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Timber in Georgia

Timber in Georgia

Having grown up in rural Georgia, the reference to timber brings to mind numerous connotations. As far as timber in Georgia goes, it is the state’s number one cash crop and is a huge contributor to the state’s economy. However, for me at least, timber has an emotional connotation; it is more a lifestyle or way of life.

Rural Georgia has always been abundant with trees. But trees in themselves do not sufficiently portray the term timber. Timber has always been much bigger to me; from the time I was old enough to carry a gun in the woods with my dad to walk-up quail without a dog, timber has been more than just trees. Timber brings to mind long and tall, straight and strong, clear of limbs, Georgia pine. Be it old growth Loblolly in the north or the beautiful Longleaf Pine ecosystems in the south, timber in Georgia creates a picture that is as big as the state itself.

Timber is not a single tree, a log in a cabin, or a support in a railroad crossing. When I think of timber in Georgia, the picture that comes to my mind is in black and white. I see an old growth forest, deep woods with trees as far as you can see, a pair of mules dragging large pine logs to a portable sawmill run by an old logger, wearing nothing but a pair of overalls. When I first started in the timber business, I used to run upon large piles of decaying sawdust in the middle of the woods, left behind by portable sawmills, like the one I just described, that were once a prominent part of the southern logging culture.

I picture bird dogs, frozen on three legs, pointing a wild covey of quail, among tall longleaf on more land than can be hunted in a week. I see a mossy antlered buck slipping out of a swamp as the night turns to dawn, the frost glistening under the rising sun. These are some of the images that fill my mind when I think of timber in Georgia.

However, do not think that timber in Georgia is restricted to the southern part of the state. Some of the prettiest and healthiest timber I’ve seen is growing in the north Georgia Mountains. Although typical imagery of Georgia timber resides with the historical Georgia pine, the mountains maintain substantial forests of majestic hardwoods. These grand forests deserve the recognition received from all connotations describing Georgia’s timber.

Some may claim to have an affinity for the giant redwood trees of the west coast, but to me, it doesn’t get any better than the timber in Georgia. So, whether you are familiar with timber or have just started to investigate the subject, I encourage you to take a ride out into the country to see the timber in Georgia for yourself. You may find that you enjoy it just as much as I do.

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