Fire in my hardwood forest... is my investment in my family's future lost
Most studies on the effects of fire, both wildfire and prescribed fire, on hardwood species focus on mortality rates and tree quality. The effects of fire on wood product recovery, especially on the volume and value, are of interest to family forest owners, state and federal forest managers, and companies that own timberland. Loss in log value associated with fires of low to medium intensity appears minimal, based on visual inspection of standing trees 5 to 8 years after exposure to fire. In a study by Forest Service scientists, less than one-quarter of 1 percent (0.025%) of timber value was lost overall, due to cull caused by decay that resulted from injury from the heat of the fire. Red maple was the most prone to fire damage among the four species evaluated. Yellow-poplar had the lowest risk of injury due to its thick bark, which serves to insulate the wood. This assessment looked only at the boards most directly exposed to the fire's heat.