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Desperate Georgia farmers scurry to save their trees after fire

[ Georgia ] Tree farmers must work just as fast as the wildfires racing across Southeast Georgia if they are to have any hope of salvaging timber burned by the massive infernos. “The hotter the fire, the shorter the time you’ve got to get it to the mill,” said Joe Hopkins, a fourth generation tree farmer. “You’re looking at maybe four to six weeks maximum to move it to the mill. After that, it’s pretty much too late.” If the fire is hot enough, it will kill the tree. Dead trees rot quickly. Charred but surviving trees are vulnerable to insect infestation and fungus, which ruins the wood and speeds decay, Hopkins said. At least $65 million of timber has been destroyed by Ware County wildfires sparked April 16 when wind blew down a power line, Georgia Forestry Commission rangers estimated this week. As little as 15 percent of that timber might be salvaged, forestry rangers and timber industry experts told the Times-Union.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes




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