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Author Topic: My woodlot, sad shape  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline Klunker

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My woodlot, sad shape
« on: March 04, 2018, 07:21:32 PM »
Its sad because the previous owner for years had badly managed it.
It basically composed of 2 different types of growth that have a transition area in between the 2.
He had a section of it logged about 5-10 years ago. The area with large hardwoods. All they did was take the large (approx 3ft in dia) White Oak and leave all the other large crooked poorly shaped trees. Mostly Sugar Maple are left in those areas.

The second area is relatively a young hardwoods. Lots of LARGE Aspen mixed in with small (6-10" dia.) Hickory, Oak, cherry and maple. There are areas with nothing but crowded large Aspen with nothing else growing in the understory.

He regularly harvest wood for firewood. Only problem with that is he would only cut dead trees.
So what he left is a TSI textbook example of what not to do.

So what I have is one area with large ugly crooked trees and another area that is full of LARGE Aspen that is crowding out any valuable future growth.

So I'm working on getting rid of the Aspen. I'm either girdling them or dropping them and leaving them where they fall.

I'm primarily concerned with managing for wildlife so I don't mind ugly poorly shaped trees.

So my question is what to do in the first area.

I'm not having any oak regeneration thanks to the deer. Any small oak seedling that comes up in the spring get chewed to the ground by next spring.

I'm thinking of getting about 100 White Oak seedlings and plant them in the more open areas. I'll protect them with tree protectors.

I'd also like to add some Basswood and Beech. I'd protect them the same way.

Anyone have any experience planting trees in a wood lot and how they grow.

Or is planting in a partial shade area a waste of time?


Offline TKehl

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:00:40 AM »
Minimal experience with planting in shaded ares.  If closed canopy, it is slow going (growing).  If it is only partially closed and it can get a few hours of light and mottled sun the rest of the day, growth is much better.  This is chestnut trees planted in primarily Oak & Hickory woods.

For protectors, 2x4 welded 4' tall and rolled into about 14-18" diameter works well.  Zip tie or hog rings to hold together.  Stake with a couple pieces of rebar.  Will keep the rabbits off them as well.
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline Klunker

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 12:59:41 PM »
Once the large Aspen are gone there will be lots areas with a couple of hours of direct sunlight per day.
Its important to note that where I am Aspen (popple) are not a common tree that is harvested. I'm in a area that is almost exclusively quality hardwoods. Cherry, White and Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Basswood and Hickory. Walnut is not common in my area altho it grows well here.

For tree protectors I have some of the plastic tubes that are 5ft tall that I'll stake around the seedlings.
I'll locate some White Oak seedlings this spring and put the protectors on them just as experiment to see how they work out.

I have given thought to planting Walnut and I don't think I'd need to protect them as I have never seen deer in my area go after walnut seedlings. Last place I owned had a couple of large Walnut trees and the seedling were coming up all over the place like weeds. The deer never touched them. The white cedar I planted was ignored also.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 01:25:16 PM »
I used 5' plastic tubes and 3x3 weed mats when I planted my Red oak in 1995, 96.
A couple of years later i planted Black cherry where the Oak failed this was a big mistake as the cherry has not done well.
I planted a total of 750 at 24x24 spacing and interplanted with Scotch pine and Norway Spruce at 8x8.
Most are doing well, with about 90 percent survival, but many have forked fairly low, 15 to 20'.
The theory was that the inter planting would provide competition to help with form, but this is questionable.
I'll try to get a photo to post.
Some that didnt do well still have the tubes on them after 22 years.
I have to get busy and get them off now.
The tubes and weed mats were a success at enhancing growth and preventing browsing.
The deer love the thick cover this planting has provided but it is beginning to thin out underneath.
As a suggestion dont use wooden stakes as they only last 3 yrs or so.
I bought fiberglass fence stakes at TSC store to solve this.
If you have further questions please ask and I will try to answer as best I can.
Pete
Kubota 8540 tractor, FEL bucket and forks, Farmi winch
Kubota 900 RTV
Polaris 570 Sportsman ATV
1 Husky 1 gas Echo 1 cordless Echo vintage Homelite super xl12
241 acres of woodland

Offline forgeblast

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 02:23:24 PM »
Those would be the tubex, and we use them but at 5'.  We have a lot of deer pressure.
When they are filling up the tube you have to take it off.  I made some weed mats from landscape cloth, but found it much easier to just round up around them.  We were required to plant at a 15x15 spacing.  

