The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts

Smith Sawmill Service



Author Topic: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.  (Read 8488 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Nemologger

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Northeast Missouri
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« on: June 13, 2013, 10:41:17 PM »
 
What would be the purpose of marking small 12 inch straight stem white oak but then not making the big 28 inchers?
I ask a forester about this once and his reply was....Cut out the small trees so the big trees can drop acorns and then after the next tree crop is established then have a sale and cut the big trees.

It seems to me they already have a 50-60 year start on good straight trees, why not just remove the big ones now before they are over the hill? And leave those straight smaller trees to grow. Maybe just thin a few if needed.
Clean and Sober

Offline mesquite buckeye

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 6104
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Gender: Male
  • Trees are good- even ones with stickers
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 11:03:10 PM »
That's what I'm thinking. Seems like a lot of foresters have issues with uneven aged stands. They are definitely harder to manage. Dropping one of those big ones without smashing the smaller ones is no picnic. ;D 8) 8)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 16135
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 11:52:54 PM »
It may be that the smaller trees are actually the same age as the larger ones, just they lost the race to become dominant. So they are suppressed and spindly, and wont respond well to being released?

If that's the case, then it is better to take them out, leave the better trees for seed and shelter, then remove those in a couple of years once the new seedlings are established?

But that's only a guess.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Gary_C

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 7410
  • Age: 80
  • Location: Blooming Prairie, MN USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Sunrise on the Prairie
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 12:14:53 AM »
That's a good guess Ian.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Ron Wenrich

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14881
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Jonestown, PA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 05:45:08 AM »
Its called the shelterwood system of silvaculture.  In that system, you cut your understory to allow seedling germination and establishment, then cut your overstory at some time down the road to release the seedlings.  It works well for heavy seeded species like oak, but also works for white pine. 

The common myth that many people believe is that age and tree size are related in some way.  It leads to the most common mistake of doing diameter limit cutting.  For the most part, forests are even-aged.  Compartment size is smaller when you get to the uneven-aged type of management.  At some point, you do a clearcut. That clearcut is often very small in size - 1/4 acre.  Even natural stands will have small compartments that are clearcut due to disease, insects, downfall, lightning or some other type of event.

Many think that the selection process involves taking out mature timber and leaving small trees to take their place.  As a tree gets older, they respond to release slower.  Also, trees that are growing under large trees often aren't very straight.  That leaves a poor quality tree to replace the good quality tree that is often removed in a selective cut.  Selective cutting can be silvacultural suicide when done poorly.  I've seen a lot of it.  Sometimes done by people who should know better.  Sounds like a pretty good forester.


Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline WmFritz

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2269
  • Age: 63
  • Location: St. Charles, Michigan
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 05:55:57 AM »
Good lesson Ron... glad Nemologger bought this up.
~Bill

2012 Homebuilt Bandmill
1959 Detroit built Ferguson TO35

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 33143
  • Age: 69
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • Share Post
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 07:37:21 AM »
What kills me down here is the folks that clear cut hardwood and cut all the 8" to 12" hardwood like oak along with the the bigger, often low grade trees.  They are cutting a tree that is maybe 25 years old and just about ready to move into a sawlog class not far down the road.  They then sell it as hardwood pulpwood for $5.00 a ton and lose 25 years of stand development. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 33489
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 07:54:36 AM »
Years ago, before I knew all of the above above,my Father and me was cutting our white pine here. I cut down one of our pine,about 80 years old,more than 3 feet across. There was a small white pine,just about the size of a telephone pole,just about as straight and tall too. A real pretty tree. It grew close to it,but thought it would be ok to leave. One of the limbs hit the top of the the telephone pole tree and brought it down with the big one. We was both bummed out that happened. I sawed the telephone pole up for a log or 2 and saw the tight grain. I tried to count the rings,maybe 60 years,it was hard to tell. Had one that was well over 3 feet across and 10 feet away way this one no more than a foot across. Suppressed growth at it's finest.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline mesquite buckeye

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 6104
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Gender: Male
  • Trees are good- even ones with stickers
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 09:10:16 AM »
What kills me down here is the folks that clear cut hardwood and cut all the 8" to 12 hardwood like oak along the the bigger, often low grade trees.  They are cutting a tree that is maybe 25 years old and just about ready to move into a sawlog class not far down the road.  They then sell it as hardwood pulpwood for $5.00 a ton and lose 25 years of stand development.

