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Author Topic: Black Cherry Management/Timber  (Read 6089 times)

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Offline GlennCz

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Black Cherry Management/Timber
« on: July 20, 2005, 11:32:35 PM »
I had a stewardship plan done in 1997 and the forester said my stand is about 80 years old.  I have decided to do some timbering and have discussed the variety of options with appropriate people.  But my question, I notice some of my cherry trees have half dead tops, some have already died, others are deformed or whatever and going downhill.  However, saying this, their are many trees that look just fine and are 20" and above.   ARe my cherries maturing, and if I leave them go 20 years I might end up with half of them dead from natural causes?  Do maples have a much longer lifespan, some of my beauties seem to have a along way to go to maturity.  My whole stand was mostly clearcut 80 yrs ago.  I have so much beech around I wonder how I can get cherries to come back?  Many other questions...

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2005, 05:53:53 AM »
You are going to have to approach this with a couple of cuts.  They are to accomplish 2 different things at different times.

Your cherry may be dying due to too much competition.  But, you will have competition from the beech and maple if you were to cut everything.  Right now, you should be looking at removing as much beech as possible, unless you have some reason to keep it.  It is a low value specie and very tolerant.  Get rid of that and your dead or dying cherry.  Keep your stocking levels up so not to encourage too much reproduction.  You're not at that stage.

Your 2nd cut will involve some sort of reproduction cut.  That is where you want to encourage your next stand of cherry.  Cherry is an intolerant species and needs plenty of sunlight.  If you don't want to clearcut, you can make small clearcuts of 1/2-1 acre in your woodlot.  You can continue this patchwork in other cuts .

The maple is also a very tolerant specie.  It can grow for a very long time in the understory and then be released.   Mature sawtimber and veneer varies, but 26" may be a target, depending on your perogatives.
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Offline OLD_ JD

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2005, 10:28:46 AM »
I agre whit Ron on this all the way,but Ron do u think it can be a fongus who attack those cherry?
canadien forest ranger

Offline GlennCz

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2005, 11:01:11 AM »
Guys there is not an overabundance of dead cherry tops, just some of them, also, I suppose that in the first cut any cherry with a major defect like a frost crack would be the ones to go. 

This beech is a problem and I guess what I do with it is my legacy.  Would it be proper to girdle ALL of the big beeches on my property, i notice that under many of them i have dense forests of beech saplings.  Some of these huge old beeches i guess are reminants of what was left 80 yrs ago.  A previous owner girdled some beech in one area 20 yrs ago and maybe that is why there is some beautiful timber their now? 

As far as cutting that beech, I have 60 acres of timber.  My ears are going already from the chainsaw work done since I've owned the place (8 yrs).  Also just working a saw, is risk/reward for my ancestors future owners worth it?  Can I hire a "man with saw" to cut beech for say $50/hour.  (I doubt that is customary).  I have so much of it in places, would it be "customary" to put heavy cutting of beech into a timber sale agreesment, managed by a forester.

If this piece was in a State Gamelands, would the managing forester actually go in and have cut our acres and acres of beech saplings? (too big to spray).  IS there a machine that can do this quickly?

Thanks for your answers, very much, appreciated.  I feel quite privledged to be the steward of this beautiful land that I own and live on.  In the long run I want to try to balance all of the responsibility and factors of ownership to do the right thing.

Glenn - Mosocw, Pa.

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2005, 01:18:27 PM »
Glenn, I've done several "management cuts" of timber stands. These are cuts to improve the stand for the future and not so much as to take out lumber. They usually involve removal of grapevines, dead snags and low-value trees. Much of this is done from a climbing basis. If you have a valuable stand of cherry you dont want dead (girdled) trees loosing limbs or falling and busting up your cherry. Instead of just killing the tree, I take them down in pieces to reduce the collateral damage to surrounding trees. This also eliminates "widowmakers" hung up in trees.

What I'm getting at is $50.00 an hour is what I charge as my winter climbing rate. You ought to be able to find that "man with a chainsaw" for a lot less if he's keeping his feet on the ground.
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Offline Thehardway

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2005, 05:14:43 PM »
Glenn,

How big are the beech and how many of them do you have?   Looking for some nice straight beech for timber framing project.  I would cut some of it at no charge or maybe even buy it if I wouldn't have to transport it too far.  Ideal size would be 16"-20" dia.  Where are you in relationship to Mercer Co. PA?
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2005, 05:59:10 PM »
I'm not too sure about the fungus problem in the cherry.  What you don't want to do is to cut around the cherry in the late spring to early summer period.  The slash may attract peach borer.  They bore into cherry and leave those gum streaks.  That lowers the value of the timber. 

