This past week, Elaine, our son Mark, and I planted 100 white pine seedlings to replace the Virginia pines that a logger harvested in December. The Virginia pines were over 50 years old and many of them were diseased and others had already fallen. It was simply time for them to be cut and for the next generation of trees to begin.
This coming week we should have another shipment of white pines arrive, this one consisting of 250 seedlings, that we ordered from the Virginia Department of Forestry. Those trees will be planted on the back side of our 38-acre property, again to replace a cut Virginia pine thicket. And the remaining seedlings will be taken to our 83-acre tract in Gap Mills so that I can continue reforesting a part of that property, specifically a badly overgrazed pasture that I added to the tract last July.
Our "new" pines in a few years will provide needed cover for small game animals such as rabbits and hopefully ruffed grouse, and in a decade or so should provide the beginnings of a bedding area for whitetails. In 15 or so years, perhaps the aptly named pine warbler will be among the species nesting in the treetops.
In a fortnight or so, we will receive a shipment of four persimmon and two paw paw trees. They will be planted in the food plot behind the house. All of these activities will be hard work but the actual labor is very satisfying and potentially very good for wildlife.