Submitted by Marty Proctor

Anyone driving on state road 19 between Groveland and the turnpike has seen the activity east of SR19.  Cherrylake’s tree farm is expanding.  One of the largest employers in South Lake is increasing their production capacity. These expansions come within the existing boundaries of the Farm’s property.

The active area east of SR19 is converting 74 acres from pine wood production to a combination of ornamental tree and citrus production.  Another less visible expansion area is off Cherry Lake Road encompassing about 10 acres.

Timothee Sallin, President of Cherrylake, said, “we plan on extending the farm to every area we have available over the next three years.”  He also stated, “our goals include helping the community by creating jobs and keeping the land in agriculture.”  These goals move forward while “embracing the inevitable growth in South Lake County and being good neighbors.”

The massive land clearing process east of 19 requires several stages.  These were plainly visible over the last few weeks. First, the pine block was harvested. This included the use of one of the most sophisticated logging machines on the planet, a feller-buncher.  If you’ve ever seen the TV programs that highlight logging, you have seen this impressive type of equipment in action. The machine enables quick, efficient harvesting and gathering of pine trees.

Once the trees were harvested, they were trucked away to be used for pine wood, pulp, and paper.  The next stage (occurring now) is the clearing of stumps and non-pine trees. Finally, the land will be graded and prepared for ornamental tree, shrub, and citrus production.

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