WCSWA Potluck: Food and Friends!

Ingredients for an excellent WCSWA Potluck: Bring together warmish weather with just a touch of light rain, a beautiful tree farm, 73 friendly woodland folks and a speaker giving a machinery demonstration. All this happened May 21st at Tony and Mary Spiering’s tree farm a few miles north and west of North Plains.

After ample time to visit and watch the burgers and hot dogs cook as delicious pot luck dishes were arranged, we all sat down to enjoy food and friends. Afterwards, Mike Pihl of Mike Pihl Logging gave us an informative talk. Mike started logging at age 17 in Kansas City (Oregon). He formed his own business in 1986 and does all aspects of logging, including cutting, hauling and replanting.

Right now, Mike is feeling the pain of tariffs as the export market has dried up and the domestic market is flooded with logs. Poles are a good value. When asked what makes a pole, Mike told us that first you need an excellent faller, and there must be no deducts on the tree. A rule of thumb to follow from there is: 17” dbh should give a 70-foot pole, 18” dbh should give an 80-foot pole, 19” dbh should give a 90-foot pole and so on. To keep track of log markets, Mike informed us that every Friday at 2:00pm, Random Lengths, www.randomlengths.com releases the newest log prices.

Mike serves on the Board of Directors at Camp 18. The board is currently raising money for a new museum and memorial building and Mike encouraged us to support this.

For several years, Mike Pihl Logging was featured on the reality show Ax-Men, but they declined to continue since there was, in Mike’s words, “too much drama.” Last year, Mike was approached again with the promise that this time it would show logging without the added drama. The new History channel series will be called “Ax-Men Reborn” and will start showing in July.

Mike then led the group a short distance away to watch him demonstrate his Kubota Mini Track Hoe. This very versatile machine operates quickly and efficiently. Many woodland owners could be seen mentally trying to pencil out if the $75,000 (plus accessories) made sense other than looking like a lot of fun.

Master Woodland Managers Program:

Washington County has many small woodland owners who have qualified to become Master Woodland Managers under the OSU Extension MWM program. These MWM’s have received training in woodland management science and technology, and are available to serve as volunteer mentor/advisors to other woodland owners.

To receive the services of a MWM, contact Amy Grotta at 503-397-3462

Last updated: June 8, 2019 at 16:55 pm