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Author Topic: Advice on Cutting Out Underbrush (smaller trees on 10 year old clear cut)  (Read 3592 times)

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Offline H60 Hawk Pilot

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Hello All

I have been looking to buy property in the southern AL -- Ozark / Daleville / Enterprise Area.

Today I looked at 17 acres on Rt 231 (N. of Ozark) that is sandy ground with a lot of growing pine tree's after clear cutting about 10 + years ago.

The tree are all competing for sky and very thick (dense) growth. My question, let this jungle continue or cut out the smaller trees. The larger pine trees are about 5 to 6 inches around. The smaller stuff is (mostly) 2 to 3 inches thick.

I am looking to build a log cabin in the middle of the 17 acres. I will be cutting some of the trees out from the outside road to the middle part of the 17 acres for road in & out.

Also, I need to provide a safety barrier for fire protection around the log house. I realize that wind will carry the sparks and fire to the cabin. I was thinking about 200 feet as clear cut circle around the cabin and about a 100 feet band with.

Not related but for the locals that know the area (13 miles N.) around Ozark.  This ground is sand based and not sand & red clay soil in other areas. I talked to the person living next door.. their well is 280 feet to get good water (flow) and are 2nd owners, no well.. price knowledge.

I'm wondering is this the norm for drllling in sandy soil. In Penna. this drilled well would cost around $8,500.00 is it the same in AL ?

Case 1150B & IHC TD-340 Dozer's, IHC 4WD 3800 & CAT 436B Hoe's, Franklin 170, Semi's: (1) Freightliner, (2) KW's, Marmon, Mack w/ Prentice Ldr., F-700 Crane Trk., (6) Mid Size Trk's. - Dumps, Flats, 1 Ton w/ 40 ft. 5th Whl. & (4) Semi Tlr's., LM 2000 Mill, (2) XL 12's., Solo 681, EFCO 152, Old Iron.

Offline Samuel

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Sounds like a question for Swamp....

This is his expertise I believe....
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Offline Tom

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Two or three inches thick pine is non-commercial thinning size and should be taken out.  I'm hoping that you mean 5 or 6 inches thick (diameter) because 5 or 6 inches around would still be about 2 inchs in diameter.  If there are enough of these, you might be able to sell them as fuel or possibly pulp, but my guess is that they are non-commercial sized too.  You need to open the stand up to trees being at least 6 ft apart and probably 10 or 12 would be better.  If they are put in rows, then 8-10 feet apart and in rows 10 or 12 feet apart.   If it's pine you want, get rid of all of the hardwood.

You really need someone on site to make the decisions.  Perhaps you could get the county forester to come look at it and make some suggestions.

the more trees, the more money, if they are thinned properly, so I would let them grow as close to the house as I felt comfortable.  a 200 foot circle to put the cabin in might be alright.  If you are talking about clearcutting for 200 feet around the cabin, making a 400 plus foot clearing, that is overkill and a big lawn.

Are you dead-set on a flowing well?   You should be able to get potable water that is pumpable at that distance or shallower for a lot less than $8500.   Get a well driller out there and let him look at the situation.  He would be the one to give you the valued opinion.  Most of them have underground maps of wells drilled in the area and could tell you where the water is and what it would take to get to it.

Offline H60 Hawk Pilot

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That was some good Information. Yes, the small tree's are just 2 to 3 inches across, not dia. .

This ground with the pine trees did not come to me as I expected. I did buy 12 acres with oaks and did not expect this deal to go through... one never know's.

I did buy 12 acres close to Samson, Al and mostly Oak, most of the trees are around 14 to 18 inches across. They are spaced out fairly well and a nice stand of timber coming along. I plan on building a log house in the middle of the oaks.

Now I need nice pine for 7 x 8 S Logs.... anyone have any x's 200 of them ?

Case 1150B & IHC TD-340 Dozer's, IHC 4WD 3800 & CAT 436B Hoe's, Franklin 170, Semi's: (1) Freightliner, (2) KW's, Marmon, Mack w/ Prentice Ldr., F-700 Crane Trk., (6) Mid Size Trk's. - Dumps, Flats, 1 Ton w/ 40 ft. 5th Whl. & (4) Semi Tlr's., LM 2000 Mill, (2) XL 12's., Solo 681, EFCO 152, Old Iron.

Offline SwampDonkey

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HI Hawk:

First off, across is diameter and around is circumference. These measurements are done at breast height and labeled DBH (diameter at breast height) by those in the industry.

Depending on your species and requirements of light, known as shade tolerance, for optimum growth your spacing may vary somewhat. Also, insects and disease incidence and risk in your area will help you target the leave trees as well as marketability. Maybe some more risk can be taken with some species than others if they are higher valued species. Even that has it's pitfalls because market demands shift over short periods of time, so it's best to manage for the ecology of the area in my opinion.

At this stage in the game, since your diameters are small on that one sight (2 or 3 inches), you may consider doing a pre-commercial thinning with a brush saw. Down in your neck of the woods, I suspect it would be best done in the coolness of the winter months. Too hot in summer I suspect. If your doing at least 5 acres of ground, it would pay to get your own brush saw. It doesn't have to be a pro model, mid sized would be my recommendation on your acreage. To do a proper job, you should consult with your local agencies on criteria to follow for your species. The criteria would involve what I mentioned above, but also includes height, selection of quality crop trees, spacing. Remember to look up once in awhile so your leaving a tree with good form and vigour. Spacing might be a challenge to get a handle on, because if too many are cut, you can't stand them back up. So, what's most often done is have a goal of your target spacing, say 7 x 7 feet for instance, or target density is say 900 trees/acre. Make yourself a 6 foot pole or a broom handle and cut a length of rope to cover an area 1/100 of an acre (11' 9-1/4" for the rope length, square it, mult. by Pi). An easy figure so the density calculation can be done in a flash in your head. Swing the rope in a circle about that broom handle, count the trees (probably around 9 trees), multiply by 100, gives trees per acre. Another way to look at it is, each tree represents 49 ft2 (7'x7') of growing space. How many trees can fit an acre with that growing space?  Well, 43560 ft2/acre divided by 49 ft2/tree = ~ 889 trees

9 trees x 100/acre = 900 trees/acre  etc...

If you do a number of plots you could get a range of plot densities:

7,8,10,9,9,8,6,10,9,7,9,9,6,10  add up and divide by plots taken: 117 trees divided by 14 plots is 8.357.  Mult. by 100 = 836 trees/acre averaged. Might want to tighten up a bit on the spacing, leave a few extra closer around holes and voids, but not closer then 3 feet.

Just a for example exercise.
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