New Forest Service policies take a big step backward

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Sun Apr 21 21:32:46 EST 2002

Geoff Kegerreis <Geoff at> wrote in message news:<3CC29F7A.BAA3AF32 at>...
> "Daniel B. Wheeler" wrote:
> > Geoff Kegerreis <Geoff at> wrote in message news:<3CC0DEDA.4C825701 at>...
> > [snip]
> > I meticuloulsy prepared those seeds
> > > myself, using preparation techniques that do not incorporate "greenhouse" problems,
> > > and had controls sitting in the same places, so I know these fungi were not introduced.
> > > I never said that they were mycorrhizal fungi, just that these particular fungi had
> > > a specific destiny to destroy the seedlings, not help them grow.
> > Did you by chance sterilize the soil before planting? Damping-off
> > fungi are common in such soils.
> -They were not grown in soil, they were grown in media material,
> which was composed of water, agar, and nutrients.  All sterile.  As
> were the petri dishes.  Everything was done under a hood.
If everything was sterile, as you state above, then the only other
source of fungal contamination is the seeds themselves.

But fungal spores are so small that they can hide inside diatomaceous
earth. It's also _possible_ that the sterilization process was not
> -Not true.  Soil is not a requirement.  The rest are necessary though.
Soil is _not_ a requirement? You are saying that Gifford Pinchot's
discovery of soil as a requirement is false? That's the first time
I've heard that statement.

I am aware that plants can be grown in spun rock, in hydroponic
situations which have no soil per se. But even these situations
generally require something for the roots to attach to for stability.
> > The key to the above statement is "the landowner's objectives".
> > Forestry is the art and science of growing trees, not just the art of
> > cutting them.
> -I have heard this time and time again.  I will respond once again to
> say that forestry is not a science, but an art which is based on science.
> Despite what the academics seem to repeat...  Of course the academics
> claim to be foresters, which is also not true.
Then again there are people who claim to be foresters who are not...
> > Ignore mycorrhizal fungi and trees in nature cease to exist quickly.
> -That is very possible, but who is ignoring them?
If you do not know what they are, how to identify them, or how they
form mutalistic symbiotic relationships with plants, isn't that
ignoring them?
> -Now that's a silly statement.  Neither greenhouses nor laboratories are for
> growing "old growth" however that term is defined!!!
Exactly. That's where the similarities of greenhouses and controlled
conditions demanded by science fail in natural applications. What
works in a greenhouse does not always work in nature.
> > American heritage? No. But we do need them as sources for mycorrhizal
> > fungi that are found only on old-growth trees.
> -Give me a break.  That is unable to be proven.
Not in your lifetime or even mine perhaps. But the evidence is fairly
clear and straight-forward.
> > Even as a variety of trees grow on a given acre in succession leading
> > up to climax forests, varieties of mycorrhizal fungi grow with
> > individual trees leading to older trees. Mycorrhizal fungi found with
> > seedling trees are seldom those found with old-growth trees.
> -They just don't come out of nowhere, now do they?
At least 60 species of animals have been shown to be advantageous
mycophagists with truffles. All truffles are mycorrhizal. The old
forester stand-by that all mycorrhizal fungi are dispersed by wind
just won't stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. If that were
true, there would be chanterelles everywhere. There aren't. Nor do the
chanterelles found in North America also appear in Europe (although
Elias Fries thought that C. cibarius was identical to C. formosus,
recent DNA analysis has proven otherwise).

> -Not really, because foresters are not out to "grow" the kinds of forests
> that you deem "old growth".
"Foresters" can't even figure out the mycorrhizae necessary to grow 50
yo trees on a given plot of land. The ability to grow 400 years old
trees (or older) is _way_ beyond them.
> There are very few trees that are 120 feet tall in Michigan, relative to the
> total population.
So you admit that you don't know how the trees which do grow in Oregon
get that way, huh? A Douglas-fir of 120 feet is considered to be
pretty basis timber here. It means probably a 100 foot stretch of
timber with a 6-inch top, more than 22-inch diameter base, and another
20 feet of biomass without much economic value. Such as tree contains
about 1,000 board feet of timber, or approximately 1 cord of wood.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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