Underwater Logging (was Ice storm...)

Mike Hagen mhagen at mail.olympus.net
Wed Jan 21 12:38:23 EST 1998

hartw at interserf.net wrote:
> About 2,000 years a catastrophe on the East Coast leveled a huge
> forest of Atlantic White Cedar in eastern North Carolina.  About 30
> years ago the farmers began to have problems with the logs in their
> fields as the plows began to reach them.  A project began in 1971 at
> NC State to retrieve the logs for lumber.  I graduated before it came
> to fruition.  A test sample of logs was recovered and paneling for the
> wood lab office was made from the cedar.  The aroma was excellent and
> the wood beautiful.
> Wayne Hart
> >The logs that sunk were retrieved up to years later as the ponds were not that
> >deep.  Can you imagine trying to do something practical and common sensical
> >like this today?!
> >I can believe it!  There was a short segment on the Discovery Channel 2-3
> >months ago describing a current log salvage operation in one of the Great
> >Lakes.  Very old logs are being brought up from the deep and milled into
> >lumber.   They are able to get some unusually wide boards, plus some woods that
> >aren't widely available now.   I think chestnut was among them.  The cold
> >temperatures at the lake bottom helped to preserve them.
> >ForestFair

The great majority of western red cedar used in production of shakes and
shingles is salvaged from down and buried logs exposed during
clearcutting. The age of this wood varies but can be guessed at by aging
the four to eight foot stumps that grew on top of the down wood. Shake
(or shingle) bolts only have to be 24" (or 18") inches long so most any
bit of broken log is usable as long as the grain is right. In the PNW
rain forest rot and decay are certainly active above ground, but below
the surface, especially in wet spots, decay tends to be incomplete and
very slow, usually leaving a sound heartwood.
Mike H.

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