The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Ask The Forester => Topic started by: g_man on February 17, 2018, 11:31:44 AM

Title: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: g_man on February 17, 2018, 11:31:44 AM
I have a section that was cut 25 years ago. It has old stunted or deformed stuff, plus mostly white birch, pin cherry, and red maple regen. Sprinkled thru it is some good size balsam fir but almost no fir regen. I started to cut the fir yesterday expecting it to be full of butt rot and about 70 years old based on trees that size I have seen elsewhere. I cut two trees and to my surprise they were only about 47 years old and rot free. It made me stop. I am thinking that this seems to be a pretty good fir site, reletively speaking anyway. I would like to get some fir regen going before I cut out what is sprinkled thru there. Seems I have time to do that and would like some suggestions on how if that sounds worth while to you guys. Make some opening maybe? This is what it looks like and one of the stumps.
Thanks.

 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21065/P1170388.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1518883386)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21065/P1170385.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1518883390)


gg
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: thecfarm on February 17, 2018, 12:12:45 PM
There,good for you. Out of mine about 160 of woods,only a few and I mean few acres looked like that. When I was cutting,I should of had an OWB than. ;D Yours rotting stuff looked like mine. Now I cut down any fir that I can if cutting in that area. Most I find the rot has started.
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: Clark on February 25, 2018, 12:41:56 PM
That is a rare and interesting conundrum you have there, g_man. Around here we try hard to not get balsam fir regen because it tends to be very low value. North-central and northwestern MN can grow very good balsam but the price paid for it is still low.

Back to your question...I have seen areas where balsam refuses to regenerate despite the presence of larger trees in the area. That is the exception. The one thing that balsam does not like is a fluctuating water table. Granted, it tends to kill all the balsam but it could be the fluctuations are small enough to prevent regen but not enough to damage the overstory. Other than that this is a mystery and most of the time I would say a good one!

Clark
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: g_man on February 27, 2018, 01:24:12 PM
That is interesting Clark and thanks for responding. I understand what you mean about the relative low value of fir but in my woodlot right now it is the best value I have after years of high grade followed by a liquidation cut. So i am thinking 50 years for a fir component if I can keep one is good compared to waiting for the early successional stuff to turn into northern hardwood. My thinking may be flawed or biased because right now fir is the only saw logs I have.

The sight is moist but gently sloping so drains well. I am going to let some light in around the big fir and see what happens.

gg 
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: Maine372 on March 30, 2018, 08:00:07 PM
either way they need space and light reaching the floor to grow. I would cut the knarly hardwood and the tall skinny fir with smaller crowns. leave stouter, fuller crowned fir as they will be healthier and less likely to blow over. they will be your seed source.
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: g_man on April 01, 2018, 07:05:15 AM
Thank you. That sounds a lot like what I am doing. The junkie hardwood is going to firewood. I am also cutting all the stunted fir, pin cherry, and striped maple plus some white birch to get more light in. That leaves it pretty open with solid fir, popple, white birch poles, and a few good red maple.

gg
Title: Re: Getting Balsam Fir Regen ??
Post by: Ken on April 01, 2018, 02:19:44 PM
either way they need space and light reaching the floor to grow. I would cut the knarly hardwood and the tall skinny fir with smaller crowns. leave stouter, fuller crowned fir as they will be healthier and less likely to blow over. they will be your seed source.


I agree.  Some larger openings would allow for extra regen to get started.  You could then pick and choose which seedlings to foster.  We usually don't have much issue creating fir regen here.  More often than not we generate too much of it.  Although fir may not fetch what spruce or pine does it often grows faster