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Author Topic: Cedar Silviculture  (Read 450 times)

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Offline PoginyHill

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Cedar Silviculture
« on: March 05, 2021, 11:32:55 AM »
I have a section of my property that my management plan states to manage for eastern/northern white cedar. Specific treatment includes cutting red maple, popple, and grey birch - leaving deadened and limbed trees on the ground. (I am cheating a bit and removing some usable firewood/popple logs) There seems to be rather limited resources available for cedar silviculture and what I've read doesn't address some of my specific questions. Much of the resources mention deer as impediments to regeneration.

There is actually more fir among the cedar trees than the species listed for removal. Is there a reason to leave them? My intent was to take only those that appear to be crowding a decent cedar tree or two. Most of the cedar growth is rather young, probably less than 60 yrs old, saplings to maybe 12" diameter. Very few any larger. Besides the fir question:

  • Most of my cedar is clumps of 2-4 trees. Some curl around another and obvious candidates for removal, but how about 2 or 3 well formed trees? Leave in the clump or leave only the best single tree?
  • What is best to encourage seed re-generation? Is that the purpose for the deadened trees? Do seeds need sun/open areas? Or best left shaded? I have not noticed any seed re-generation of seedlings. Youngest/smallest stand-along trees are 2-3" in diameter. So nothing appears to be "in the wings" for the next generation. I have some deer, but I would not say excessive. There appear to be many live cedar within deer's reach, so they don't appear to be eating everything - maybe they prefer any seedlings that sprout up instead.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 01:43:43 PM »
Up in New Brunswick here, the fir growing on cedar ground isn't worth bothering with. Try to leave spruce if you have any. It will grow in thick sometimes and never get bigger than fence posts. Yes, deer can impede cedar regeneration. I have hardly any deer so my cedar grow plentiful. I would leave a few single stemmed red maple and healthy popple, preferably big tooth, but the grey birch should go.

Leave the best single trees over anything in clumps. Those have probably been browsed.

Seed in mature cedar cones is only 30 % viable. They need sun and moisture. Sun you can control, moisture you can't. My cedar ground is organic on top and a gravelly soil just under it that is imperfectly drained. The water drains through and does not pool up. I've had lots of regen. I had beavers flood out one patch along a creek that was thick as grass.

Might pick up something useful from this publication.

https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_nrs98.pdf
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 02:38:55 PM »
Thanks, SD. I have reviewed that publication - but thanks for sharing the link. I have a few red spruce intermixed. What's the rationale for leaving those? The couple fir I've taken are actually solid - no butt rot. Ground is ALWAYs wet small pools of water exist almost all summer. Rocky and clay. No bigtooth for me, only quaking aspen.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 07:54:15 PM »
The spruce will live longer and do better than fir on wetter ground. I've planted some spruce through my cedar up here. The natural fir go yellow/necrotic and don't amount to much on wet ground. I like fir like this. ;D Although this particular one is over mature and not much good for a log. It is 20", but past it's prime. It's probably 80 years old. If you get the ones that grew with better light and get 20", those are the nice ones, around 45-50 years old.



I like these better, much younger and 12-18" leader growth. ;D Spaced in 2007.

No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 08:15:36 PM »
Here's my cedars. I'm putting off thinning until the limbs prune up. They'll sucker off any live twig left on a  stump. ;D This photo is from awhile ago. I have a little balm of gilead with them. Mine are single stem.



No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Clark

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2021, 03:21:37 PM »
If you have any deer then you need to give cedar more light so it can grow beyond their reach faster. Ive heard that cedar seed also needs higher temperatures to germinate which is another reason to open things up. I agree with SD about fir vs spruce. However, the people who have done work on how the forests of MN historically regenerated indicate that cedar and fir tended to come up together. This makes sense in the current age of higher deer populations because they wont find as many of the cedar if the are hiding amongst the less palatable fir.

As always, SD is spot on about pre-commercial thinning. It always works and if you have a good catch of fir and cedar then you will have an easy job of thinning down the road.

Clark
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2021, 05:12:55 PM »
Some sites will be a carpet of red spruce with some cedar mixed in to. Thinned some of that in 2019, they called it fill plantation. I never saw a planted tree. Rate was no good to. :D :D I've thinned some really thick red spruce sites, you barely cut 0.5 an acre a day, 8 hrs. Swinging and pitch'n. :D Stagger out to the truck at days end, everyone else gone home, just me and the song birds. :D Versus lighter ground where you cut an acre or even 2 a day. All same rate to. ;D 
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2021, 08:40:08 AM »
A couple samples of my cedar stand...

First one is typical (as @Clark  mentioned) - a large fir crowding a pair of cedar (cedar is barely visible in front of the fir). I have since removed the fir and smaller cedar winding around the larger one.


 

The second pic is typical of a single stem adjacent to smaller fir and a larger popple.


 

Another single cedar next to a slightly larger fir.


 

The last pic is probably about half of all my cedar - growing in clumps...


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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2021, 11:29:33 AM »
The clue for me in fir not doing well, is very short leader growth, thicket and small stem size, usually a lot of rot. Do you get a lot of rot in your fir PoginyHill? I've thinned in a lot of old fir, that was only sound around the sap wood. This is mill ground. If I hauled the type of fir I'm talking about to a mill they would direct me out the gate. I've seen it happen to some local loggers. Yet they will bring it in and use it off public land. DNR wants stumpage, so they find a way to process.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2021, 11:36:24 AM »
Do you get a lot of rot in your fir PoginyHill?
I do not get a lot of dry rot in my fir. The handful of fir I've taken from this stand is very sound - a few dry rot, but most clears up in 2-4 ft from the butt. I actually have more dry rot elsewhere on my property where the soil is more dry. The fir I took down in the first picture was sound all the way through - got two 16 ft logs.
Kubota M7060, Cat E70B, Case 310, 750 Grizzly ATV, Wallenstein FX110, 84" Landpride rotary hog, Classic Edge 750, Stihl 170, 261, 391

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2021, 02:50:12 PM »
Those smaller ones are just as old, and lots of rot I suspect. A dominant tree will always be in better health baring injuries and bugs. I wonder how old the dominant fir are? They don't look to be putting much height on the last few years. At 40 years, a fir should be 50 feet tall, at 60 years 70 feet. But that is on good ground. Up here 75 feet is pretty much it for fir, might be an 80 ft once in awhile. They grow right up past a spruce initially, then slow way down near the end and the spruce grow over the top by several feet.

Here's a cedar, red spruce, fir stand. The fir all dead and falling down. The dominant spruce in there is 100 feet and you can see how small the dead fir is in comparison. This is a flood plain on the Wapske River.



Fir understory



Fir is short lived and has to grow quickly, produce seed like crazy and fall down.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Cedar Silviculture
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2021, 03:33:36 PM »
Agree on the fir. My management plan for the spruce/fir/white pine stand has me favoring spruce and white pine for the reasons you mentioned. The fir is about 60 yrs old. And yes, it is a rather even-aged stand; whether 3" diameter or 14". I'm guessing the same for the cedar, but not sure.
Kubota M7060, Cat E70B, Case 310, 750 Grizzly ATV, Wallenstein FX110, 84" Landpride rotary hog, Classic Edge 750, Stihl 170, 261, 391


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