Tree Talk Articles

Spring 2022

Hot Topic – Carbon Credits and Forestland

As energy costs soar and corporate America seeks ways to minimize their carbon footprint, added attention is being paid to the value of forestland as carbon storage.  Through a complicated process, the value and amount of the extra carbon storage is calculated and then sold on the market to companies that release carbon into the… Read More »


Wednesday, February 23, seemed like a perfect late winter day.  The snow pack was melting under a warm sun and at the office foresters, Lee and Elynn stared at computer screens while office manager Amber ran errands during her lunch break. Elynn was the first to become aware of a sound that she likened to… Read More »

Spring 2021

Crazy Times in the Wood World

Anyone who’s purchased a board in the last year knows that lumber prices are through the roof!! The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price index recently peaked at an all-time high of $1,044/Mbf (thousand board feet). This compared to $400/Mbf in March 2020. What the heck is going on? There are numerous reasons for this… Read More »

Western White Pine

Our series of native tree species continues with western white pine (Pinus monticola).  Perhaps, because of its ecological and economic importance, we should have featured this important tree earlier.  After all, the Idaho legislature recognized it as our state tree in 1935. Taxonomists classify western white pine as a “white” or “soft” pine.  By contrast,… Read More »

Spring 2020

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Recently we began a series of articles exploring the Inland Northwest’s common tree species. In 2018 we highlighted western redcedar and last fall we looked at western larch, two highly regarded species promoted by forest managers. We now continue our series by taking on grand fir, a tree that, depending on who you talk to,… Read More »

Contracts for Success

A key element to ensure success regarding any forest management activity involving individuals outside your family is the use of a clear, detailed contract. Contracts are critical to convey your desired outcome and protect your welfare. The goal of a contract is to serve as an organ of understanding between a landowner and contractor. It… Read More »

But I Had a Contract…

A number of years ago a very unhappy elderly lady approached us concerning a logging operation that had recently occurred on her property. She described her land as a “disaster area” after logging took place – too many trees were cut, slash piles were only partly burned, and many of the remaining trees were damaged…. Read More »

Spring 2019

New Idaho Fire Season Requirements

The Idaho Department of Lands is implementing a new set of logging operation requirements for the upcoming (2019) fire season. They are as follows: 1. From July 1 through September 30, logging operations using a cable system or feller-buncher must have on-site a 200-gallon water tank and specified accessories. 2. During Stage II Fire Restrictions… Read More »

Mother Nature’s Towers with Solar Panels Part Two — The Solar Panels

A past issue of Tree Talk (Spring 2018) quoted an anecdote by Professor Jay O’Laughlin, retired director of the College of Natural Resource’s Policy Analysis Group at the University of Idaho, in which he described a tree as “Mother Nature’s Towers with Solar Panels.”  Our first article focused on the components of the wooden tower… Read More »

Spring 2014


At the close of the 19th century as the last trees were harvested from the Lake States, the timber barons’ attention turned to the vast virgin forests of the Pacific Northwest.  Around 1900, several family-owned timber companies sent timber cruisers to tally stands of western white pine and redcedar in Idaho and Washington. Much of… Read More »

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