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clear cutting: how many acres?

Started by danconnected, June 17, 2023, 10:28:47 AM

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I have an opportunity to buy a piece of land: 16 acres but only 9 acres of mixed hardwood and softwood: I would have to build a road in 1 km long.

It seems the land has very little use in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by other lots except if I could get some firewood off. plus to build a 1km road is expensive in nova scotia!

On average, how many cords can one take off an acre? I dont know the age / height of the hardwood nor do I have a way to determine density so if it was quite populated with hardwood would you say anywhere from 30 t0 60 acres for a one time cut?

Thank you very much
Dan from Nova Scotia


Welcome to the Forestry Forum. Not real sure just what you have in mind. 

Often assumed that 1-2 cords of firewood per acre will be sustainable.
Figure the one cord per acre, but all will depend on the trees and the land and the climate.

Find a forester that will do a cruise of the land to determine what a "one time" cut will produce in cords of wood. Or you can set up a cruise yourself with plots to represent 10% of the acres and measure the wood on each plot. Prolly what a forester would do for you.
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others


What would be your objective(s) for the property? Income, recreation, private retreat, hunting, camping....? Do you want the firewood to sell or for your own use? Firewood is generally a low value product. You may be able to sell it at a high price but the time and expense you put into it isn't going to leave you with a high profit.

Do you have a right-of-way to build your road on and is there someone in the area that can build roads?

Welcome to the Forum. Answer those questions and we'll get a better idea on how to answer your question.
Bob Hassoldt
Seven Ridges Forestry
Kendrick, Idaho
Want to improve your woodlot the fastest way? Start thinning, believe me it needs it.


Will depend on diameter, height and density. Could be all over the map as far as volume without sampling. Might be 12 cords/acre, might be 40, from a clear cut. If you want to cut firewood, 1 cord an acre might actually be more than the growth increment. A healthy younger thinned forest has more increment than one too dense and many suppressed trees. Age and species factors in. Thinned immature fir grows faster than thick fir, suppressed fir, or old fir. The difference between a leader that is 16" long and one that is 3". Fir grows twice as fast as spruce in my area.

As to roads, yes they can get expensive. Cutting the corridor, grubbing/stumping, ditching, water crossings, $$/hr of machine time, float cost of the machinery to get to the site. A lot of the old timers bulldozed across dry land and pushed out the stumps. However, that makes for rough road edges and banks/berms of mud and a road that acts like a ditch in wet weather. Done in 3 or 4 hrs across 1 km though assuming the corridor is already cut in.
"No amount of belief makes something a fact." James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

2020 Polaris Ranger 570 to forward firewood, Husqvarna 555 XT Pro, Stihl FS560 clearing saw and continuously thinning my ground, on the side. Grow them trees. (((o)))

Ron Scott

It would be best to seek out the services of a local professional consulting forester, conservation district forester, or state dnr service forester to look at your property and the components of its ecosystem to determine an appropriate management prescription based on your desired objectives whether it be just firewood or timber management for other forest products as well.

A professional forester can also advise you on the best access route to your property based on soil types, drainage, etc.


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