Dead Wood Brings New Life!

Lou and Leah Berner and their 2 beautiful daughters stopped by the park a short while ago to take a look at the native plants and streams. Lou has a lot of experience in natural resource management.  He is very active on Finn Hill particularly in water run off and watershed management. He has an ongoing Finn Hill resident property survey on water run-off.  So, if you have a water issue near your home or business you’ll want to contact Lou. Leah is a photographer and captured the sunlight dancing on trilliums and moss covered limbs. Both daughters who are very at home in a woodland, needed no invitation to explore and take home mud up to their knees. It was great! In short we rambled off and on the park path. Lou noticed that there is a natural regeneration taking place with small, medium and tall trees like the Douglas-Fir.  What stood out in Lou’s analysis were the “large snags.” Many are visible still standing or laying down. The softwood tissue of a fallen dead tree, or nurse log as it’s called, offers a safety net for young trees during their tenuous initial growth. Nitrogen fixing bacteria living in the decaying wood provide this important and essential nutrient for forest tree growth. Dead trees act as a reservoir for water storage by slowly releasing moisture throughout the summer.They serve as a ground cover lessening erosion. The snag eventually decays becoming part of the soil and contributes to the cycle of forest health. “…in  Oregon and Washington, 39 species of birds and 14 species of mammals depend on cavity trees for their survival…many species of fungi, moss, lichens, ferns, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians…also depend on dead trees and down woody material for all or a part of their life cycle…” Learn more; read this great article on Woodland Snags featured in a program called “Animal Inn” by the National Forest Council

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