A lot of the Missouri stands were cut during WWII. In my woods there are lots of different age trees, since the woods is a mix of big decadent mostly wolf type trees with younger, better trees that filled in the pastures/abandoned fields over a period of about 75 years now. Some of the poorer land still has not closed, which is ok, as I like to see the orchids and penstemons in those areas. Anyway, it isn't always the best trees that win the race, just ones that got a head start in the first place. A few years at the beginning make a big difference.

We started thinning to the best and most valuable trees in 1991. We have had good or better results with any trees we left to grow unless they were in the supressed class, especially supressed walnut and cherry.

We run into this situation regularly, where the biggest trees are poor quality and the younger (usually) trees surrounding them are good, straight ones that just need some room. We look for the lowest quality trees or an opening to drop the larger trees into. Then we drop any other trees we want to remove into the opening created by the first big tree. After the stand gets opened in this way, the trees we leave standing start to fill in pretty fast after they recover from the shade they have been growing with. Our losses are mostly to inadvertant smashing by the falling large trees and ice storms, particularly in the first few years after the opening. There are usually enough nearby trees to protect the trees opened up from windthrow, at least under our conditions with our mix of hardwoods with an occasional cedar.

I would also like to comment on the idea that most stands are even aged stands. I suppose it is a matter of definition, but to me an opening caused by the death of a really big tree here and there is an even aged stand? Well, sort of, but on the larger scale isn't this an uneven aged stand?

My uncle in Ohio has a stand of about 40 acres of what was called the Black Swamp. They cut 10 acres of it in 1879 to build their house and barn as they cleared the rest of their land to farm. So this forest is from 130+ up to several hundred year old virgin forest. I can relate what the woods looks like. It was nothing like I expected. Most of the woods is trees that are 1-2 feet in diameter, 80-100ft to the first branch and just a few scattered giants that are up to 6 or more feet thick. The elms are gone in there now, but you would never know it, as the forest fills in and the dead trees disappear. Now the ashes are dying. In 20-30 years you will never know they were there in the first place.

If you look at this forest and don't know the history, you might think it was an even age stand with a few scattered wolf trees. It isn't. Those big ones are just the survivors that outlived all their peers.

I don't actually know how much this helps the discussion, just stuff I've seen. ;D
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline Ron Wenrich

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14881
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Jonestown, PA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 09:30:33 AM »
Its hard to tell whether clearcutting a stand is right or wrong without the data to support it.  I've seen 8-12" hardwood that is 60 years old.  But, that's up here and your hardwood growth is different.

A lot would depend on the BA of those small trees as opposed to the large, low grade trees.  It could be that you would want to start all over.  The low grade trees were probably residuals from a high grade operation, and the small trees could be those stunted trees that we're talking about.  If there's sufficient reproduction on the floor, I could see why they would clearcut.  But, recommendations shouldn't be made without some sort of data to back it up.  Too often that doesn't happen.

Northern forestry and Southern forestry seem to be 2 differing viewpoints, and a lot of that has to do with available markets and ecological conditions. 

Mesquite:

Even aged vs uneven aged can be a discussion about compartment size.  Essentially, when the compartment is small enough, you get to even aged.  When taken as a larger compartment, you would get into more diverse age groups.  Usually, when you plot out BA (basal area) by diameter class, you will find that even aged stands have a bell shaped curve, where uneven aged stands are trying to be flatter by having a representation in all age classes.

Every time I have charted out BA on most stands, I would come up with a bell shaped curve, with many bumps on it.  Those bumps are where there were thinnings.  That selective harvest that everyone talks about.  If you want a real joy, plot out by whether your BA is good, fair or poor.  That would be by tree form and/or species.  I've often noticed that those in the smaller diameter ranges have often been poor or fair.  Are these ones that should be taken ahead into the next stand?