What you are seeing in the beech is a lot of root sprouts.  Beech is a very tolerant species, so it would be pretty hard to get rid of unless you kill the tree with some sort of herbicide that is systemic.  It would have to kill the roots. 

I see no problems with girdling trees.  They ususally don't fall all at once unless there is a root problem.  Things rot a little at a time and fall from time to time.  Eventually the whole bole will fall, but it probably won't do that much damage to an adjoing tree. Great for wildlife and there should be a few per acre.

In Europe, they have a system of managing their forests for several different products.  They allow the overstory to grow into some pretty nice sized trees.  The middle story is managed for fuelwood.  They allow trees to grow to about 4-6" and then cut them.  They can get a fuelwood rotation in about 20 years.  Mostly they use ironwood, since their beech is of more value.  It might be a worthwhile concept if practiced in this country.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2005, 08:53:08 PM »
 Last yr I did a timberstand improvement on a 15 ac piece. It was over run with beech, the larger stems had beech bark disease, and multiple root sprouts. i droped the big one and used a brushcutter on the smaller ones, 4" and smaller. In 2 yrs the forester I work for will go back in and spray anything coming up. We've stoped girddling for safety reasons.
Ed K

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2005, 09:21:09 PM »
hardway, I believe he is over in Lackawanna County, clear out east.

on the other hand we got a place on Amsterdam Road. Do you know Rob Walsh?
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
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Offline wiam

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2005, 10:33:57 PM »
Green beech is the best firewood in my Central Boiler. :) :)

Will

Offline bitternut

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2005, 11:03:29 PM »
GlennCz all you need is a small hatchet, a squirt bottle and some 41% roundup. When you treat the large trees you will kill all those sprouts growing underneath right along with the big tree. I treated some July 2 and the leaves are falling off already. Here is a link to the tools you will need.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=12550.msg176238#msg176238

Offline bitternut

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2005, 11:15:42 PM »
Quote
My ears are going already from the chainsaw work done since I've owned the place (8 yrs). 

GlennCz why is your hearing going bad from running a chainsaw? Are you not wearing the proper headgear such as a Peltor helmet when using your saw. If not you better start if you value your hearing.


Offline GlennCz

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2005, 08:14:50 AM »
re: hearing - I have ALWAYS used ear proetectors, sometimes with soft earplugs under.  i'm 46, my heaing loss is a combo of alot of things, including sawing unprotected >20 yrs ago. 

I have a million and one questions, more to come,  I'm a "babe in the woods" as far as timbering, but I have to start somewhere.  And next week we are going to start with some cutting and selling. 

Thanks for your patience with my questions.  Hope it is okay for a regular landowner like me to be on this forum with you professionals. 

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2005, 08:50:26 AM »
That's why we're here.   ;)

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Thehardway

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2005, 08:57:21 AM »
Mike,

No, can't say I know Rob Walsh.  Amsterdam Rd. sounds familiar though.  I grew up in Fredonia, PA just outside Mercer.  Now live in VA but my folks still live in Fredonia.  Was thinking of hauling the logs to their place to mill but that would be a long haul and probably not worth it.  Will try to find some closer.  Hate to hear of all that wood going to waste.  Beech makes some nice tool handles!
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2005, 10:12:26 AM »
Glenn, there are many of us landowner types on this board and forum.  We keep the pros around to keep us in line and out of trouble  :D
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Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2005, 10:38:06 AM »
hardway, Amsterdam Road is off RT 258, south of Grove City. We have about 142 acres there. Very little timber, mostly farm fields and swampy areas. Great hunting and trapping. Rob Walsh logs and hauls. I think he even has a small mill. He's on Amsterdam Road also. I could hook you up with him if you think he could help.
Do alot of hunting and trapping up that way. Chased coyotes (unsuccessfully I might add) near Fredonia.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Offline 4str

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2005, 01:27:02 AM »
Well, you've probably conducted your harvest by now - and I hope you had a local consulting forester to assist you - regenerating cherry in PA (with 50 deer per square inch) is not a simple task.

