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Establishing a New Pine Plantation

Started by WDH, November 03, 2008, 10:05:41 AM

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wisconsitom

Far to the north, a guy has similar growth on hybrid larch, on sandy, gravelly but deep loam.  For the region, much faster height and caliper growth than say, white or red pine.

But what caught my eye is WDH's mention of the changes that take place in a stand of planted conifers.  As he said, some folks are put off by this forestry model, and I have to admit a strictly put-and-take plantation, where the crop trees get harvested, and the exact same thing then gets planted, does not stir the heart.  But in many other cases, pines or similar are being planted to "capture" the site for forest, meaning over time, additional elements can move in and find things to their liking.

Is already happening under my larch, pines, and spruce, where especially white-cedar is popping up randomly.  We can do early non-commercial thinnings, and then later, likely early pulp thinnings, and still have this natural regen moving in from down yonder in the woods.  Obviously, a seed source must be nearby, or clonal aspen, etc.
Ask me about hybrid larch!

customsawyer

Amazing stand Danny. It's great to look back on them. I drive by to many stands that I planted in the early years of my business that are now clear cut and replanted again. Makes a guy realize how much time has passed when trees have matured and been harvested, that he has planted. Dang I'm getting old.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

thecfarm

Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

customsawyer

With the recent events in the last week I felt it right to give this a bump. Sure going to miss the updates on this thread. They had the original stand lined up for thinning in the near future. Maybe Terry can keep us in the loop in the future.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

bigblockyeti

Thank you for the bump.  I feel like the last hour+ I've spent reading this is like finding a textbook filled with knowledge and devoid of all the fluff.  I'm sure I'll be rereading this several times over in the future.

Wudman

Out of respect to Danny, Thought I would post to this thread and bring it back around for newer members to have a look.  I started planting this week in Southern Virginia.  Technology, genetics, and thinking have progressed over the years and I would like to show what we are doing now.



 

For one, we have progressed to planting 100% containerized stock.  This is a control mass pollinated lobl-olly produced by IFCO.  



 

In controlled pollination, the flowers of the parent tree are bagged to exclude unwanted pollen.  The pollen of the desired male parent is then injected into the bag.  Cones of these two known parents are collected and seeds are extracted.  Needless to say, this is a labor intensive practice and prices reflect such.



 

The seedlings are grown on elevated tables in open bottom and sided containers.  The openings cause "air pruning" of the roots and leaves a nice compact plug.  The seedlings are under a center pivot irrigation system.  Nutrients can be injected into the irrigation water.



 

They are delivered to us palletized and shrink wrapped in boxes in refrigerated vans.  You can get in the neighborhood of 200,000 seedlings in a van.



 

The planting crew swings by the cooler and picks up their day's need.  We utilize box trailers to keep everything cool.  Note the writing on the side door of the trailer "bano".  The Department of Labor requires a port-a-potty on site, among other ridiculous things.  How often do you think a man is going to walk back to the port-a-potty?  It gets used for storage.  This crew consists of 13 men plus a non-planting foreman that directs the job and insures quality control.



 

Here is the crew getting started on Monday morning.  It was ideal planting conditions at 37 degrees F and overcast skies following a decent rain.  Ground conditions were very good.  They carry their seedlings in two pouches attached to a shoulder harness.  There are 300 seedlings per box and that is what they generally carry.  This crew will plant about 3000 trees per man per day.  In the days of past, the planters worked on production.  My top tier guys could plant 6000 trees per day working about 60 hours per week.  Crews averaged about 4500 trees per man.  The wage and hour laws have been restructured and the planters are now basically hourly workers working 40 hours per week.  They are paid a "Prevailing Wage" that is based on the combined average wage for the counties they are working. (it can change from county to county).  Doctors to fast food workers are included in the calculation.  When it all shook out, the new system hurt the high production planters by reducing their pay, but buoyed the slower workers.  It managed to cut our production significantly and double our costs.



 

My tool of choice is a "hoedad".  In my opinion, it is the better tool for working in this compacted Piedmont clay.  To use it, the worker grabs the handle up near the head with one hand and raises it.  As it starts downward, the handle is allowed to slide through the hand.  Note the obtuse angle (haven't used that word since high school geometry) of the head. This allows the head to enter the ground vertically. Move the handle vertically and twist slightly to open the planting hole.  Stick the tree in the ground and use the blade to close the hole back up around the roots.  Pack it with the boot heel as you head to the next spot.  I'm planting 435 trees per acre this year after becoming a little bit gun shy from some survival problems a few years back.  That is a 10x10 foot spacing.  I've planted quite a bit at 400 trees per acre.  Model runs indicate that number can come on down some more.  350 trees per acre is probably sufficient.  



