BROKEN OAK HILL(R )   Dispatches from the heart of Wisconsin     
Welcome to Broken Oak Hill(R) Country
Top photo: The newly cleared pines at the southwest corner of Broken Oak Hill. 

Contact Us
You can contact us by clicking on the link at the left of this page. 

Our trees
updated: 1/31/2018

Our wildflowers
updated: 5/5/2019

A bluebird on the front yard oak on May 15.
Our birds
updated: 5/3/2019  

   
Other broken oaks
A website devoted to Indian trail marker trees may offer some clues about our own "broken oak." 


At the Farm
The woods is always changing,
and 2020 will be no different
     We celebrated the last day of 2019 and part of the first day of 2020 at the tree farm.  
      For the year ahead, we look forward to what we always aim for - continual improvement of the woods. We also hope to have more people visit the farm. 
In the summer of 2020, we will mark 59 years that the farm has been in the family.
     Project No. 1 will be getting the west pines sprayed by Wick Habitat Services for any new growth that has sprung up from all of the buckthorn and other undergrowth in there that owner Bob Wick removed in October with his forestry mower.
      We hope to do more planting, particularly of white pine, white oak, but also possibly some white birch and red oak.  And we will keep working on the buckthorn in the east pines and that has invaded parts of the hardwoods.  After this last season's effort, we feel we are really starting to turn the tide and win the battle against some of our worst invasives.

    
Our highlights for 2019 included the forestry mowing, a field day we held in May to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, a special visit by retired UW forester professor John Kotar, and visits by family members and friends.
     We didn't shoot any deer this year, which is a bad thing. By one guideline we should have no more than six or seven deer on our acreage, but we probably have 20 or more.  They are the key reason we do not get good reproduction of important species like oak and white pine - the deer browse all the young seedlings and kill a large percentage of them. But the season is short and hunting is hard work. I spent two and a half days at it and a friend joined me for one day.  We definitely need to increase our hunting pressure and success for 2020. 
      Inspired by Dr. Kotar, we are going to redouble our effort to catalog the species of plants and wildlife we have at the farm, including improving our bird list. 
      But most of all, we will just continue to enjoy the peace and beauty of this small portion of heaven on earth. 

Learning from our own field day
It has been a while since we had a field day at our farm, but the lessons we learned then still apply.  The program, sponsored by the Central Sands chapter of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, included our 55-year history, a look at our most recent harvest and other issues like battling invasives.  You can learn more about it (and what we learned) in our complete report.


Escape Wisconsin
A place on the plains for tall trees
A recent road triA giant pine towers over a transplanted railway station at the Bartlett Arboretum. p to Texas resulted in a number of pleasant surprises.  One was a visit to the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, just south of Wichita, where a number of record trees for the state of Kansas can be found.  A nephew had recommended the place, and it turned out to be so much more than we expected.  More than 100 years old, the little woods on the outskirts of town is home to a variety of species of large trees.  We were lucky enought to have a great conversation with the owner/manager, Robin Macy, whose surprising journey to care for these magnificent place makes her  a hero to anyone who cares about our trees and forests. You can find out more in this Escape Wisconsin report.
     

Our history
We are a 50-year Tree Farm now, but for for a look at the first 25 years at the farm, you can read 
The Cookstove by Burt.
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