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Author Topic: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?  (Read 5113 times)

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Offline BaldBob

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2013, 02:32:31 AM »
I couldn't get the edit function to work on my last post - my login may have timed out before I tried to post the edit. Here's what I wanted to add:
In my view there are actually three categories of forest relevant to this discussion:
1 Primary forest- one that has been totally left to the vagaries of nature ( regardless of its current age and structure) and has never been subject to manipulation by man.
2. Apex forest - one that has reached full vegetative climax without manipulations by man during the course of its development.
3. Old growth forest - one that is well along the path towards climax or has reached climax under the conditions inherent in that site and has structural characteristics found in older mature stands, regardless of how it got there.
Not all apex forest is primary forest. Although under my definition,  all apex forest would qualify as old growth, not all old growth would qualify as apex forest. And finally only a small percentage of old growth or apex forest would qualify as primary forest.

#'s !&2 have their greatest  value for use in forest science  when referring to stands as benchmarks and reference points. #3's greatest value is in regard  referring to a stand's current form and function.

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2013, 03:02:12 AM »
I go to bed a happy man, it is a New Year for all of us, and I have followed to a conclusion, (or at least for now, a good point for a hiatus,) this discussion:

1.  I have, at least for myself, and (after maybe a little tweaking,) a great short definition of an "Old Growth," forest in what Okrafarmer gave us.  I hope to see it recorded someplace other than this post thread.

2.  After rereading and assessing BaldBob's and WDH's two scholarly entries, I feel satisfied in having an even better understanding of the complex subjects of Primary, Apex and Old Growth forests.  I see more clearly the overlap in these forest systems, as they apply to different climate zones and the forest they contain, from Northern Arboreal to Sub Tropical Rain forest. 

Thank you for the discussion, it would be a gift to have more in person someday.   smiley happysmiley

Regards,

Jay
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"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2013, 05:02:04 AM »
I can drive within 30 miles of here to undisturbed hardwood, never removed by axe, fire or bugs in a long time. Never means can't find evidence when it happened, because something happened if you go back far enough. The dominant trees have a spiral grain, they lean at least 10 degrees and most, not all,  are hollow like culverts or black in the middle. This is a hard maple forest and also has hemlock, white pine (very scarce) , red spruce, yellow birch and beech mixed in and make them worth mentioning volume wise. There are other lesser species of course. These are all long lived species. This is on public land. Up until the last 30 years there was a whole lot more, but is very fragmented now. This being said the companies turned from strictly managing softwoods to including hardwoods. And that means those left behind hardwood sites are being harvested off or high graded (then have to go back and cut the rest anyway because it dies back when you take the dominants out). Years ago the hardwood was clear cut with Koerings during the early years of processor development, and brought out whole tree to be chipped, logs and all. When I was a kid, there was vast areas with no logging roads. You went in my foot, water or bush plane onto a lake. You can drive about anywhere now. On private, all that would be left are old remnants in either small pockets hard to get at or some fellas like to just leave the old trees to stand, in most cases knarly white pine or a bunch of hollow 'rock' sugar maple or big old hemlock trees with limbs the size of your leg. Most of the time, and I would hazard a guess, about 99% of the time they were left because they had no way to handle them or they were junk trees. A wood pecker (esp. sap suckers), a porcupine or a squirrel probably love them for homes and don't really care too much how old they are or how long they stood. ;D

I've seen balsam fir forest, that was just blown down by a wind (1995) called "old growth". It was all on the ground and the green bunch never wanted it cleaned up. These were mostly natives and college kids. They stuck around a few days until the flies got to them, as the trucks rolled by with blow down wood. A fella out on the highway ran a filling station and had some cabins for over nighters. He hauled a bunch of them around out there in that forest and showed them some old growth. Big old 30" white cedars, white pine, and 40" knarly old hard maple that would remind ya of a crooked mage's staff in those fantasy movies. ;D I'd have to say in my experience that the green bunch don't seem to have to work up here. Maybe the cheques should stop coming in the mail. ;) Actually we are probably blessed in that we don't get too many with enough ambition to make a stink.

