Planting at Galbraith in Full Force
Much like your garden at home, spring is the ideal time to cultivate our crop at Galbraith Tree Farm. As such, planting of seedlings is in full force on the mountain, specifically at the areas where timber was harvested in 2017. Trees will be planted in eight different areas around the mountain with species to include Fir, Cedar, and Hemlock.
GTF plants an average of four trees for every one tree harvested. This year, there will be approximately 400 trees planted per acre, with an average of 10’ spacing provided between trees. Ensuring the health of these planted seedlings is equal to if not more important than the act of harvesting the timber once it is fully grown. GTF will plant more than 90,000 trees in 2018.
GTF utilizes contractors with state of the art machines that carefully “pluck” mature trees from the forest while protecting the younger understory. You can see an example of the many cedar trees that are still standing in the unit recently harvested near the Baby, Momma, and Papa Bear trails. These trees will jump start the next generation and provide biodiversity hotspots. Biodiversity hotspots are clusters of trees and understory vegetation that left intact during the timber harvest. These areas can then repropagate the surrounding harvest area.
Additionally, GTF has initiated a partnership project with Freehub Magazine, who is planting 520 trees adjacent to the new Cedar Dust trail lines as a means to offset the paper production from their quarterly magazine publication. The funds to purchase and plant these seedlings will be gifted to the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition as a donation. We have selected Yellow Cedar for this planting area as a way to distinguish these trees from the surrounding crops.
As the days get longer and the rain tapers off, we look forward to all signs of renewed life at the mountain, whether it be in the form of increased recreational activity or the growth of sturdy, healthy trees!