Cutting and Thinning of Trees Pays Important Dividends – in Expanding Diversity of Wildlife Habitat, and in Helping to Fight Wildfires and Save Lives and Prevent Destruction


Depiction of strategic and expert thinning of a forest tree stand: every third row removed (image credit: U.S. Forest Service)

ohDEER is the leader in all-natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

We launched in 2007.  Today, through our corporate office in Wayland, MA, and through our franchise locations, ohDEER provides service throughout Massachusetts, including the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket; Eastern Long Island, NY; and Central New Jersey.

In all our work, ohDEER places a strong emphasis, and holds deep consideration, on protecting the environment.

Indeed, Kurt Upham – who, along with his wife, Colleen, co-founded and co-own ohDEER – is a long-time and dedicated outdoorsman who advocates for smart and sustainable land stewardship.

Back on September 30, 2016, we published in this space a post, “In Maintaining Healthy Forests, Sometimes Leaving Mother Nature Alone Is Not the Best  Course,” in which we discussed the benefits of cutting and thinning trees in areas in which trees are densely packed.

Removing trees in a careful and practiced manner provides the conditions for the remaining trees to have better access to nutrients, which allows then to literally branch out and grow taller and wider, and for root systems to become healthier and more established – and also for more light to reach the floor of the woods and forests, allowing for increased shrub growth. Increased space between trees, and more shrubs, makes more diverse a living habitat, with birds being the biggest beneficiary.

Thinning of trees also can render major benefits to achieve a more important and urgent goal: fighting, corralling, and subduing wildfires, which have increased in frequency, destructive power, and lethality in recent times.  Of course, ongoing in California are historically deadly and catastrophic fires.

Once a wildfire starts, it can be powerfully helped along when it comes upon a tight congestion of trees – which to fuel to fire.  Clearing out … and making sparser … the trees of wooded and forested areas can be smart and highly effective fire control and prevention.

Cutting down, and harvesting trees for replanting … and removing trees through controlled burning … makes wildfire fuel less available.

Now, for sure, in terms of preventing wildfires from starting, the most important and immediate weapon to be employed is for humans to be more considerate and more thoughtful and act more safely in handling fire. Throughout the U.S., a little more than 80 percent of wildfires are started by humans, most accidental … and some acts of arson.

Nature … in the form of lightning … sparks wildfires.

People can debate on the role of humans, and what we can do or not do to alter and put the skids on and reverse climate change.  But the fact is that – no matter who or what is to blame – there has been a warming of the atmosphere.  This warming contributes to drought, which leaves land parched, and hospitable for fast-moving wildfires.

Let’s not let wind off the hook.  Wind blows life into and pushes along fire.

Yet, taking a broad and cosmic view of fire … one of the elemental components of the universe running out of control … almost all of it can stopped before it starts if we make absolutely sure that all fires we light are also fires we have extinguished.  Really.

And ohDEER believes what Smokey Bear has long been telling us is what we need to continue to hear: “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

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