Logging in Virginia

Logging was a huge business in Virginia until the Panama Canal allowed the West Coast to compete and is still a part of Virginia agriculture. I never saw logging in Northern Virginia, but see it routinely west of the James River in Isle of Wight and Surry counties. It’s a consideration if you buy a rural home because the nearby forest can quickly disappear and is traumatic the first time it’s encountered. Clear-cutting is used and an area of 10 to several hundred acres will look like it has been hit by a tornado. A harvested corn field is a simple and similar version of the process but easier to accept because corn stalks are smaller, the harvest expected, accompanied by harvest of other crops, and the replacement crop covers the damage in a few months. The clear cut forest takes four or five years to become easy on the eye. So, if you want lots of trees around you, buy property where you own the trees and enough to form a buffer from any harvesting on adjacent land. Of course if you buy next to an area that was recently harvested, the next harvest won’t be for 30 or 40 years by which time you’ll probably be somewhere else, so it won’t matter. An interesting aside concerns trees toppled during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Commercial logging involves trees of moderate diameter. Some of the storm-felled trees were much larger. A few property owners salvaged damaged trees by converting them to lumber and in a few cases acquired amounts of pecan, walnut, oak, cedar, cypress and pine. However, larger diameter trees wouldn’t fit the modern mills and had to be discarded.

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About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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