Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stumps and Tops

At Blue Jay Barrens, you will occasionally come across an Eastern Red Cedar stump and about nine feet away will be an old cedar top. This pairing is here compliments of someone who was trying to get every dollar they could out of the property before selling. Most of these trees were cut about 25 years ago.

The distance from the stump to the stub of the tree top represents the approximate length of the log that was taken from the tree. Most sawmills that buy cedar logs require the log to be at least 8 feet 3 inches long.

These cedar tops retain their leaves for about two years after being cut. Plants covered by the tree top are severely weakened from the lack of sunlight and may die before conditions improve.

It may take ten years for the bark to completely disappear. Some trees lose their bark in little ragged bits and others drop long strips from the trunk.

Eventually, sunlight returns to the area beneath the tree top and plants begin to grow. This top has been here so long the vegetation has returned to its original composition.

I think the tops have an interesting bleached bones appearance. They also add another bit of diversity to the barrens. Eastern Red Cedar is a very decay resistant wood, so this will be a common sight for many years.

1 comment:

  1. is interesting looking--a perfect complement to Halloween!