 

This is one of the guys in the ground.  This site was a pine plantation previously.  It was chemically site prepared using imazypyr and glyphosate.  It was sprayed aerially with a helicopter.  Note the dead sweetgum in the background.  One good thing about a sweetgum is that it is easy to control.  We do not worry about hardwood competition.  It is easy to control.  Our concern in Virginia is natural pine regeneration.  That has to be controlled to fully utilize your genetics.  Note the "coarse woody debris".  There are nutrients tied up there that will be reallocated to the pines as it decomposes.  This site will receive a grass control treatment with hexazanone in the near future.  Grasses can be a significant competitor.  Going forward, we anticipate a commercial thinning around age 12.  It will receive fertilizer following the thinning (diammonium phosphate and Urea).  Final harvest is anticipated around age 23-25.



  

What is the potential of these trees?  This seedling was planted on Southside's Farm back in March of 2022.  This picture was taken in December of 2022.  For reference, I am six feet tall.  This guy was in a pretty good micro-site with his feet in the edge of a compost pile so it is an outlier, but it does show the potential.  Southside's portable bug catchers (chickens and guineas) probably helped keep the tip moth in check.  Maybe we can set up a side business for tip moth control.



 

Finally, we all know that a whitetail cannot survive in a cut-over pine plantation.  Somebody forgot to tell the deer that.  This trail needs traffic control on it.  That is the result of deer.  Thankfully, we have no hogs in this area.   ;D ;D

Wud

   

 
"You may tear down statues and burn buildings but you can't kill the spirit of patriots and when they've had enough this madness will end."
Charlie Daniels
July 4, 2020 (2 days before his death)

newoodguy78

Never met Danny yet hard to see how he can't be smiling down on that post. Great pictures. How many acres of tables are in that one spot?


Geez Wudman be careful about suggesting another job for Southside's chickens, who knows what you'll get yourself into  :D

customsawyer

Great post to add to this Wudman. It shows how the industry has grown in 15 years.
I actually started my business with a couple of planting bags and a hoedad. There are still a couple of them in my shop. My back and I hope we don't have to go back to it.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

SwampDonkey

Great post Wud. I haven't planted trees since 2002, wow 20 years. But I'm the guy that comes in with his clearing saw and thins around the planted trees now. :D

Keep your chin up. :)
"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)))

thecfarm

Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

teakwood

How do you make the lines and distances between the trees for planting? I remember it wasn't easy to do when i panted my teak.
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Magicman

I just read this entire Topic with a lump in my throat, and was honored to see his Reply #268 on page 14.  I found it very ironic that Danny's first and last post were showing pictures of the Pine Plantation.  Alpha and Omega at it's best.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Resonator

Danny would be proud. smiley_thumbsup

That 3rd picture with the field of seedlings in impressive to say the least. :o
Never heard of a "hoedad" before, learned something new. I watched some friends plant seedlings up north here back in the late 80's. They used what they called a "spud" bar, looking online it's also called a "dibble". A long metal handle with a wedge on the end, and a step on the wedge to drive it further in the ground. 
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

Proud owner of a Wood-Mizer 2017 LT28G19

SwampDonkey

We used dibble bars but mostly Pottiputkis up here for planting. Years ago we did some with shovel as they were 2 year bare root red pines.
"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)))

Wudman

Quote from: teakwood on March 17, 2023, 07:38:23 AM
How do you make the lines and distances between the trees for planting? I remember it wasn't easy to do when i panted my teak.
The planters do it on the fly with their pace and ocular estimation.  It is pretty remarkable how close they can get to the target density.  Actual counts seldom vary by more than 5-10 trees per acre and that is in spite of logging slash and blackberry.  Blackberry is one of their least favorite plants.  It can make planting miserable.  Also, the foreman follows behind with his gauge stick.  He has a 10 foot bamboo rod and is continually checking distances to be sure the guys are on target.  
Wud  
"You may tear down statues and burn buildings but you can't kill the spirit of patriots and when they've had enough this madness will end."
Charlie Daniels
July 4, 2020 (2 days before his death)

Wudman

Quote from: newoodguy78 on March 16, 2023, 07:51:23 PM
Never met Danny yet hard to see how he can't be smiling down on that post. Great pictures. How many acres of tables are in that one spot?


