Congratulations to the Guttridge Brothers of Estacada for being selected as the Clackamas Woodland Farmer of the Year for 2018! This group of brothers includes Don Guttridge who has served the residents of Clackamas County on the board of the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District for over 20 years.
Our thanks to Glenn Ahrens, OSU Extension Forester, for his permission to share this wonderful article he prepared for the Winter 2018-19 edition of Woodland Notes.
Guttridge Brothers of Estacada
The Guttridge Brothers’ family history in the Estacada area began in the 1860’s when their great grandfather acquired land and settled in the Springwater area. Six generations have been involved in farming and forestry. The five Guttridge brothers started Guttridge Brothers tree farm with the acquisition of 20 acres from their mother Wilma in 1985. They added another 80 acres from their uncle in 2005.
The brothers all had a hand in working on the family farm growing up, but the effort on their own patch began in earnest with the rehabilitation of understocked, brushy areas, doing battle with hazel brush, blackberry, and other weeds, and planting trees.
In 2012, Alan Guttridge, recently retired from his job as a forester with the US Forest Service, led the effort on developing their management plan with help from a consulting forester. This helped to clarify their vision and goals to:
- Encourage and maintain growth of commercial tree species for current and future generations
- Maintain variety of wildlife habitats
- Protect water quality, minimize erosion and storm impacts
- Provide a road system and year-round access for management and recreation
- Harvest timber to capture value, minimize loss, reduce fuels and fire hazard
- Maintain and improve forest health and diversity
- Maximize natural regeneration
Highlights of their management efforts include:
- Rehabilitating understocked, brushy areas and establishing more trees (especially western red cedar)
- Managing root disease areas and converting declining forest stands to new regeneration
- Developing rock road access to all management areas in conjunction with timber harvest activities
- Vegetation management and blackberry control, along with thinning and pruning in young stands, are annual activities to promote success of their trees, both planted and natural
In addition to their devotion to forest stewardship and sound forestry practices, the Guttridge Brothers are very active in community service and education. Their efforts include:
- Service on the CCFFA Board –Rob Guttridge is currently Vice President and also editor of the Forest-Tree Leader quarterly newsletter.
- Representing woodland owners and CCFFA on the Clackamas River Basin Watershed Council -Gary Guttridge has been doing this for years.
- Clackamas Tree School volunteers -currently Rob is Exhibit hall manager.
- Springwater Grange events, meeting hosts and coordinators