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 04:17:41 PM »
forgeblast thanks for jogging my memory
yes they are tubex.
literature at the time said they would deteriorate after several years but this has not been the case.
At the time the cost was offset by a federal cost sharing program, but I had to stand the expense the for the fiberglass posts out of pocket.
I still have a bunch of the weed mats left as well as sod staples they sent to hold the weed mats down but i just used stones as stones grow very well here..
Kubota 8540 tractor, FEL bucket and forks, Farmi winch
Kubota 900 RTV
Polaris 570 Sportsman ATV
1 Husky 1 gas Echo 1 cordless Echo vintage Homelite super xl12
241 acres of woodland

Offline mike_belben

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 01:25:06 PM »
I started a thread in the logging forum that has a lot of community info being shared.  My land sounds like yours with a different mix of trees.  Would love to see pics of what youre up to.  

DSI in Forestry and Logging


In my opinion you should be thinning the deer herd and offering more food for them in other locations.  Whatever they do eat, hinge cut a bunch of the worst quality tree you have in that species. The ones youd otherwise burn or cull.  Then hingecut more junk around this food source as a security structure for the deer.  If they have a sheltered safe space to eat what they like, they will venture over to the open space to eat your seedlings much much less.  

As for growing hardwoods.. Shade intolerant trees suck at competing with shade tolerant species.  For me its sourwood, gum and maple.. They will outrace the oak or hickory sappling then force it to bend and bush and fork for light. Ends up being a junk hardwood anyway. In shady forest youll end up waiting 100 years for a bunch of hardwood tie logs and be constantly having to wage mechanical war on the shade tolerants on behalf of that tie tree.    

Make bigger clearings for your oaks.. Like a small house lot minimum, fully cleared is fine if theres no good seed tree to leave.   Nature can only fix our errors using sunshine.  It fixes overcutting centuries faster than not cutting or worse, high grade harvesting like youve got.  

In a big sunny clearing, the seeds will come straight up and stay single stem instead of branch and bend.  I have maybe 30 hickory sprouts like this in a half acre clearish-cut, 1.5yrs later.  




 Let this clearing bush in with grasses, briars and berry.  The deer will eat that soft food over twiggy stems, would you eat a berry or a stick first? There is a heirarchy of food selection and bark is last.  It means too many deer starving for too little food.  Shoot a few and theyll all get healthier.

In winter when greens are gone put a scarecrow up, covered in your favorite deoderant and take a weekly walk to reapply.  Theyll stay out of that patch.  If not go shoot a few rounds out there.  Deer really know when its hunting season and to stay in the bush.   And like i said.. Hinge cut those junky trees where you want them to feed.  That structure and the abundant bud tips will be easy picking in winter.  Much safer for them then going out in a wide open spot where your scent is for one or two nibbles.  If you know where they bed, make this feeding patch nearby.  They dont like to travel far in harsh winter if they can conserve energy by feeding close.  

Heck put up a tree stand over your seedlings.  that always kills my luck!  
Revelation 3:20

Offline Klunker

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2018, 11:08:16 PM »
Mike,
you misunderstand me. I don't want to attract deer, I want to get rid of them. Seems as most of the management I want to do for other wildlife species also attract deer. Unfortunately there are more around then I can legally shoot. And deer reproduce very fast. I can scare them away during the season but after the season is the problem.
About a week ago I watched out of my window as the deer worked their way thru the woods. I lost count at 13 deer. Over a dozen deer browsing their way thru the woods. I had been doing some clearing of a field edge. So I had tossed the tops into the woods and made some decent sized brush piles. All of it was sugar maple. The deer cropped the edges off the brush piles. I guess I have to keep dropping trees to feed them. Seems kind of counter productive.

I have white oak seedlings. But they don't last. One summer and they never come back, they get chewed to the ground. Thats the thing, I've got mature white oaks, but no saplings or seedlings that have lasted more than a year. also have a couple of patches of ramps or wild leeks. They don't last long and the deer have them chewed off. This year I'm going to put some hickory branches over them hoping that the branches act like a fence. for my .02 deer are the biggest natural threat to property management.

