I’m getting closer to finishing the squash trellis and not a moment too soon as the plants are at the stage where they are ready to vine. Today I cut 10 more balsam fir that are about the right diameter to use as poles on the trellis. These need to be trimmed of small branches and cut to length before I haul them to the garden. I also hauled in eight 12-feet long poles that had been cut and trimmed the day before. Then I cut a few more very short and spindly sapling firs (size, not age as most of these are 10 or more years old) for stakes.
Although I dislike the word “management” there is more to my stick logging than getting poles. My other goals are to let a little more sunlight to the forest floor and encourage the growth of herbaceous vegetation like bunchberry, dewberry, and small sedges and grasses, and some woody shrubs like hazel, Canada honeysuckle, and blueberry. All of these plants and the others that come in will provide forage for many species of moths and butterflies. The fruiting plants will feed songbirds and ruffed grouse. Another goal is to make room to plant a few white pines. I don’t expect the pines I plant or any of the trees I am releasing from competition to become large in my lifetime but that is not why I plant trees.