There's also the point that when there is an opening in the woods does not mean that a larger pole tree will take over.  Quite often the juvenile stages of tree development will shoot a newer tree over one that's been suppressed. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Online celliott

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Danville VT
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 10:14:55 AM »
What kills me down here is the folks that clear cut hardwood and cut all the 8" to 12 hardwood like oak along the the bigger, often low grade trees.  They are cutting a tree that is maybe 25 years old and just about ready to move into a sawlog class not far down the road.  They then sell it as hardwood pulpwood for $5.00 a ton and lose 25 years of stand development.

It's not just the south, see alot of that up here with firewood. Those small pole 8"-12" trees that are a future sawlog run through a firewood processor real nice......  :-\
The only way to get big sawlog trees, is not to cut them when they are small trees smiley_lit_bulb. Simple advice, but seems hard to follow for some.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Ron Wenrich

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14881
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Jonestown, PA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 10:40:57 AM »
You can't get large sawtimber by cutting small and medium sized sawtimber.  Diameter limit cutting usually cuts into those sawtimber size classes to favor bringing poletimber into the small diameter class.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Texas Ranger

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 7898
  • Age: 82
  • Location: Livingston, Texas, God's Country
  • Gender: Male
  • Texan, by God and by choice.
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 12:11:24 PM »
Excellent discussion, close to our discussions in Silviculture, back in the day.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 33143
  • Age: 69
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • Share Post
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 09:36:44 PM »
Yes, hardwood silviculture in the South and North face different challenges.  Most of the good hardwood here is in the drains, creek draws, and bottomlands.  Pine is on the uplands.  Sweetgum is everywhere.  Bottomland hardwood silviculture here deals with relatively fast growing trees.  Sometimes a clear cut is best to start over when a stand has been continually high-graded.  My issue is the good 12" DBH bottomland oak that is 30 years old with a good crown that goes on the pulpwood truck because the entire stand is being clear cut to generate the most cash, right now.  Many times, it is poor use of the growing stock.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Nemologger

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Northeast Missouri
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 10:16:15 PM »
Ron you did a good job of explaining this to me...thank you.
Clean and Sober

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 43504
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2013, 07:40:57 AM »
As stated in the tread below this, A lot of forest companies have been leaving understory fir for decades (which grows thicker than sweetgum) when they take off the overstory softwood or maple. It's old old suppressed junk. I sure cut a lot of it with a brush saw and wade through a lot of rotten wood and tops to cut it. If this is what they are depending on for future logs or even pulp than they are in for one big fibre shortage. I know when we sold pulp over the years, any rot was reject. If it's red spruce, we have a different story to tell. Red spruce will respond well to long suppression periods and lives 4 times as long as balsam fir. It will actually produce a decent log some day. It's growing season is probably 3 weeks shorter than white spruce and fir.

Pictures taken today:

red spruce



Notice the shoots are just busting the scales now.

I thought I lost some of these to grass and dogwoods over growing them. Nope, they sure are dang tough trees. I think they could grow in a  closet. :D Yellow green is the natural color of red spruce.

white spruce



Scales are all shed from the shoots. Needles are almost blue. ;D

Notice the much longer new shoots this year already than on the reds.

My point in all this, is to know the silvics of the species your managing before you make interventions. If not, than someone will not be getting what they hope for. ;)
“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)))

Offline Black_Bear

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
  • Age: 51
  • Location: VT, NH
  • Gender: Male
  • UMaine Black Bears
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2013, 10:22:28 AM »
It's not just the south, see alot of that up here with firewood. Those small pole 8"-12" trees that are a future sawlog run through a firewood processor real nice......  :-\
The only way to get big sawlog trees, is not to cut them when they are small trees smiley_lit_bulb. Simple advice, but seems hard to follow for some.

Maybe that's what the landowner wanted? It's hard to tell from a pile of tree length firewood if the right thing to do was to remove the 8-12" trees.

