Thursday, March 22, 2007

Selective Logging

When the logger arrived at our place he said "You should have logged the property some ten years ago"

The logger was right as many of the large balsam, aspen, birch and pine trees have fallen because of high winds, decay and "old age."

I hired a local logger last summer who had a great reputation for selective logging of properties; taking only the most mature trees that needed to be harvested and leaving the healthy, younger trees so they will continue to grow.

The logger had all the equipment to cut, trim and lift the large trees into his large logging trucks. The local processing plants were not accepting any trees for a while, so the harvesting was delayed. The local processing plants use the trees to make home building products, such as wood sheathing. The trees can be also used at the paper mills to create paper for newspapers, magazines, etc.

When cutting down the trees, the logger cuts a wedge-shaped piece out of the trunk of the tree with his chain saw. Then the logger makes a chain saw cut on the opposite side of the wedge-shaped cut. The tree loses its strength and balance and falls toward the wedge-shaped side of the trunk.

The logger was able to fell the trees exactly where he wanted them. The falling tree avoids striking other trees or hitting stumps, large rocks, or equipment which might damage the falling tree's trunk. He trims the limbs and may cut the tree into shorter pieces. Some pieces may be 30 to 40 feet long.

Our logger created a landing (a central place to collect the fallen trees) and skidded (dragged) the fallen trees to the landing. He then placed the logs on the truck trailer and when the trailer was loaded with the logs, he transported the logs from the forest area to the processing plant some distance away. He also assembled the cut limbs into brush piles and when sufficient snow was on the ground, burned the brush piles.

The processing plant delay was lifted and the logger proceeded to log the property. Logs must be freshly cut when they arrive at the processing plant. Because of the delay at the processing plant, the logging took more time than expected.

The logger did a great job in selectively logging the forest. Now only healthy trees remain, the paths are open and we can see through the trees and underbrush. The forest will now rejuvenate and young, healthy growth will soon cover the land.

I am excited to see what species will spring up, and also I am looking forward to obtaining some small seedling pine trees and plant them this coming spring.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Great Room

When planning the spaces in our log cabin we wanted a spacious, open, bright larger room. We called it a Greatroom.

We focused on entertainment and family living. The Greatroom is a combination of living room, dining room and kitchen with a near smooth vaulted ceiling. The high vaulted ceiling gives the room a nice feeling of space.

The double hung windows are spaced around the Greatroom and provide an open feeling to capture the outdoors and much needed sunshine. During the evening hours, the vaulted ceiling is illuminated with flourescent strip lighting to cast light up into the vaulted area. Lighting is a key to the success of our great room. There is a five bulb hanging light over the dining table to add some light for evening dining and a table lamp is placed on top of the desk for reading.

The wall finishes of our Greatroom are all wood; logs or wood wall boards with a clear urethane finish. The kitchen cabinets are pine wood and the counter to is red laminate material.

The floor is wall to wall commercial carpeting with a diamond check pattern of green, red, orange, and blue. It is placed on the 3/4" plywood floor sheathing. The carpet adds color to the room.

The black wood stove is positioned on top of a 4" raised platform of green 12" quarry tile. The platform is made of unglazed ceramic tile placed on 1/2" thick cement board with floor tile adhesive. The cement board is supoorted by 2" x 4" wood framing at 16" on center. The size of the platform and the use of non-combustible materials conform to the building codes. This platform provides a base for the major winter focal point: the wood stove with its glass window.

The furniture blends with the rustic interior wall finishes. The dining table and chairs are log furniture made by a Canadian company . Our desk, beds and several other chairs are also made from logs. The couch is dark red leather and one chair is of green textured upholstered fabric. The colors blend well and accent the natural beauty of the logs and other wood construction.

The log stairs with hand- shaped log railings also add a nice rustic look to the furniture and other log construction.

In addition, several wild-life pictures are placed around the Greatroom to add visual interest. We have also enlarged and framed pictures we have taken of the forest. We have winter, spring, summer and fall pictures of one of our favorite areas. Each season displays a different beauty.

The Greatroom is open, spacious and inviting and it is very home-like to us.
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