 :new_year:
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2013, 07:43:17 AM »
I suppose another tactical use of the term "old growth" could be to refer to a large, undisturbed, naturally-seeded member of any tree species, even a pioneer species such as balsam fir, aspen, gray birch, sweetgum, tuliptree, yellow pines, water oak, cherry, lodgepole pine, etc.

I just had a birthday, and I think I'm done laying down juvenile wood now, but unfortunately I will never qualify as old growth, because my early growth rings are too wide!  :-X
 :new_year:
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Offline CCC4

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2013, 08:22:17 AM »
Here is a vid with some of the oldest timber in our region. Due to it's dwarfed state and lack of marketability, this species of tree was left in the remote mountain tops. After finding a gold coin dated 1776 (13 stars and a pile of cannon balls) and a geo marker made of brass with the same date...I consider this little "nook" to be undisturbed. My buddy and I cut the trail. Very steep, most of the vid is the descent off the mountain.



All the timber is suppressed due to the soil. Mainly at around the 4 minute mark we get into solid dwarf Juniper Cedar.  I would guess 300+ years old. Thanks for viewing. Remember, timber I am talking about is around the 4 minute mark.  :new_year:

p.s., sorry about the guys in front of me and his lack of riding gear, he is actually an AA Pro from North Carolina that came down for a visit.


Offline JOE.G

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2013, 09:35:10 PM »
This thread went way deeper then I expected. It is a good read.
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Offline Black_Bear

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2013, 09:45:32 PM »
In the day to day use of the term among different folks that go into the wood's that has become the case.  However, from a scientific and professional foresters standpoint, no.  "Old Growth, " only falls into some very clear parameters, depending on the forest biome it is applied to.

Jay C., I understand what you are saying and would have to agree, the term is relative to its biome, but as you mentioned earlier, is often subjected to some political influence. A 150 year-old northern hardwood stand could be considered old growth if the stand exhibits the characteristics that were devised by some person or group - basically this person or group sets a threshold and everything that meets or exceeds that threshold could be considered old growth. The Audobon Society, XYZ Consulting Foresters and the USFS will probably have different meanings of the term, mainly due to the differing goals and agendas. Conversely, a 150 year-old redwood stand probably wouldn't be considered old growth, given the species and its ability to live 100s of years. There is plenty of literature out there and over the years there has been great debate over the the meaning of the term.

My first post, which read that the term old growth was relative to the conditions, had third-party certification in mind. During last years audit we had to develop a guideline (threshold) for the tree species present in our area. We agreed upon a threshold age for each species and the presence of a certain amount of square feet exceeding a certain dbh. There were other criteria, but these were the two that could be readily measured. We also had to determine the difference between late successional and old growth. To put it simply: Industrial land does not have much late successional or old growth forest. Historically the land has been managed for fiber and not many areas were left undisturbed.

Jay C, back in the 90s we cut some beautiful wood just west of you in Randolph, Chelsea and Tunbridge. One piece I remember in particular was on Brocklebank Hill. I can remember coming over this rise on my skidder and just being in awe of the never-ending sea of hardwood trees we could see down through this one valley.

Ed       

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Old and New Growth wood,What makes it old and what makes it new?
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2013, 10:29:21 PM »
Hi Ed,

That area up by Tumbridge is still stunning.  You are lucky to have seen it.  One of the timber framing shops and saw mills I consult with is in E. Randolph just over the hill.  I go through Tumbridge all the time.  I have really enjoyed this post thread, and have learned much from it.  I can't say I learned more about "old growth," but I definitely have a better understanding of how complicated it's assessment must be for folks like you in the field. Hope we get to meet someday, till then.

Best Regards,

Jay
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.


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