By Michael Beadle
Peter Bates inspects a trio of cucumber trees growing closely together on a 20-acre tract of woods in the Balsam Mountain Preserve in Jackson County.
He checks to see if one of the trees died from a chainsaw cut known as “girdling,” in which a partial cut is made around the tree trunk. It’s a forestry management practice used these days. The idea is that some trees have to die so that others will survive, thus maintaining a healthy and productive forest.