I am going to continue to drop the aspen and what I don't drop I'll girdle. There is one area that I dropped all the aspen in the middle of the patch and girdled the tress around the edges. The cleared area is about 50 ft wide x 150 ft long. It looks like a tornado went thru the woods. Other than the aspen there was maybe 1/2 dozen cherries that were struggling for the light. It'll be interesting to see what happens in this patch.

Offline Klunker

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 11:32:23 PM »
 

 

Here is a picture of some of my crooked Cherry trees. It seems to me that cherry likes to grow crooked. To the right of the trees is an old stone wall. You can see that there are some small sugar maples on the right side of the stone wall. Those have been removed. The field to the right of the wall is going to be planted with native grasses and forbs.



 

here is a picture of the younger section of woods. you can see where i've dropped a bunch of aspen. I have since this picture dropped some more and girdled all the aspen on the edges of this opening.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 08:32:08 AM »
I didnt misunderstand you but i did underestimate the size of your herd.  You have too many deer.

Go find some hunters.  Tell them you'll pay $10 per animal they legally harvest.  This is the fastest and most cost effective way to solve your problem.  Takes the least amount of your time.  

We have poachers here who never stop taking so the herd never gets big enough to do what youre struggling with.  I am able to keep them off the things i want by over feeding them the things they want.  And yes maple is a favorite.  


Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 08:36:56 AM »
If you cant get anyone to help you harvest, then atleast take your limit and then go out pretty often and pop off a few rounds in your most sensitive spots.  Create discomfort to push them away.  Deer live where there is sactuary.  Guns interrupt this.  Your scent associated with gunfire also eventually becomes a deterrent.
Revelation 3:20

Offline Klunker

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 12:02:36 PM »
 You have too many deer.

Go find some hunters.
 
 And yes maple is a favorite.  
Yes, too many deer.
One of the problems with hunting is I live in area with mostly private land. Average size is probably around 40 acres. Lots of 5-10 acre lots with a house on them. Most land is either the owner hunts it or nobody hunts it. As soon as the shooting starts they go to the nearest "refuge" of private land thats off limits. In my case thats about 1/2 mile north. You can see deer out in the fields on the off limits land in the evenings during the season. My neighbor to the east hunts his land, Last year he shot 2 does. From his house you can watch the deer on the off limits land. Herds of 20-30 most evenings during the gun season. There usually several nice large bucks that you'll only seen right at the peak of the rut. We watched 4 nice bucks last fall before gun season right from our house. I'll bet we see them again next fall. Interestingly the DNR claims that the #1 cause of death of deer in my area is starvation. Corn fields are great till its harvested and plowed over.
One  problem with bow hunters is that almost to a one they only hunt for antlers. Our 9 day gun season is when the deer are hunted heavy.
I have thought of taking up hunting again. I could harvest one with a crossbow during bow season and one during gun season. That's only 2. If my neighbor shoots 2-4 off his land that is still only 1/2 of what I saw in the woods a couple of weeks ago. When those does have twins in the spring that means 6 does goes to 18 deer in one year. The state is stingy with doe permits for the gun season in my area. Most hunters which have great sway over deer harvest contend that there are not enough deer. Not one behind every bush.
I have maple seedlings completely covering areas in the woods, one of hundred might get just the leader nipped off. The rest go untouched. But an Oak seedling has no chance here.
I'm thinking that some of the areas that I dropped and left the aspen might get some oaks growing in the tops out of easy reach of the deer. We'll see.
Everyday I walk down to get the mail I walk back thru the woods chasing up what ever deer are around at the time. Even if I carry a gun and blast off a couple of rounds after awhile don't you think the deer will get used to this foolish dude with his pockets stuffed full of mail and firing a gun. Deer seem to get used to certain human behavior. They can recognize individuals.
I think the best bet for me is to find the seedlings I want to keep and protect them till they are out of the "deer zone". Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: My woodlot, sad shape
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 07:19:15 PM »
Wow thats a short season.  Ive seen herds like that in NJ.  Huge problem for farmers i bet.


Thats odd they take your oak over maple.  Opposite for me.  Red maple gets chewed down pretty far.  

Id be eating a lot of illegal deer until the herd was back in balance with what the land can support.  
Revelation 3:20


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