High grading seems to be a popular method of logging in northern New England - more often than not the logger is calling the shots and the landowner wants money. Plus pulp markets, and sometimes firewood markets, can be poor enough where it doesn't pay to cut anything but the logs. Many loggers and landowners believe that leaving those 8-12" trees is a good thing - if that's what they want then so be it, but given a chance a forester should at least collect some data and accordingly advise them of different options. More often than not the residual 8-12" trees are the same age as the larger trees that were cut, and often have poor live crown ratios. To compensate, trees retained in a stand with less than C-level stocking often develop epicormic branching up and down the stem, which reduces grade. In many cases the trees will never be high grade sawlogs - a pulp tree is a pulp tree. Another fact: older hardwoods (>60 years?) often don't respond well to release.

In northern New England, given the correct conditions, clearcutting is an excellent silvicultural tool. I've seen the results on thousands of acres: a 30-year old stand will be entering the stem exclusion stage and will have 5000+ trees per acre of northern hardwood or mixedwood. When retaining just the overtopped/intermediate trees the regeneration is often as dense as what would have occurred with a silvicultural clearcut. However, the landowner often loses the value of the residual trees, or if they harvest them X amount of years down the road then regeneration is often compromised and the harvest is 95% pulp/firewood/low grade sawlogs.

If you retain the overtopped/intermediate trees how long do you have to wait until a sawlog is produced? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? Never? The time value of money will generally favor the money coming in now versus the money received in "X" amount of years down the road.

There are so many scenarios - it's hard to give an opinion on a stand of wood unless you've seen it.   

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 43504
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2013, 10:45:47 AM »
That's the trouble, when the wait times can be a decade, a half a lifetime or more before payback. The thinking is 'me and now' for a lot of management, not about some far distant time ahead for someone else. Then consider all the life challenges and the tax man always with his hand in the pot. Many things can influence how the woods is taken care of. It's easy to stand out by the road, look into the woods, and judge people by their actions on the land.
“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)))

Offline PAFaller

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Central PA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Berndtson Timber Management
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2013, 09:55:26 PM »
Swampdonkey hit the nail on the head. Ive brought this topic up a time or two here, not from an explanatory standpoint but from a selling good forestry standpoint. When I started out cutting timber I saw (and still see) plenty of stands that could really use some work. The gravy was already plucked, the bigger trees that were left were poor quality, and the right thing to do in my eyes was release the stump sprouts and better quality seedlings. But to sell that idea to a landowner, more often than not you can forget about it. They say things like " abc sawmill paid me 50,000 for all those trees, and you want to buy my next crop of trees for 2.00 a ton? Are you crazy?" Theres no understanding other than the dollars involved today, not that what is right for the woods will reap rewards 50 years from now.  The best Ive been able to do is get on a tract with a healthy stocking of mature timber, and convince them not to cut every one of them, and allow me the discretion to cut out the inferior species and poorly formed trees while I am there. At the end of the day, its a good feeling knowing you are doing it the best you can, but more often than not landowners see you left a nice 20in tree for seed and wonder why you didnt cut it, because its worth more to them in the log pile than standing in the woods.
It ain't easy...

Offline Nemologger

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Northeast Missouri
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Cutting the little trees out from under the big trees.
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2013, 10:48:13 PM »
I know the feeling...About 5 years ago I cut a nice stand of whiteoak and left a lot of trees that were in the 18 inch stump range. A couple of years later another logger came to the landowner and told him there was still several thousand dollars left in his timber. He sold it again to him and now he has a blackberry patch.
Clean and Sober


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

lamp
Over Wintering Trees - An Aid to Indentify trees by twigs and buds (WIP)

Started by SwampDonkey on Tree, Plant and Wood I.D.

11 Replies
52729 Views
Last post November 28, 2006, 04:37:05 PM
by SwampDonkey
xx
cutting down trees

Started by justintimemoto on Forestry and Logging

31 Replies
7997 Views
Last post June 15, 2008, 09:03:33 AM
by John Mc
xx
cutting trees down

Started by JMG on Forestry and Logging

29 Replies
2453 Views
Last post August 03, 2019, 11:19:18 AM
by BluenoseLogger
xx
Who's Cutting Your Trees?

Started by Ron Scott on Forestry and Logging

22 Replies
4366 Views
Last post March 31, 2005, 04:45:52 AM
by Ianab
 


Powered by EzPortal