The Oregon Department of Forestry is encouraging landowners to plan for healthy forests following the devastating wildfires that burned over Labor Day weekend. The ODF’s Jim Gersbach said when a fire sweeps through a timbered area, burned trees have perhaps less than a year before they are not commercially valuable and won't be accepted at the mill.

"Land owners who have had trees killed in recent fires, they're going to need to get those trees cut, generally, in the next several months. After the Labor Day fires, the window will be closing to get those to the mill. If trees are injured, they may or may not survive depending on the severity of burn injuries,"

Gersbach noted that n some cases, injured trees needed to be removed all together. Gersbach ​said just because your trees were scorched doesn’t mean a mill can’t use it for timber.

"Ranging from very severe where trees are largely consumed, those trees may not have commercial value. But in many other cases, trees may be burned severely close to the ground and the upper portions may be only scorched. In those cases, loggers that are harvesting those trees can cut off the base and the more usable parts can be salvaged and taken to the mill.” 

If trees outer bark is scorched, the bark can be removed and those trees can be used for dimensional lumber if large enough or chipped and made into pulp for cardboard or paper as well. 

If you have questions about tree that were burned, and the options you have, check out ODF's Website.

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