cord
($2 $8/ton), 1


For the first time in a long while for
Florida the only prices increasing on
average from last quarter were those for
pine and hardwood pulpwood.
Decreases in average prices for for most
products in the 2nd quarter are attributed
to dry weather and a weakened housing
market. Salvage harvesting following
the fires during this time will likely
result in lower prices into the next
quarter, especially in northeast Florida
where the Bugaboo fire took the largest
tolls. The good news, according to the
TMS Forest Business Optimism survey,
is that the forest products industry is
optimistic about the housing market
recovering over the next year and there
is much confidence in a steadily growing
biomass market in the South. Also, with
carbon markets emerging, there will
soon be new ways for forestland owners
to diversify their income portfolio.


Average Pine Stumpage Prices for Florida
2nd Qtr 1997 through 2nd Qtr 2007


72 74 82 84 92 94 02 04 12 14 22 24 32 34 42 44 52 54 62 64 72
Year/Quarter (beginning second quarter 1997)

-- pulpwood --chip-n-saw -m-sawtimber


Trend Report




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