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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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March 28, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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March 28, 2001
 

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,Progressive, Record, Reporter of tiny new trees a slope that last week charred remnants of Corral ffn'e. you'll see lit- of green trees," said the district man- Sierra Pacific Indus- owns 79 of the 107 burned in the July 13 years you'll see a pret- developed forest," said, "ff Mother Nature a break, and we don't fire." crew SPI hired a company called Silver of Redding, planted seedlings last week at of the fine seven miles Susanville. Each mem- f the crew planted about a day. reforestation followed a effort that began short- the fire. By the end of SPI had harvested board feet of timber zone. The salvage produced enough to build 28 homes, ac- to Mitzel. that out 60 to 80 we could double or Mitzel said. "It Most of the trees real big and we don't harvest in big blocks 'usually limits its har- to 20-acre blocks, he operation on- 90 percent of the The rest was left on the as organic matter to moisture and prevent and dying trees still the 28 acres owned by Forest Service. Mitzel continues to de- sale on the Lassen Forest land, as in- bore holes into the dead said those pests will laove on to the trees that have had a chance to ff the dead trees had removed before infesta- on the slope a section of old highway of Devil's Corral be- Thursday, March 22, containerized stock, at the Cal Forest Nurs- Eina, Calif. Mark Puste- of Susanville served as supervisor on the re- preliminary work last year, when SPI sur- land and marked the before the salvage ation started. Trees that chance to survive the and any insect at- afterward were marked a white ring, so they riot be cut. did a archeological for any sites that might to Native Ameri- That effort is required by of California. submitted an emergency to the state, describing damage, its salvage and the search on the for archeological arti- Once the salvage plan by the director California Department and Fire Protec- salvage operation be- about five days of SPI submitted the ' notice. right after the ground and up the hydrophobic lay- cement-like shell of or- matter created in very can be as hard as glass, Mitzel said. "I've It as hard as that pave- clown there." immediately stirr ground, letting water the soil and prevent- runoff, he said. was alreay try- trap that moisture for g effort, even it will see no profit the new trees for 60-80 not required to re- ," Mitzel said. "We could just walked away. no state law that says to come in and re- after a burn." the company about an acre to plant the The new trees were growing in the nurs- of SPI's continuing trees planted were a year old, L from seed collected near Lake summit from elevation as the Dev- fire. can't take a tree from Workers load up with tr--w,,,s before Chester in the Almanor Basin," Mitzel said. "It would die. It's much drier here." The company split out some of the seedlings that had been slated for planting near the Ea- gle Lake summit. Mitzel said SPI did not have enough trees in stock to replant the area burned by the Goat Fire, which started July 18, 2000. It burned 1,117 acres and forced a two-night evacuation of Lake Forest Estates. Before replanting, seedlings grow in greenhouses for at least 12 months in contract nurseries all over the state, Mitzel said. SPI harvests seed every year for its annual 2,500- acre planting effort. Cones are cut from trees cho- sen for their phenotypic quali- ties, or good physical charac- teristics. SPI harvests seed from trees with a good'shape and good growth that are well- adapted to the site. Harvesters won't take seed from a tree with a bad crook, Mitzel said. A good seed crop is hard to I'md Mitzel said. The company even has some plantations of a few acres where 80-year-old branches are grafted onto 10- year old trees so the cones can be picked with a ladder. "It looks like, just north oF Susanville, there's going to be-finally--a descent seed crop," Mitzel said. The cones are dried until the seeds fall out. The nurseries then remove the wings, weigh the seeds to tell the good from the bad, and put them in cli- mate-controlled storage where temperature and humidity are constantly monitored. Once planted in the nursery contain- ers, about 90 percent of the seeds germinate and produce trees. Once the trees reach a year old, they are kept dormant, at about 34-36 degrees until SPI needs them. For the Devil's Corral planting, the trees were kept in cold storage at the Su- sanville Mill until the effort be- gan. It's critical to plant early in the spring, Mitzel said, when the soil still holds enough moisture to feed the tree roots. SPI also plants after the first rains in the fall in areas where snow cover will prevent the tiny trees from freezing. It takes just seconds for an experienced member of the planting crew to cut a scalp with his hoedad--the planting tool resembling a cross be- tween a spade and a hoe. After brushing away dry dirt and de- bris, the planter drives the hoedad into the dirt, rocking it back and forth to loosen the soil. He then drops the tree into the hole, making sure the roots go straight down and the tree stands up vertically. Puste- jovsky inspected the site, mak- ing sure the trees are planted about 10 feet apart. He occa- sionally cuts into the soil to make sure the roots went in straight. SPI generally achieves a 90 percent survival rate on refor- estation projects. On a slope like the one at the Devil's Cor- ral burn, Mitzel said he ex- pects an 80 percent survival rate. heading back up the hill Ad date 3/28/01 All Sales Final. *Sale Photos by Shayla Ashmore to resume planting. Raphael Perez, of Silver Trees, drops hole he scalped with his hoe(lad. excludes Lease Depts., Catalog and Salon. Merchandise available No checks accepted. No Adjustments on prior purchases. until stock is depleted. IJedr,esaa/, 28 9B a seedling into the Sale ends 4/21/01 a 2000 JCP~".~Iy C~parly, Inc. 3o27,o