Even though we are a for-profit business, we are still curious about the natural world. After all, curiosity is the bedrock of science. There are still questions that need answers. Answers that could benefit our industry. We are willing to spend our own time and money to find the answers.
Currently we are working on getting two projects started. The first is a roller coaster of sorts. Trees are made of wood fibers, which are made of microfibrils. Both fibers and microfibrils are not straight, they always are angled. Sometimes its only a few degrees, sometimes it is extreme. We want to map these metrics out for every growth year in local ponderosa pine samples, and in different age cohorts (juvenile, old growth, and archeological). We hope by mapping these across a tree's lifespan, we can better understand the optimal age to harvest ponderosa pine as well as if growing conditions are changing over time. Below is a link to the pilot study proposal.
The other project we are working on is reconstructing the historic spatial arrangement of our ponderosa pine forests. We can do this buy analyzing old stumps on the landscape. Luckily, stumps in Southwestern forests stick around for a while. By examining the rings, we can determine when that tree germinated and how large (by diameter) it was throughout time.