The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: OG89 on September 30, 2021, 01:37:59 AM

Title: Tree selection
Post by: OG89 on September 30, 2021, 01:37:59 AM
Hi everyone . I’m new to the forum and this is my first post . My question is regarding tree selection when it comes to felling . I have just moved onto a small block of land in New Zealand and have a hillside covered in maybe 100 pine trees and 100 gum trees. There is also about 20 redwoods. They are various sizes but I estimate that they were planted about 30 or 4O years ago . My plan is to drop 2 or three of them a year for firewood ( not the redwoods). Is it best to start with the biggest which I presume would help the smaller trees out by giving them more room and light? My only though is that the biggest ones are quite impressive so would kind of be a shame to loose them… Anyway any knowledge on the best way to select trees for felling would be much appreciated. 
Title: Re: Tree selection
Post by: Riwaka on September 30, 2021, 03:41:14 AM
Bit difficult to make an assessment without at least a visual assessment of the site.

Are tree species planted in separate groups or  mixed? 
I would be guessing but the poorer trees are likely best to come down first (small, leaning, forked, swept bananas etc)
Just don't let the pines get 'old man' sized as they can be expensive to remove.
TDH - target diameter harvesting 
Wardles' Woodside 'selective radiata pine trial' small hobby woodlot, Canterbury , NZ

Woodside Case Study - February 2019 - YouTube (
Title: Re: Tree selection
Post by: thecfarm on September 30, 2021, 08:15:13 AM
Welcome to the forum.
As said, hard to tell without pictures.
My Father and me cut big pine on this land. We had to cut a "road" for the trees to fall into. These trees was so big, they would of knocked down many other trees. 
I just cut firewood now on this land. Any tree that does not look good is cut for firewood. Or too close, crowding another tree. Or maybe in the way for me to cut a tree.
How do you plan on cutting the wood out? You will need a trail to get in and out. 
Title: Re: Tree selection
Post by: OG89 on October 01, 2021, 03:17:18 PM
That video link is exactly the sort of thing I’m after . Thanks riwaka . 

The trees are planted in the species . So half the hill is pine , and then the other side is gum . There a lot of poor trees leaning and bananas etc so I think I will try and get rid of them first. 

There are paddocks either side of the trees so I had planned of dropping them towards the paddocks and ringing them up from there. This will only become difficult when I’m dropping trees further up the hill. I’ll probably just drop them down the hill , ring them up and let the rings roll down …? Anyway thanks for the info . I’m off to the chainsaw section to seek advice on a dodgy stihl I bought second hand   
Title: Re: Tree selection
Post by: HandyAndy on October 01, 2021, 07:22:43 PM
Taking out the biggest trees to release the smaller ones would be a thinning from above; the “French method”. This works well when you have a specific product in mind- diameter and length or like the previous poster suggested, setting the maximum tree size by what you can physically handle. There are some concerns with this practice over time-decades- if you are using seed regeneration in that you are leaving the weakest individuals and possibly the less well suited genetics on site to provide seed. Not a concern if coppice (sprouting) or planting seedlings for your regeneration. 

Taking out the poor formed trees, suppressed, or leaners likely to fall would be capturing the potential mortality from the stand. There is a maximum limit to the amount of growing volume and drought, bugs, or wind can knock out that excess volume in ways you would not like. Better to intervene with an “improvement cut”, “thinning from below” or “free thinning” as an intermediate treatment before final harvest- when your final product size is reached.

Again, think long term what you will use your ground for- convert out of trees to something else or keep in forest for the long term? Shift from gum to redwood? Pine, gum, or redwood in what proportion or size? Maintain a steady flow of firewood over the next twenty to thirty years? Or eventually have saw logs for sale or milling?
Title: Re: Tree selection
Post by: OG89 on October 02, 2021, 04:13:46 AM
Holey smokes handy Andy ! You have just given me a lot to think about. By the sounds of it we would prefer the thin from bellow method as our end goal is to keep the hill side as half gum half pine for ongoing firewood, possibly with a few natives popping up amongst them… we really want to help our bush ( there is also a large chunk of native bush above the pines and gum) become as healthy as possible . On that note … in terms of looking after the native bush am I right in thinking a less is more approach is the best way to go about things ? We are currently trapping possums and other pests and planting bird attracting trees on the edges of the Forrest but is there anything we could be doing within the forest itself ? We have a small amount of gorse which the forest seems to be dealing to by itself and there doesn’t seem to be too many other invasive weeds .