WV Red Spruce seedlings for sale
April 8, 2006
The WV Highlands Conservancy is selling native Red Spruce seedlings for very reasonable prices, and they can be shipped. If you're interested, the Whitegrass report page (whitegrass.com/report.html) has contact info. These trees have been lumbered into near oblivion over the years, but are making a comeback. I found it hard to believe, but out of 10 million acres of virgin forest in WV, only 263 acres remain unlumbered! (source http://www.patc.net/history/archive/virg_fst.html
Find it even harder to believe- 10 million acres of virgin forest was the minimum amount that was in the state, not the maximum (it may have been as high as 15 million acres). There's only two stands of virgin timber that remain in the state the comprise that 200+ acres you mentioend. One of them, at 47 acres, was the result of a surveying error. The other was the beneficence of the wife of one of the logging companies who wanted to save it for herself, if I remember right.
Perhaps the largest stand of virgin timber left south of New York State (and maybe north, I'm not sure) is down in southwest North Carolina. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Park. 3,800 acres- actually a respectable size. If I remember that story correctly, the first company that owned it hadn't gotten around to clearing it when they were bought out. The second company was going to clear it but the Great Depression hit and drove them out of business, so the stand remained untouched... and remains untouched.
You'd think having a 5,000 or 10,000 acre tract of virgin forest in West Virginia wouldn't have been too much to ask, particularly since almost none of the wealth that accumulated from that massive pillaging actually remained in the state. But no. Here's
what the Dolly Sods wilderness looked like in 1913- less than 100 years ago. I guess it's amazing to see how much Red Creek has recovered since then.
And that page, http://www.patc.net/history/archive/virg_fst.html
, provides an excellent write-up on the history of logging in the state. A real tragedy.
There is a parentheses on the link that shouldn't be there. If you remove it, the link works. It a good read although a little depressing.
Roger,I have it on good authority(MM) that the pic is actually of the logging on Blue Knob...I thought it was Tory Mtn!
Thanks for the note Murphy, I fixed the link. Between logging and mining (including mind boggling mountaintop removal) we've really trashed WV. Hard to believe stuff like that used to take place.
In the valleys case 219, The growth is still in its infant form. Every year for the last 15 years Ive noticed the valley getting greener & the growth higher.Its more scenic every year! The top of TL might be 4340' or something if not for the logging. The erosion & fires put a hurting on the area....WV is growing back...lets hope it stays on track. PS CK out the old pics at Big Johns in Canaan,Edison,Ford & some other famous people were up there cking out the operations.ANOTHER PS Just put in an order for some seedlings but I'm not sure how far down in elevation they can survive especially in clear sunny areas.
Ha, yes, well, they're trying to get BK to look like that we're told.
But Andy's right, it's coming back. It won't get back to what it was in our lifetimes, though. Maybe our grandchildren can enjoy something resembling what we see in those pictures, or our great-grandchildren. That's worth something, anyway.
They may not thrive naturally at lower elevations but I'm pretty sure they can survive. I'm fairly certain that there's a number of them in my neighborhood at 2,200' although I'm not the greatest at identifying trees. We have at least 4 varieties of evergreen other than pine trees around here and I'm pretty sure one is a red spruce.
Roger Z, great post! I've camped a couple of times in Gaudineer (I'm not quite sure of the proper spelling) State Forest, one of the remaining stands of virgin red spruce trees located in WV. The good news is that the red spruce is slowly making a come back. There are now some secondary stands of red spruce where most of the trees are of considerable height and girth. Hopefully, a few of these areas will be set aside so that the trees can continue growing.
I might add that PA was once covered with massive virgin Hemlock trees and also some red spruce. Today, there are just a few small areas where some virgin Hemlocks are left standing. Given the size of PA and the massive amount of forest that remains in the state today, it seems that PA could have done a better job of setting some old-growth areas aside. During the logging operation that was conducted by Blue Knob ski area several old-growth hemlocks were cut down. These trees were massive in size and located along Big Lick Branch below the loading areas of the double chair lifts. If you hike from the Bulls Creek waterfall up towards the bottom of the ski slopes, you can see the huge stumps where these magnificent trees once stood. What makes the removal of these trees so tragic is the fact that Hemlock wood isn't particularly valuable. It's only used for things like pallets or furring strips. The grain of hemlock wood is such that it can't be used to make fine veneer. It took a real greedy butcher (looking to squeeze every cent off the land) to take those beautiful trees down, believe me.
I know, you-all like to get on my case about BK. But, trust me, the logging there has done a lot of harm. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to see some of the damage. I've taken a number of individuals and groups on tours of the logged and bulldozed areas. Why not come see what I've been talking about before you form an opinion.
I picked a set of five Red Spruce seedlings from the prize table at the locals cup awards at timberline last weekend. The seedlings look good and healthy. I'm probably going to put them in the ground this weekend. They are majestic trees but beware the deer love them! If you live in an area with a heavy deer population(like canaan valley) your best bet is to fence them off...the red spruce that is.
I bought 50 Red Spruce seedlings (2 yrs old) from WVHC and will be planting them on our property close to Snowshoe this weekend (they cost $75). My understanding is that suupply is limited this year. Contact WVHC Dave Saville for Red Spruce cone collection this fall (to produce more seedlings). I also got 100 seedlings from the State dept. of forestry (white pine, Virginia pine and hemlock) - also very inexpensive. We planted over 100 Red Spruce seedlings last spring and most survived the winter quite well. My understanding is that deer don't bother the spruce as much but they love the Canaan Firs (also available thru WVHC on a limited basis). The only problems I had with the spruce seedlings were grass taking over (planted some in a pasture) and using bone meal which attracted animals (who dug some of them up).
