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PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
303
Blair County, PA
Last spring I spent several days clearing thorn bushes and cutting up limbs and dead trees left by a logger two years ago. Once the corn was planted, I couldn't get to the wood. Last week, my neighbors chopped the corn and I went back to see how much the thorns grew back. I was surprised at how high the plants with the purple stems and berries had grown. I'm going to need to use my machete and maybe a weed wacker to get to all of the wood that I cut.

I've questioned if the effort is worth the result several times. Fortunately, I'm good for wood for a couple of years. It seemed like a waste to let it rot and I enjoy spending time in the woods.

This is what I saw when I left in April after cutting all of the thorn bushes.
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This is what it looks like now. I expect that the tallest weeds with the purple stems and berries will die after a hard frost.
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,745
Marshall NC
The wood has been down on the ground for 2 or 3 years. There will be substantial rot in that wood. I wouldn't put it in my wood shed, but then again, I am picky.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,138
Lackawaxen PA
Yea there's a level of punk starting on wood that I won't put in my covered stacks. For me if the sap wood has changed color but is still hard it's normally good. I don't use wood I stack today for 3-5 years. It looks like that wood would be ok me. Get it off the ground, split, covered and drying in sun and air flow.

That said I've never had a piece of punkey wood that wouldn't burn in the fire pit. I get any wet wood away from the house. If not the ants move in.
 

mcdougy

Feeling the Heat
Apr 15, 2014
465
ontario
I believe that thorns are the first stage to forest redevelopment. They are nasty to deal with but I think best left to let nature do its thing....the thorns provide the shade for the native trees to move back in.....i believe I had read this some time ago when considering doing the same type of clearing attempt.
 

MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
42
Southern Maine
I believe that thorns are the first stage to forest redevelopment. They are nasty to deal with but I think best left to let nature do its thing....the thorns provide the shade for the native trees to move back in.....i believe I had read this some time ago when considering doing the same type of clearing attempt.
Are there any good books that discuss this? I have always been interested in how new forest (or any forest) grows, and wondered if there was ever an engaging book on that topic.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
641
SW Missoura
Pa Fire Bug....Those purple stemmed plants are called poke plants and in the spring when they are a foot high or so.....the leaves are excellent to eat. Just cut pick the leaves at the stem, boil them up like spinach with bacon grease. Dont eat the berries they will make you sick.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,561
Downeast Maine
Pa Fire Bug....Those purple stemmed plants are called poke plants and in the spring when they are a foot high or so.....the leaves are excellent to eat. Just cut pick the leaves at the stem, boil them up like spinach with bacon grease. Dont eat the berries they will make you sick.
And also stain everything. I didn't know that about the leaves.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
641
SW Missoura
And also stain everything. I didn't know that about the leaves.
Buddy you ain't kiddin. Yea the leaves pictured are are too big. They are still edible but they would be tough and stringy. It seems it really likes to grow in disturbed ground the following spring. I have it in dozer decks here everywhere.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,561
Downeast Maine
Buddy you ain't kiddin. Yea the leaves pictured are are too big. They are still edible but they would be tough and stringy. It seems it really likes to grow in disturbed ground the following spring. I have it in dozer decks here everywhere.
I found it popped up every time I cut down a Mimosa tree while I lived in NC. I always let the grow a bit, because they are nice to look at, but not for long because my pitbull likes to gnaw on plants.
 
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