Geez Wudman be careful about suggesting another job for Southside's chickens, who knows what you'll get yourself into  :D
I am not sure of the acreage under that pivot.  That is IFCO's Nursery at Moultrie, GA.  I was down there last year for a seminar.  The equipment they use for that nursery is fairly similar to what the tobacco and vegetable farmers use to start their crops.  Do a Google search on IFCO.  That is a pretty good read in itself.  They tour some of their facilities.
Wud
"You may tear down statues and burn buildings but you can't kill the spirit of patriots and when they've had enough this madness will end."
Charlie Daniels
July 4, 2020 (2 days before his death)

customsawyer

IFCO does have a very impressive operation down there. I have help them do lots of test plots on some of their properties in that area and also around Bainbridge, GA.
As to a Dibble bar that is used to plant seedlings. I have found that if I make my own out of leaf springs from small pickup trucks they penetrate the hard ground, like clay, a lot better than any other mass produced ones. I don't know why but they do.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

teakwood

Quote from: Wudman on March 17, 2023, 10:32:20 AMHe has a 10 foot bamboo rod and is continually checking distances to be sure the guys are on target.  


We had a 3.5m rod for every planter and they presented that rod lengthily and then side ways to each other and marked the hole. the first line i marked with sticks, then they went from there. not perfect lines but the trees don't bother if they not growing in a perfect row :D.
they did a 20cm x 20cm hole about 15-20cm deep and then loosened the dirt on the bottom of the hole another 10cm. the bigger the hole and looser the earth the faster they get a hold and push for growing. I had trees 1' high within 1 month 

that was the best tree after one year
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Texas Ranger

ran planting crews for years with them using dibbles, like Jake I ended up making my own with a narrow blade for clay and debris sites.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Don P

I've been scrapping and cleaning up lately, the dibble bar went up, and I couldn't do it, though I'll never use it again. We were hoedad planters back in the day, usually bare root stock, i think at 6x9 spacing, the frame on one of my old trucks was welded back together with worn out hoedad blades  :D. At one point we planted a lot of "Hugo Hells", after the storm a good bit was too tangled to harvest, too loose to burn, it was climb and crawl trying to get some growing trees back in the ground. 

Wudman

Quote from: Don P on March 18, 2023, 10:07:29 AM
I've been scrapping and cleaning up lately, the dibble bar went up, and I couldn't do it, though I'll never use it again. We were hoedad planters back in the day, usually bare root stock, i think at 6x9 spacing, the frame on one of my old trucks was welded back together with worn out hoedad blades  :D. At one point we planted a lot of "Hugo Hells", after the storm a good bit was too tangled to harvest, too loose to burn, it was climb and crawl trying to get some growing trees back in the ground.
I got my forestry start in the "Hugo Hell".  I came out of school in December of '89 and landed on the NC/SC border.  Even months after the storm, I-95 still had trees laying on the shoulder.  The tops had been cut to allow passage of traffic, but the bulk of the stem was still there.  I started salvage operations down around Manning, SC and worked north and west over the next year and a half.  I kept a crew within the city limits of Charlotte for about a year.  The last salvage work I did was in Lincoln County, NC.........blown over Virginia Pine with backberry 15 feet tall.  Truly a nice place to work.  ::) ::)
Wud
"You may tear down statues and burn buildings but you can't kill the spirit of patriots and when they've had enough this madness will end."
Charlie Daniels
July 4, 2020 (2 days before his death)

SwampDonkey

Sounds like the fun running a clearing saw in softwood, knee high and pole wood that died and fell down or rotten fir that got buried in the green strips during harvest. Trails were nice and clean though, except wild raspberries. And the rocks to strike the blade on. :D Those green strips were like pitching hay with a saw, nothing would fall because limbs of trees grew into other tree limbs, limbs to the ground. 4-8 foot tall stuff. Could only cut about 1/2 an acre a day, 8 hrs.
"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)))

customsawyer

I went over to give Danny's family some help yesterday. The stand that started this thread was thinned this past January. I had to take a couple of pictures to update this thread.








Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

Magicman

Thank You Jake for the update and pictures.   
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

SwampDonkey

"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)))

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