Reply To: question about age of spruce tops

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Well – old growth generally means wood that’s come from a forest that has not been previously commercially logged by man –  a settler or farmer may have taken out a handful of trees, but most of the growth is natural and from a continuous ecosystem that hasn’t been radically interfered with – just wind, water, fire basically. Once man goes in and chops a bunch of trees down (usually clear-cutting) then the next growth doesn’t germinate and grow under the same conditions as the original forest. It generally gets a faster start, is more mono-species, and grows more quickly with the abundance of water and light, and doesn’t have the same slow growth rings and density that the older trees developed having to compete for those same resources in an established forest. So, there are trees that are a couple hundred years old, but they are a new generation, and while large and very good material, its not the same as the real “old-growth”. We are probably one of the last generations that had the luxury of using true old-growth lumber to build our decks and fences, and doors and moldings. The hope is we protect as much of that habitat that’s left as we can, as it isn’t just the trees. But an awful lot of it is on government land, and the dollars it represents with little to no investment required are one of the reasons those lands are under attack – and we are in danger of losing even more with a coal-crazy leadership –