Does Nature Know Best?

Daleburt dfd at
Thu Jan 8 08:07:36 EST 1998

dwheeler at wrote:

> I regret to burst the bubble, but I am unconvinced that foresters know
> how to grow trees.

Good day Mr. Wheeler.  I'm uncertain what you mean by "to grow trees" written above.
If you mean that we, as professional foresters, do not know how to cultivate trees,
I'd suggest you take a look at several of our 30 to 50 million Loblolly pine
seedlings planted each year and compare them to their natural cousins.  The growth
differences are routinely 2-4 times over the natural equivalents.  Seedlings may be
inoculated with mychorizae in the nursery, but throughout the Southeast there are
numerous naturally occuring species.  I personally have not found it necessary to
apply these directly, but do believe that site preparaion treatments can affect these

If you mean truly "know how to grow trees", then I agree.  No one, but God really
knows how to create or actually grow anything, although there are many who know much
more than I.

>  How are forestry or tree farms providing for these animals in habitat and/or
> foot requirements?

While managed forestry does protect limited forested habitats from development, and
taxes from these lands benefit society (and consequently wildlife to the extent that
society deems appropriate for their limited tax dollars), large areas are left in
modern forestry that benefit wildlife.  We hire well- trained wildlife biologists to
help us modify our cutting practices to benefit or at least minimize the impact to
wildlife.  Strips 50-500 feet or more are left unharvested along streams to protect
water quality and aquatic wildlife, but these are also heavily used by deer, turkey,
squirrel, rabbit, and other creatures.  Food plots are planted to provide forage and
roads are seeded, fertilized, and limed at closing with food species such as
brown-top millet and bahai grass.

Thanks for the questions.  I wish everyone would ask these questions instead of
assuming that foresters know nothing and care less.

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