Weekly inspections during logging jobs are a routine part of Redstart’s timber sale administration process. That’s what sent Markus Bradley to Corinth, VT to check in on a job being done by local logger Kevin Braman. This woodlot is of exceptional quality. In fact, Kevin claims it includes some of the nicest quality sugar maple he has seen in 30 years of working in the woods.
Top quality maple logs are straight, free of branch stubs and other defects, and have small hearts. The white wood that grows around the exterior of the tree is more highly prized than the brown wood in the center, so trees with a lot of white wood and a little bit of brown wood are preferred and they are referred to as ‘small hearted.’ The white part of a maple is used for flooring, cabinets, and veneers, while the brown wood is used in pallets and shipping containers.
Corinth is located in East Central Vermont, and area blessed with calcium-enriched soils due to the underlying limestone/marble bedrock, which is part of the Waits River Formation. As this bedrock weathers, it releases calcium to the soil, which raises the pH and helps the sugar maple compete well against other tree species and to grow tall and healthy.
While on the job site Markus had a chance to catch up with Kevin and trucker Junior Moore for a few minutes to discuss any issues that might have arisen on the job, to relay any landowner concerns or priorities, and to discuss wood markets. On the same visit, Markus noticed a large, seemingly healthy American elm tree. Once considered a common tree in hardwood forest, the American elm is a now a rare sight to see due to Dutch elm disease. The impressive crown of this elm is a sign of healthy growth.