63rd Maine Woodland Owners/Maine Tree Farm Forestry Field Day

    For the 63rd time, members and friends of Maine Woodland Owners and Maine Tree Farm gathered Sept. 9 to honor winners of the annual Maine Outstanding Tree Farmer award and tour the woodlot that won the award.

     Pam Wells and her husband, Bryan, welcomed guests to their 1,050-acre woodland property in Milford and Greenfield. She described the land as a “cutover, liquidated landscape,” when they purchased it over a decade ago, in need of rehabilitation and a good long-term management plan.

     Kyle Burdick, chairman of Maine Tree Farm Committee and a Maine Woodland Owners chapter leader, noted that the Wells’ are regional finalists in the national Tree Farm competition, and praised their dedication to a community focus in their work.

     “Community is what it’s all about,” Pam Well said. “Wildlife doesn’t care what side of a property line it’s on, a stream flows regardless of the boundaries we create, a forest continues beyond our own land.” Sunkhaze Stream divides the Wells’ property transversely between Milford and Greenfield, and the property features a scenic gorge and the site of an old shingle mill worthy of protection, she said.

     At the lunchtime presentation, state Sen. James Dill and Rep. Michele Dunphy, who are the Wells’ legislators, presented a legislative sentiment in their honor.

     A host of exhibitors and vendors displayed a wide variety of attractions at the gathering site, the Maine Youth Fish and Game Camp in Milford,. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offered its “Operation Game Thief” display, alpaca products were on sale, and a flume table showed the challenges of maintaining stream habitat.     

     The woodland tours included walks along Sunkhaze Stream, recent pre-commercial thinning operations, and a developing recreational trail system with low-impact bridges and culverts. 

     Demonstrations of mechanized harvesting techniques by the Maddens included a harvester, forwarder and mulcher. Retired IF&W biologist Joe Wiley said that mulcher has been added more often to the standard equipment mix because of the sharp downturn in biomass markets. He said it speeds regeneration because it scarifies the ground and smooth obstacles created by stumps and debris. “The white pine will come back much faster, and they picked a great year for seed crops,” he observed.

     The University of Maine Woodsman’s Team showed off their skills, which included ax-throwing and speed-chopping, as well as challenging exercises with chainsaws, which require precisely timed starts and stops, and horizontal cuts to produce “cookies” that must stay in a stack to earn competition points. 


 

Pictures, below, are from the 62nd Maine Woodland Owners/Tree Farm Forestry Field Day - September 2016.


 

The accessible tree house is a magnet for campers and visitors.

A group gathers on the deck of the tree house.

On a motorized guided forest tour, demonstrations cover in-depth aspects of forest management.

Tom Martin, president of the American Forestry Foundation, talks about the future of the Tree Farm movement

MFS Outreach Forester Andy Shultz describes forestry strategies on a lakeshore stand of hemlock and hardwood.

The scenic Pine Tree Camp cafeteria is the setting for lunch and a speaker program. Maine Tree Farm Chair, Paul Larrivee, introduces the speakers.

The Sandy River Ramblers entertain.

A teepee hosts programs for campers along the lakeshore.