Gee, we went through a drought, a flood, Hurricane Matthew, and then Irma blew in.

Actually, we did not have much damage from Irma, at least not like the Upstate. But they did not experience Hurricane Matthew or the flood.

In other words, our weak trees were mostly down.

The Upstate had not had any of our storms, so it suffered massive power failure due to the winds blowing trees on the lines. Ergo, it may have been our good fortune to have already had storms so there were no more trees to blow down.

Prices

Sawtimber prices have remained constant for the year. Market prices for pulpwood have had a little fluctuation of up and down.

Hardwood pulpwood prices have dropped over the past 12 months.

My opinion is that they will continue to drop. With computers, e-mail, Snapchat, Facebook, there is less paper being used.

Most of the white paper mills have changed the formulation so that less hardwood pulpwood is used.

The demand for hardwood pulpwood has dropped and the price has dropped.

If you have that junky hardwood that you have been holding on to because it is worthless, you might want to go ahead and put it on the market before it becomes totally worthless.

The mill that used to be called Abitibibowater, presently called Resolute (near Charlotte), has shut down one line of it newsprint paper machine because more people are reading online. This meant laying off 600 workers.

The moral to the story: When you get all that junk mail on that pretty white paper, smile!

They are keeping the hardwood pulpwood market going!

Emerald Ash Borer

If you did not know it, the emerald ash borer, affectionately called EAB, has appeared in traps in the Upstate area of Greenville and surrounding counties.

South Carolina has agreed to quarantine the state and not just those three counties.

First of all, we cannot stop this critter and it will not be long before your ash trees start dying from it.

Furthermore, having the whole state quarantined along with those counties bordering our state in North and Georgia, which are already infected with EAB, will facilitate moving those logs to a market.

It hurts to know that such a devastating insect has entered our state.

The EAB movement from north to south was facilitated by people who transported infected wood outside of quarantine areas, thus, helping the insect spread more quickly than if it had to make its own way across the country.

New state forester

If you have not heard the news, Scott Phillips will be our new state forester.

The S.C. Forestry Commission Board did an excellent job in interviewing and selecting the best candidate.

I want to also congratulate outgoing State Forester Gene Kodama for the wonderful leadership through all that our state has been through to include floods, hurricanes and ice storms.

It is just my opinion, but I think Mr. Kodama is the best state forester we have had in the past 35 years. Kodama will step down Jan. 2, 2018.

Beth Richardson is Orangeburg County Clemson Extension Service forestry agent.

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