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What to do?

Susan112 susan112 at aol.com
Tue Aug 25 22:27:51 EST 1998

Dan Wheeler wrote:

>Has your department looked into cottonwood planting for such areas? In Oregon
>this are exactly the sites targeted. And the hybrid cottonwood are being
>mass- grown for pulp, which is harvested in 7-12 years. Seven year old
>cottonwood are approximately 75 feet tall and about 10 inches diameter at the
>base. 12 year old material exceeds 15 inches diameter.

Cottonwood sure goes nuts on growth rate.  What I've heard for intensive
silviculture with it around here is over by Paducah with Westvaco and down more
in SE Missouri. They're using irrigation and fertilization, which would help in
sand deposits after the floods.   I think it could be done here as well
especially on islands and outside the levees.  Everything else is farmed. 
Distance to market seems to be a factor, but I'd think that barging would work.

Cottonwood has established easily after the flood, but I understand that it can
be a bit difficult to manage for natural reproduction since it's so intolerant.
 I guess if you factor in that we seems to be getting five hundred year floods
every 5 years or so, you can count on a good seedbed, and a short rotation. :) 
Plus as you say below, they're easy to plant from cuttings.

 At a local Clackamas
>County farm this material is being cut down for firewood, and grows a wide
>variety of fungi, including Morchella (symbiotic with cottonwood, BTW),
>Pleurotus (better known as oyster), Goat's Beard or Bear's Head (Hericium
>erinaceus); and probably is suitable for other fungi as well. Interestingly,
>the stumps are the easiest biomass to inoculate with this fungus. And the
>trees are grown by simply shoving an 18-24 inch whip into the ground in
>January-February. Pretty easy silviculture practice, I'd say.
>Daniel B. Wheeler

Firewood?  I would think it would make lousy firewood, but then I'm used to oak
and hickory  in the fireplace here.

Morels are the edible of choice in the bottomlands here and they're usually
abundant in the spring compared to upland sites.  Would the others you
mentioned occur here as well or are they western species?


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