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Enviro-Mich message from David Allen <dallen@nmu.edu>


Just a small nota bene on Ann's comments.

Ann wrote:
>Second, there is a significant amount of concern about the decline of
>white cedar, which has been described as the "living dead" in parts of
>Michigan.  Here, a very long lived species is virtually incapable of
>reproducing in much of its native in Michigan because of the overwhelming
>impact of deer.  Deer depend on cedar as winter cover, and also browse the
>trees for food in winter. The effect has been creation of virtual park like
>settings in most of the cedar swamps of the state, as all branches above the
>snowline and within the reach of the deer on its hind legs are gnawed off.
>The life expectancy of the cedar means that these individual trees will
>continue to live for many years, but the horrifying reality is that virtually
>no trees under the age of forty exist in many parts of Michigan.

In the eastern UP, and along the L. Michigan shoreline, cedar is doing
pretty well in selected areas where the soils are shallow, with limestone
underneath.  Seems the limestone makes the cedar untasty to the dear.

And in many other years, there is all sorts of regeneration.  One and two
year old cedar may abound, but once it gets to a height sufficient to get
above the (packed and trampled) snow cover - bite - it is gone.  Perhaps
exclosures may be required for cedar survival?

And if you listen to some selected industry source you may get the
impression that aspen is in trouble.  Claims of not cutting it fast enuf -
converting to other stands.  End of attempt at humor. 8-)

Back to seriousness.  In some areas, white birch does not seem to be doing
well (not regenerating well).  So add that to the yellow birch and hemlock
regeneration problems that Ann mentioned.  And with regards to hemlock - up
here there are stands that are regenerating just fine, and other, equally
healthy looking stands, that are not.  Examples can be found in the
Porkies, in the central highlands, and N of Mqt.

Dave A.

David E. Allen
Co-Conservation Chair
Central U. P. Group of the Sierra Club, Mackinac Chapter
318 E Prospect; Marquette, MI, 49855
(906) 228-9453

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