We thank everyone for their support but we have to close this coming Saturday 12/8/18 if we wish to have any trees available for next year. We are replanting—we have 4500 seedlings ordered for this winter. With luck we will have a reasonable survival rate. Left over Precuts will be available in our self serve lot by our gate. Please call if you hope to reserve one of the Nordman firs from the precuts. I would be happy to let you know if any are available.
6-8 foot Douglas and Grand firs are the predominant trees available this year. They will cost $30.00 any size. Our Turkish and Nordman firs will be priced $35.00 any size. There will be a few bargain priced trees in our available precuts. These vary daily and I would suggest if you are looking for a table top tree you start here. Remember baling and shaking are still complementary if the tree is not too big. If you are needing assistance there may be an additional charge. If it is just picking up a normal sized tree and bringing it back to the sales shack then it’s not an issue, but it may require patience on your part. So if you’re waiting: enjoy the fire, a hot drink, popcorn, taste a chestnut roasted over an open fire; say hello to Sven the stuffed reindeer, or Fern the wannabe reindeer (baby llama), or give Aslan the Leonburger a hug.
There are a few big trees available 10-16+ feet. We can point you in the general direction but we expect these to go quickly.
Fern, Abe and Emily
Sven and Emily
This past summer has been rather depressing with our drought and a 15% survival rate of the 3500 seedlings we planted last winter. We have continued our clean up of the property and our Oak habitat restoration. The reseeding of Roemer’s fescue—a native grass—is taking off in our Oak habitat. We have returned much of the property back to dry land farming vand repaired lots of broken tiles in the fields. So if you come visit the lower fields with sparse grasses have been planted in either an annual ryegrass or a perennial orchard grass for seed. We have the x-mas tree fields prepped for this winters planting—hoping our whole order of 4500 trees is available—and have a few more strategies to try to improve next years survival rate.
The new 42 inch wide 4wd tractor. I need to add some OSU decals to it as it is a lovely orange color.
We are nearing our target of selling 500 trees for the year. In order to remain sustainable and have trees for next year we will be closing the Choose and Cut portion of our operation at the end of the day on Friday 12/8/17.
This year has had many challenges and rewards. I will make an effort to document some of these events on the website this Winter. The most positive change has been our Oak habitat work. It is well underway and we are excited to see the changes as they develop this coming spring. The biggest disappointment has been the loss of 80% of the seedlings we had planted in 2015 and 2016. We have plans to plant 3500 seedlings this Winter.
We had set ourselves a quota of 500 trees that we felt we could sell this year and still have enough to sell in the future as we wait for the new plantings to mature. It looks like we are going to reach our quota by 12/11/16. We want to thank all of our customers for coming this year. Last year we replanted 2500 trees and we planting a similar number in 2017. Please remember that a 7-8 foot Turkish or Nordman fir is close to ten years old.
We are still continuing clean up on the property. The lower fields are getting returned to dry land crops and the upper end is being grazed by our small herd of Katahdin haired sheep. We continue our battle with invasive weeds--spurge laurel is our major culprit--and are implementing our integrated pest management program.
We focus on encouraging beneficial insects, supplement with honey bee hives, and are actively removing dead, dying, and diseased trees. Education of the public is step two, as a less cultured tree allows for better air flow which reduces some fungal infestations. Our goal is zero pesticide use and minimal herbacide application. A benefit to this program is the honey the bees produce.
We planted 2600 trees in 2016 and plan to plant a similar number this coming year. This next year's plantings will be on higher ground, which should reduce the phytophera--root rot--problems we have had.
We have been over seeding existing fields with a pasture mixture to get a cover crop on the bare ground between the rows of trees. We have also reseeded harvested fields with a pasture mixture to get something growing on the bare ground to protect the soil from erosion. The only catch with our plan to reduce the erosion is that sterilants have been used on many of the fields prior to our purchasing the farm. We are making an educated guess on which fields will benefit the most from over seeding. If the seed doesn't germinate we will be applying mulch in targeted areas to help reduce erosion.
We have been pulling and digging spurge laurel as it is the only certain way to kill the plant. We have been meeting with our neighbors to try to get everyone on board or at least committed to doing some work annually on the control of this very noxious and toxic invasive plant. We are even paying G & M Contractors for three days work with a large roguing crew. Lyle and I have put in several hundred hours over the past year on this task but it is hard to cover 150 acres.
We are also doing test control plots where we are trying different control methods: 1. Pulling, 2. mowing with a flail mower, 3. Cutting the plant at the ground and spraying the stump with Garlon 3A. and 4. burning it to the ground with a propane burner (being very careful not to burn the adjacent poison oak).
Lyle and I have been hard at work this past February replanting trees. We started a few new plots and added additional trees to existing fields. We are planting into the existing grass cover to minimize soil disturbance and reduce erosion. On some of our existing fields we are over seeding with a pasture mixture. Our long range plans are for some of these fields to be pasture for grazing. Our short term goals are to provide a cover that will minimize erosion and compete with the broad leaf weeds.