Category Archives: Loblolly

Turpentine Afterburn 2023-12-22

Two things I had never seen before: a turpentine catface burning, and a guide metal for a McCoy turpentine cup.

[Catface burning, Turpentine guide, Nail that held the cup, the loblolly pine tree]
Catface burning, Turpentine guide, Nail that held the cup, the loblolly pine tree

This was during and the day after our prescribed burn of December 21, 2023.

Also, this catface was on a loblolly, not a longleaf pine.

And since it was hacked into the tree during the Great Depression, in the turpentining that paid off the mortgage on the farm, in the 85 or so years since the tree had grown out around it, yet left the actual catface exposed. Continue reading

Seven-acre burn 2022-12-30

Another successful prescribed burn at the end of 2022.

This was actually the burn of the area in which the Treat’s Rain Lilies have since come up, six weeks later.

[Fire and ash 2022-12-30]
Fire and ash 2022-12-30

There’s more to do if we ever get good conditions again, as in dry for enough days after a rain.

For those who are not familiar with prescribed burns, they are necessary to the health of pine forests. Pine trees, especially longleaf pine trees, are more resistant to fire than other trees. So burns favor pines, and without burning, oaks, sweetgums, etc. take over. And burning temporarily cuts back the gallberry, blackberry, and Smilax vine thickets that get too thick for wildlife. Quail and other birds have already moved into areas of previous burns.

Here’s a video playlist:

Continue reading

Pine pollen and yellow jessamine 2021-03-06

Spring has sprung, with yellow jessamine in full bloom, and the pines producing plenty of pollen.

[Yellow jessamine, loblolly, longleaf]
Yellow jessamine, loblolly, longleaf

It was 35 degrees this morning, but freezes seem to be over. Continue reading

Higher climate temperatures mean more and faster tree deaths

Higher average temperatures acres of pine trees dead due to pine beetles mean much more frequent droughts and trees dying faster in droughts because of the temperatures. That plus pine beetles, according to research from 2009. Forestry is Georgia’s second largest industry in terms of employment and wages and salaries, more than $28 billion a year according to the Georgia Forestry Commission, plus an estimated $36 billion a year in ecosystem services such as water filtration, carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics, not to mention hunting and fishing. Climate change matters to Georgia’s forests and to Georgia.

The paper appeared 13 April 2009 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, Temperature sensitivity of drought-induced tree mortality portends increased regional die-off under global-change-type drought, by Henry D. Adams, Maite Guardiola-Claramonte, Greg A. Barron-Gafford, Juan Camilo Villegas, David D. Breshears, Chris B. Zou, Peter A. Troch, and Travis E. Huxman, 106(17) 7063-7066, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0901438106.

Fig. 1. Water relations progression and death dates.

All drought trees in the warmer treatment died before any of the drought trees in the ambient treatment (on average 18.0 vs. 25.1 weeks, P <0.01; Fig. 1A).

They say warmer trees dying faster in drought wasn’t due to a difference in amount of water. Instead, they infer the warmer trees couldn’t breathe.

Combined, our results provide experimental evidence that piñon pines attempted to avoid drought-induced mortality by regulating stomata and foregoing further photosynthesis but subsequently succumbed to drought due to carbon starvation, not sudden hydraulic failure. Importantly, we isolate the effect of temperature from other climate variables and biotic agents Fig. 3. Drought frequency and die-off projections. and show that the effect of warmer temperature in conjunction with drought can be substantial.

Our results imply that future warmer temperatures will not only increase background rates of tree mortality (13, 16), but also result in more frequent widespread vegetation die-off events (3, 35) through an exacerbation of metabolic stress associated with drought. With warmer temperatures, droughts of shorter duration—which occur more frequently—would be sufficient to cause widespread die-off.

How much more frequently? They calculated an estimate for that, too: five times more frequently. Of course, that’s for the specific kinds of forests they were studying, and the exact number may vary, but the general trend is clear: higher temperatures mean more frequent droughts, like drought in south Georgia the year-long drought we just experienced in south Georgia.

pine beetle tube

This projection is conservative because it is based on the historical drought record and therefore does not include changes in drought frequency, which is predicted to increase concurrently with warming (2, 37—39). In addition, populations of tree pests, such as bark beetles, which are often the proximal cause of mortality in this species and others, are also expected to increase with future warming (7, 9, 38).

Bark beetles, such as the ones that bored into this 19 inch slash pine and spread from there to twenty others I had to cut down to prevent further spread of the pine beetles. What happens when pine beetles spread is what you see in the first picture in this post: acres and acres of dead red pine trees. slash pine killed by pine beetles Monoculture slash pine plantations may show this effect most clearly, but look around here, and you’ll see red dead loblolly and longleaf pines, too.

The article is saying that if the beetles don’t get the trees weakened by droughts that will be much more frequent, the trees will die more quickly of suffocation, because the temperature is higher. Higher temperatures is something that should concern every Georgian in our state where forestry is the second largest industry and our forests protect our wildlife and the air that we breathe and the water that we drink.