Though I don't know what is causing your cherry tops to die back, black cherry is a relatively short-lived species (much shorter than sugar maple and beech). Though most silvics manuals will report cherry can live up to about 200 years, that's like saying a person can live to 115 - it happens, but not very often. I have found that cherry will start "dropping out" after about 120 years. Earlier if you have a large component of red maple - the red maple will start to catch-up and then exceed the black cherry in height growth by about 80 years. Sugar maple will usually take longer. So, you will likely want to begin regenerating your cherry sometime in the next 40 years or so. Shelterwood cuttings seem to work best (cherry does grow best, even requires, full sunlight, but only after the new seedlings have had a couple of years in partial shade). So, one cut to around 60% "relative density" (ask your forester) and a second about 2-3 years later to release the new seedlings. Of course, you can accomplish the same thing with patch and strip clearcuts if the size and orientation are correct (circular patches about 1-1/2 times the surrounding tree heights may work for you).

You will probably need to poison the beech (the quickest way to get more beech is to cut an existing one) and fence the area from deer (it can get costly in PA). Any ferns on the ground and the whole thing just got a lot more complicated.

Get a forester with some advanced training in silviculture to help you.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2005, 08:26:57 AM »
Any ferns on the ground and the whole thing just got a lot more complicated.

Do you mean brachen ferns? I know they can be damaging to regenerating trees.

I have a few black cherry, but only on a couple acres of an old apple orchard. They are heavy infested with black knot. The only reason I left them is that they are on the fringe of their range up here and I didn't see the need of wiping them off the face the earth to burn in a brush pile. Eventually I could cut one for short sections of wood to work with, but I'm not going to get 10 footers with 4 clear faces. ;) I cut one down a few years ago that was 54 cm on the stump (not a monster by any standards) and it had growth rings averaging about a cm per year.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline GlennCz

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2005, 11:34:41 AM »
4str that was a great answer and worth the time you took to write it!  Glad to hear more about the longevity of those cherries, because one of things I want to do for now, is grow an old forest.  but I can see how the cherry are, how they are often rotting from the inside out or top down,  and maybe it is time to take more out of here.  I am timbering almost 60 acres, and we started doing the first few by looking at each little 50 ft spot, and saying, if i start cutting trees down here in this circle, what trees are definetely going downhill right now or don't have the best growth potential, which ones am I sure i won't miss, which ones am I sure I'm not making a mistake by cutting down.  So that is how we did it, one area at a time, we marked 950 trees, me and my logger would mark 50 trees per hour.  So far we have cut down abou 650 trees, and I really don't have any regrets.  Luckily, it was dry the whole time until today, and we did all the wetter/further away areas first while they were bone dry so we are in good shape.

So I guess, no old growth forest of cherries. just doesn't happen.

Now my only trouble is that after making all these skids roads nice and spending so much time on my property(although I have lived on it for 5 yrs), that I can see that it is super prime for a housing developement.  Now what do i do????  I understand my responsibility to my land, in taking care of it right.  What is my responsiblity now, balancing all the factors in, and their are many.  Or do I just SAY NO and put a conservation easement on it?   What if I die suddenly within the next 15 yrs, what will happen to it.  lots of questions.  Whatever..., I feel privledged to be the caretaker for my land, and hopefully i'll make the best decisions in the long run for all of us.  (which is all anyone can ask from any member of any community). 

Offline 4str

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2005, 01:54:31 AM »
Now my only trouble is that after making all these skids roads nice and spending so much time on my property(although I have lived on it for 5 yrs), that I can see that it is super prime for a housing developement.  Now what do i do????  I understand my responsibility to my land, in taking care of it right.  What is my responsiblity now, balancing all the factors in, and their are many.  Or do I just SAY NO and put a conservation easement on it?   What if I die suddenly within the next 15 yrs, what will happen to it.  lots of questions.

Wisdom is a gift no advisor can bestow ...

Quote
Whatever..., I feel privledged to be the caretaker for my land, and hopefully i'll make the best decisions in the long run for all of us.  (which is all anyone can ask from any member of any community). 

Amen.

Offline Max sawdust

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Re: Black Cherry Management/Timber
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2005, 08:12:51 AM »
GlennCZ,
Your question about responsibility to the land is a big one.  It depends how important it is for you. How much financial sacrifice you are willing to make.  If you want to avoid subdividing in your lifetime it should be achievable. You mentioned one good way to ease the burden by putting it in a conservation easement.
My brothers family and my family own a substantially unique property; we are committed to never dividing in our life time.  The catch is what happens when we die; and how to make it easy for the kids that inherit it to not be tempted to divide it.  So far creating a corporation out of the property seems to be a good way to go, this way individuals own "shares" that can be bought sold or traded.  The other important factor will be creating the "love for the land" in whoever is going to get the land after you die.

Check the Plat maps in your area see what other people have done.  Up in Northern Wisconsin many families have created trusts or corporations and have the land in managed forest crop/conservation programs to reduce the tax burden.

Good Luck
Max
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