Sustainable Lumber Harvesting: Good For The Earth And Those Who Live Here

Can’t Decide Which Materials To Use? Get Off The Fence And Choose The Responsible, Renewable Resource: WOOD!

Country life often includes beautiful vistas with horses peacefully grazing in green pastures or gallivanting across a paddock surrounded by a picturesque fence. From a practical standpoint, fences are necessary to safely confine horses while providing them with opportunities to exercise and graze. In addition to being beloved animals, many horses are extremely valuable, making the right choice of fencing materials even more important.

If you’re planning a horse fencing project, you know there are decisions to be made. Will you do it yourself or hire a contractor? When should the project be done, and how much of your property will be enclosed?

Foremost is your choice of fencing materials. Mesh fencing and galvanized wire can have sharp points and don’t provide clear, visible boundaries for corralled animals. Plus, wire fences require periodic tightening, and run the additional risk of entanglement (and barbed wire fences can injure horses by tearing at their hides). Vinyl-clad or PVC fence boards are pricey and must be cleaned regularly to maintain their appearance.

Post-and-board wood fences provide the vital functions of containment and safety, while adding the rustic, natural look that appeals to most property owners. Durable, strong, and beautiful pine wood fencing is the right choice for your next corral, pasture, or other agricultural enclosure.


"But Wait: Isn’t Lumbering Bad For The Environment?"
Not With Today’s Sustainable Lumber Harvesting Practices—READ ON!

Forests Play Many Roles

Michigan forests touch our lives each and every day. They provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, from notable species such as the Kirtland’s Warbler, to the state's estimated 1.7 million deer herd, and also watershed protection for its inland fishery.

Many of us enjoy year-round outdoor recreational activities like camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, and snowmobiling in the nearly 20 million forested acres in our state.

And our forests also support thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to Michigan’s economy. Each year, the Michigan forest products industry harvests about 12 million tons of wood. Each ton of wood harvested generates about $100 worth of economic activity. That's $1.2 billion worth of economic activity!

So it’s in everyone’s best interests that this precious natural resource be responsibly managed in order for forests to be healthy, abundant, and productive for future generations to enjoy.


Is Michigan Running Out Of Trees?

Not at all! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources maintains a sophisticated and continually updated forest inventory, and forests dominate Michigan's landscape. According to the 2017 USDA Forest Service inventory, forestland makes up over half of our state’s total land area.

Michigan has some of the least harvested forests in the country. In fact, through responsible and sustainable forestry practices, Michigan's forests are growing considerably faster than they are being harvested. In fact, each year 2.7 times more wood is grown than harvested (that’s one of the highest proportions in the nation), and timberland area in Michigan has increased by more than 10% since 1980.

To keep our forests functioning as intended, it’s vital to continue to conserve and responsibly manage our forests so Michigan keeps providing the natural habitats, recreational activities, and environmental benefits we all require, as well as producing the vast array of forest products—from paper to Christmas trees, building materials and fence posts—consumers rely on.


Sustainable Harvesting Yields Long-Term Benefits

"Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) is a management regime that integrates and balances social, economic, ecological, cultural, and spiritual needs of present and future generations."


Lumber is a precious, renewable resource and trees and forests need to be properly cared for. Forests are naturally dynamic ecosystems; natural events like fire, flood, wind, earthquakes, damage caused by insects, outbreaks of diseases, and the simple aging of trees all affect the composition and structure of a forest.

Without sustainable forestry and lumber production, important ecosystems would disappear altogether, and the lumber industry would eventually suffer along with the environment.

Sustainable lumber is gathered in ways that protect other existing trees in the forest, as well as the waterways, wildlife and the environment in which the wood was harvested. While all timber gathering impacts the surrounding environment, the goal with sustainable logging is to have the least possible negative impact on the surrounding area.

In a sustainable lumbering practice, new seedlings are planted faster than trees are removed, thereby ensuring that forests regrow. Pine, which is used in Meadow Ridge Supply’s wood fencing materials, is uniquely suited for sustainability in part because as a “soft wood,” it grows quickly, so forests can be replenished without the wait it takes to regrow a slower-growing hardwood forest.

Sustainable forestry practices vary widely. Here are a few of the common ones used in Michigan to keep our forests and woodlands in good condition and producing timber for years to come.


Many plantations (planted forests) in Michigan were planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. You’ve probably noticed these straight, orderly rows of pine trees on drives along state roadways. Although plantations may not provide the same ecosystem diversity that natural forests provide, they can play a positive role by producing wood very efficiently and are very effective when established on sites previously damaged by destruction such as wind or wildfire.

Row Thinning

Row thinning is typically done in a plantation setting. Every third row is removed, and the inside rows are thinned. The new space creates room for remaining trees to grow.

Select-Cut Harvest

A select cut harvest involves evaluating the woodlot, then thinning for forest health and proper spacing. Mature, over-mature, poorly formed, and diseased trees are harvested in order to offer better growing conditions—more nutrients, sunlight, and water—to remaining trees.

Clear-Cut Harvest

Many tree species in Michigan require fire, wind, and other natural disasters (even insect infestation) to regenerate. In the appropriate forest ecosystems, clear-cut harvests are undertaken to simulate a natural disaster and stimulate rapid regrowth of certain tree species. A clear-cut harvest costs less, making forestry more economically viable and has the added benefit of providing safer working conditions for loggers.


As you can see, forestland provides many rewards to the forest owner as well as goods and services to society. Some benefits are financial—such as the sale of lumber and forest products—while other equally important benefits include the public’s continued enjoyment of these beautiful landscapes, and the joy of being a good steward over a vital and dynamic part of nature.

Lumber companies have learned from the mistakes of the past generations who over-harvested trees without regard for the future. Through strategic harvesting and responsible forest management, our woodlands will be abundant for the use and enjoyment of many generations to come.

And choosing renewable and responsibly harvested wood, like the pine fencing materials from Meadow Ridge Supply, is a choice you can feel good about. It’s easy on your wallet, easy on your conscience, and easy on the environment.

Whatever the size and scope of your fencing project, let Meadow Ridge Supply help you make the right statement on your property with responsibly harvested Michigan pine fencing materials. It’s the natural choice.

Contact us today! Our expert wood fencing representatives can answer your questions and help you choose the right products to meet your needs.

Phone: 989-750-0750


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