Pine Plantation Management
Aging Pine Trees Present Challenges and Opportunities
People love them.
Pine trees planted decades ago were a way to stem soil erosion in Oak Openings Preserve by putting vegetation on the land. They were also envisioned as a future cash crop because the park district could sell the timber to generate revenue.
The trees were never harvested, and as they grew, so did park visitors’ affection for the quiet solitude the pines provided in some areas of the preserve.
But despite their value as a cultural resource, the neatly spaces rows of planted trees have little value to native plants and animals in a region known for its diversity.
Today, many of the pines are reaching the end of their natural life, with collapsing stands of trees posing a potential safety hazard to park visitors. Other pine stands are reasonably healthy and can be managed to extend their life.
Metroparks Toledo is working from a management plan that will:
- Salvage timber from dead and collapsed pine stands
- Restore Oak Openings habitat
- Promote the health and vigor of culturally significant pine stands
Where trees are removed, all revenue from the sale of timber will be used to restore the land to a natural state.
Research has shown that in areas where pine plantations have been removed, native species have thrived. Just a few of these areas that have already been restored contain more state-listed rare species than exist in some entire counties in Ohio.
Metroparks Toledo will sell timber from dead and collapsing pine trees in Oak Openings Preserve to prevent safety hazards and continue efforts to restore one of Ohio’s unique natural regions.
The project began in November and continues into February. During this time, trails in the southern part of the park will be closed for safety. Some trails will be permanently rerouted.
The Board of Park Commissioners approved the sale of pine timber from about 100 acres in the preserve to Roger Perkins Logging of Chillicothe, Ohio for $6 per ton for pine pulpwood, $10 per ton for pine saw timbers and $3 a ton for softwood timber. Perkins was the only bidder.
Metroparks estimates the sale of the timber will bring about $70,000, all of which will be applied to the cost of restoring these natural areas, including stump removal.