Winter is a wonderful time of year here at Redbay Farm and La Casita. The weather is cool and the forest is dormant. It is a great time for trail building, brush pile construction and timber stand improvement.
- Some of the trails are over 20 years old. Some are brand new. The trails are about 6 foot wide which allows easy single file walking without being in the brush. Trails mitigate but do not eliminate the need to take precautions for chiggers and ticks.
- The terrain is relatively flat and the trails will allow visitors to experience various habitats to include high pocosin, loblolly pine forest, pine hardwood forest, succession forest and even a couple of acres of near climax forest (90 to 100 years
old). Due to the wet nature of some parts of our forest rubber boots are required especially during the winter months.
- If you want to learn more about the various stages of forest succession I recommend this article on forest succession from physicalgeography.net .
Brush piles: Brush piles are a byproduct of trail maintenance and timber stand improvement. Actually, a brush pile is a type of wildlife habitat you can build in your own backyard even in a suburban environment. Learn how to build your own wildlife habitat brush pile by reading this article from the Humane Society of the US and watch the accompanying video.
- Simply crisscross your larger pieces of trimmings from pruning and keep adding layers until you have a pile that is a few feet in diameter and two or three feet tall.
- A brush pile will create small shelter habitat which will attract sparrows, amphibians, box turtles and small mammals like rabbits and chipmunks. Build your brush pile away from your home but within view so that you can observe the attracted wildlife.
TSI is a multi generational project. The results of my efforts may not be realized until my grand children are my age.
- TSI involves removal of diseased/malformed trees and thinning of trees to encourage the growth remaining trees.
- The primary TSI focus at Redbay Farm is loblolly pine production.
- Some byproducts of TSI are firewood, charcoal, mushroom
logs, poles and small saw logs.
That’s it in a nutshell on trail building, building brush piles and timber stand improvement. Winter is a great time to create habitat, explore forests and make forest improvements. I hope you have as much fun exploring your local forests and improving wildlife habitat as I do!