Hi Folks,

All will agree, the Christmas of 2001 will have its somber moments. To find words of sufficient passion to describe the brutal hatred displayed on September 11 in New York is just not possible. Such words do not exist.

‘When Bad Things Happen to Good People', expresses such an appropriate thought. Surely, Rabbi Cushner had no way of knowing how profound these words would become.

Thoughts of the thousands who perished in this extremely foolish act will crowd our minds this year. How painful it must be for their families and friends who remain.

But Christmas comes again. And we will celebrate it just as we have for two millennia by extending our best wishes for a joyous and happy Holiday Season to each and every one of you. We hope to see all of you again this year.

Merry Christmas,

Shady Pond Tree Farm

    Christmas Tree Varieties:

  • Leyland Cypress-
    a stately beauty from England. Leighton Green, Castlewellan, Silver Dust

  • King William's Pine-
    a unique tree from the Orient.

  • Silver Smoke-
    a selection from New Zealand.

  • Carolina Sapphire-
    the aroma of lemon and mint.

  • Deodar Cedar-
    from the western Himalayas with silver needles.

  • Hoven's Blue Cedar-
    a southern Christmas tradition.

  • Virginia Pine-
    the memories of Christmas past.

    Farm Schedule:

  • Pre-tag Days
    November 17 & 18, or by Appointment
  • Cutting Begins
    November 23

    Farm Hours:

  • Friday after Thanksgiving
    9:00 to 5:00
  • Saturday & Sunday
    9:00 to 5:00
  • Thursday & Friday
    3:00 to 5:00

    Contact Info:

  • Plantation
  • New Orleans
  • E-Mail

Map to Shady Pond Tree Farm

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Timber Harvest at Shady Pond

The heavy pine timber at Shady Pond attained significant age. And to the casual observer it seemed to be in good condition. But the drought over the past several years has brought weak trees to the foreground.

Adult Southern Pine BeetleSouthern pine beetles seem to be able to detect trees that are not in the best health. They appear to attack these trees as part of nature's natural thinning process. We have lost many in recent years to insect damage.

And on three separate occasions this spring; trees, and the adjacent power lines and fences, went down to wind throw. Of course the lightning was not going to take a back seat to the bugs or the wind. So it had its way with quite a number as well.

Clearly, a message was being sent. And failing to heed signals sent by Mother Nature is not prudent. It was time to do major thinning.

Feller-Buncher in WoodsAfter careful deliberation and lots of soul searching, the skeleton of a plan was beginning to take shape. Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension Service forest specialists and Louisiana's Department of Agriculture and Forestry urban foresters help to fill in the remaining details.

The pine timber at Shady Pond in saw log category would be harvested. But the logger had to be truly special. He had to have the most advanced equipment needed to do precision work. But more important he and his crew had to possess a personal respect for the trees; not just the ones to be cut but those that would remain as well.

There was only one logger to my knowledge that would fit the bill, Bobby Frierson. The Frierson family has been in the logging business for four generations.

Log SkidderBobby and I survey the property and agreed to the details of the project. We planned the fall direction of each critical tree. Skid lanes were designated. Loading areas were defined. Truck routes were specified.

When the big day came in late July, three loads were completed then the rain began. Our carefully organized harvest came to an abrupt halt. It rained for 8-weeks.

It was October before the ground was sufficiently dry to proceed. And proceed we did.

Feller-Buncher with Tree in CutterThe feller-buncher placed the trees exactly as planned with almost no detectable damage to the ones that remained. Huge trees were cut from camellia beds leaving those antique plants untouched. During the two week harvest, nearly 1000-tons of giant saw logs were moved.

But as many already know, the cleanup from a project of this kind is massive. And when you arrive at Shady Pond this year it will not be totally complete. So, please excuse the mess Bobby and I made. Everything will be in order soon. ...Clarke

Life has Its Limits Or Maybe Not...

The decision making process for the timber harvest at Shady Pond was not an easy one. There were many things to be considered. Which trees should go, and which should stay. What ultimate use will they have. How much damage will be done in the process. And, on and on.

But most difficult of all was dealing with the emotional attachment to those old pines. They have been our silent neighbors for nearly a half-century.

After thinking through all the minute details, one simple principle guided the decision; ‘use it, or loose it'.

The trees could be left to fall prey to insect attack, lightning, wind, or red heart (decay from the inside out). Or those venerable trees could be allowed to live on. They could be given a new assignment and continue their symbiotic relationship with humanity.

All of the heavy logs made their way to Hood Industries in Wiggins, Mississippi. There they were transformed in to sheets of veneer to form the layers of plywood. The somewhat smaller logs were sent to the Weyerhaeuser ‘chip and saw' mill. Structural lumber is taken from the center while the side slabs are chipped for paper. The logs of lesser quality become pallets to carry the hard goods we consume as they are shipped across the nation. The tops and limbs of the trees were purchased by The Gaylord Container Corporation's paper mill in Bogalusa.

And three Cherry trees even found themselves in Columbus, Mississippi where they will become custom made tongue and groove floor boards to restore antique buildings.

So on the next cold rainy winter night when you are snuggled comfortably in your home, think of the trees that provide the shelter and warmth you need and enjoy. And if you happen to be reading a good book on that bleak miserable night, leave the words for just a moment and think of the trees that provided the paper on which they are printed.

And remember some of those trees may have come from Shady Pond.

Now What??????

With all the old pine at the tree farm entrance harvested, it is time to replant that area with something unique, something that truly represents Louisiana. And again with the help of our State urban foresters a final plan was drafted.

Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) will be planted on the interior of that triangular plot. And Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) will line the road that bounds the area.

Bald cypress at PondBald cypress defines Louisiana in many regards. It is typically associated with our swamp regions. But not everyone is aware that it grows well on upland sites too. It is a member of the redwood family and often confused with Dawn redwood, both are deciduous and have similar foliage.

Black cherry is also known as Rum cherry because its fruit is used to make cherry bounce liqueur. The cherries are a favorite with wildlife. And the trees grow naturally in the understory.

The Bald cypress seedlings will arrive in late January from the Louisiana State Hardwood Nursery in Monroe and the Black cherry will be provided by Lawyer Nursery in Montana. Planting will follow in February.

With the new trees in place, the tree farm entrance at Shady Pond will be one of the largest upland Bald cypress plantings in the State. This is an exciting new project for us and we hope you too will enjoy watching these stately trees mature.

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