The sad thing about the hemlocks is that what the loggers didn't get, the wolly adelgid is. I believe the Ramsey's Draft stand of virgin hemlock has become infected. There's a few valleys I know about where the hemlocks are still in good shape, and occassionally you'll see a happy, healthy, isolated hemlock on a mountainside far from any of its brothers and sisters. No idea why or how the adelgid jumps whole valleys, but my "let's have a miracle" prayer is that the valleys stay jumped. There's nothing better to camp under than a hemlock grove, and they have a lot of great positive contributions to the environment- most importantly, regulating temperatures in mountain streams to keep the trout alive. Losing the hemlocks will likely have ripple effects up and down the biological chain.
What's the lowest elevation that Red Spruce is capable of growing sufficiently in? Or even surviving? I'd like to plant a bunch of those at my grandma's and the elevation there is around 1,300-1,600 feet.
My experience with planting red spruces has been pretty good. 10 years ago, I planted one at a friend's house in Bridgewater, VA, which probably sets at around 800 ft. and the tree has done really well. Also, I planted a couple of red spruces behind a friend's townhouse in Arlington, VA; the trees haven't grown much over the past 5 years, but they haven't died either. And, I've planted about 12 red spruces at my place in PA, which sets at 2,600 ft and the trees have grown like crazy. I should note that all of the aforementioned trees came from WV.
BAwalker, if you are looking for a good source of evergreens in WV check out the WV Division of Forestry Nursery
. I planted 500 trees on our property about a month ago. 100 each of Red pine, Scotch pine, Douglas Fir, Norway Spruce and White pine. They were $20 for 100 2-3 year old seedlings shipped via the USPS. All were in good shape and are doing well so far. They do have a 500 tree min order for that price but they aren't much more expensive for smaller quanties. Now is the time to get them in the ground. Otherwise you should wait till the fall to plant.
I had no idea the saplings were so cheap. Makes you wonder why there are so many barren stretches of land.
I was suprised about it too. I was even more suprised at what i got for the money. The smallest 2 yr seedlings I got were still about 8" tall after planting. Some of the 3ys were 20" but most were around 12"-14".
After planting 500 trees I can tell you why there is so much barren land... Its a lot like work
The Divion of Forestry does ask that their trees only be planted in WV and not resold. I would assume other states have similar programs though.
I did some research on the red spruce before ordering, and from what I can tell the only major issue to worry about would be sticking them in heavy clay soil or somewhere with poor drainage. Here is a good site with more info:http://plants.nrcs.usda.gov/cgi_bin/topics.cgi?earl=plant_attribute.cgi&symbol=PIRU
I am going to try planting a few at my home in Williamsburg, and I think they will be fine as long as I avoid the clay. Some will go in my loamy garden patch for future transplant, others will go in beds where I have improved the soil. The rest will make it back to WV on a future stealth planting mission.
I planted 120 Douglas firs,canaan balsam firs & a few blue spruce on my prop at 3000' just south of the valley & now 8 years later have only 11 remaining. I like the Douglas firs...Got them from the Lincoln nat forest in New Mexico. I also roamed all over the hillsides planting seedlings,over by the jiffy Jon at Mt Storm lake, next to the "welcome to canaan Valley" sign...everywhere!Then I would go to the Davis Inn bar & let the world Know that I was ANDY EVERGREEN & I was there to SPRUCE the place up! How are you all getting the Red Spruce to grow at such low elevations? They are only there(in the wild) left over from the ice ages.,Only able to survive in the coldest & snowiest spots. Why do they only seenm to grow above 3800' in the wild?...got to love em though!
Andy have you looked into Norwegian spruce? We've got a lot down here in Blacksburg and they seem to handle the warmer weather quite nicely. If they are fine here, they'd do wonderful at your place just south of CV.
But, since you have less than a 10% survival rate, maybe you best stay away from trees before BK hires you...
I'm with you Mr. Mash, Logging areas that supply beauty & Recreation is BULLSHIT(can I say that?) Down here in the carolinas we have endless areas that are logged & replanted & logged again,But nobody notices it.(Except getting behind a logging truck) & Mr.Z, I am half Norwegian so I have thought about the Norway Spruce but I just don't like the way they look when they get huge/old...they just hang & look scragley. It would take years for them to get that way & they do look good for many years,But I just saw an Infomercial on TV that said that If I bought their product I could live to 150 years..money back Gar-On-Tee! SOOO I will Pass...maybe 1 for the Motherland!
ANDY Evergreen, good name for the fusion bluegrass/blues band at MSM, Andy Evergreen and Blue Spruce. Did the deer eat your trees? We could have you play on wild game nite in kwill's still.
Hows it goin Mr Jimmy?..Between the deer,the neighbors kid on his 4 wheel,Frost upheaving & a drought the 1st summer after I planted them...+ the other neighbor who didn't want me to block her view(tree killer i call her) It was rough. I do have 1 red spruce that i found up at Canaan Hts growing on my prop. I was "relieving myself" up against a tree when I noticed a 5 foot spruce laying on its side..knocked down by ..who knows what. So I decided that digging it up & saving it would be allright. I am thinking about going back up there looking for more. I Poached a 3 foot spruce before ,but it dried up,so I just figured that my place was to low for them to grow. I see tree farms all over the place but they(the trees) seem to be all earmarked for execution 8 weeks before X-Mas. Skiing sugar Mtn Nc a few years back ,I noticed a lack(actually none) of Frazier Firs lining the slopes, but when i got back to the coast(wilmington) there were TONS of Decapitated frazier firs in every parking lot...Put a few up on the mtn Dudes!!