Planted in the heart of Oregon’s Santiam Canyon, Freres takes pride in being stewards of the land.

Forest Operations

With more than 17,000 acres of timberland under our care, Freres takes the stewardship of our forests seriously. We realize that managing this tremendous resource requires a variety of approaches. Across all our management practices, we don’t just work to maximize economic value — we’re also dedicated to ensuring that our forests will remain for future generations.

Forest Harvest Cycle

In a typical year, Freres replants over 350,000 trees on private and timber-sale lands. While replanting harvested ground is a requirement, it’s also good business, ensuring future productivity and reducing the opportunity for invasive plant species to take hold.

Contrary to what is often portrayed, herbicides and pesticides are used judiciously on timber operations, typically until seedlings reach a “free-to-grow” stage where they are no longer competing against brush and shrubs (about two years after ground has been replanted). After a clearcut, once a stand has achieved this free-to-grow stage, herbicide and pesticide application is typically not required until the stand is ready to harvest. The use of these chemicals are important to ensure that stands can be productive again, and not overrun by pests or invasive plant species. Freres adheres to all of the rules laid out by the EPA and the Oregon Forest Practices Act to ensure the health and protection of rivers and streams, marine wildlife, and our community’s drinking water.

It’s important to remove trees that are dead or dying to not only support the continued growth of healthy trees but also reduce fire hazard. There are a variety of natural explanations for dead and dying trees during the lifetime of a timber stand, including bugs, disease, and climatic reasons such as ice storms or drought. Salvaging allows us to recover timber resources that would otherwise be lost and helps capture carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as the trees decompose.

Thinning helps promote a healthy forest by preventing overcrowded and “stagnant” stands that lead to stressed and weakened trees. Strategic harvesting gives the remaining trees more access to the water, nutrients, and sunlight they need to grow. Thinning is also one of our most important tools to reduce the risk of wildfires which pose a threat to people and wildlife and release large amounts of carbon dioxide into our environment.

Modern clearcuts are conducted in a controlled manner that supports regeneration, following state and federal guidelines to ensure our wildlife and natural resources are protected. While clearcuts may not be attractive to view in the early stages of harvest and regrowth, there are many ecological reasons why clearcuts are necessary.

Room to Grow
Unlike fast-growing broadleaf trees, such as maple, Douglas fir trees are a shade-intolerant species and struggle to grow beneath the cover of other trees. Clearcuts imitate natural disturbances which might fell trees, such as fire and wind storms, to provide an open area with full sun where Douglas fir seedlings can grow and thrive.

Fewer Disturbances
In a typical clearcut lifecycle, a stand may not be touched after replanting until a pre-commercial thin is required to open the stand (around 20-30 years). Freres targets a 70-year rotation on our private ground, which means that a harvested area only sees two entries over that 70-year period. Fully harvesting these select areas while entering the forest fewer times requires less money, less energy, and causes less disturbance to soil, water, and wildlife.


Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to maximize the recovery of beneficial products from our timber, using 100% of each log that comes through our doors. After creating our timber products, wood residuals with no other beneficial use are burned to produce heat and steam for our production processes. Our cogeneration facility produces more electricity on an annual basis than all of our manufacturing facilities combined, from biomass that would otherwise provide no benefit.

Forest Resource Cycle