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Author Topic: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip  (Read 1157 times)

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Offline midlifecrisis31

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I just landed a large plot of timber which has a lot of black cherry.  The land hasn't been touched in 50 years so as a result the trees I'm experiencing are "interesting" and untouched.  I have hundreds bushes of black cherry trees.  Instead of a single trunk, I have a base which contains maybe 4 to 6 suckers that are growing from said base.  Each branch from the base averages 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  Sometimes the base has one main trunk with multiple branches. Sometimes it's a ADMIN EDIT.  Is there any benefit to removing the old suckers and keeping the main trunk or should I just trash the whole system. And when I mean hundreds of bushes, I literally mean maybe 300 to 400 individual systems. I just purchased 50 acres.

What I'm thinking is that removing the suckers and letting the individual tree run through a 10 year growth cycle after a trim could still be worth the effort.

Again these are black cherry trees.  Thoughts?

Thanks oh mighty foresters.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 06:39:10 AM »
If you are seeing stump sprouts (the cherry bush growth you describe) then the land has been touched.  Something cut off an older larger tree and tree responded by directing energy from the roots into suppressed buds that are just beneath the bark.  This causes the new growth you are seeing.  Can you see stumps?  Maybe an old field was bushogged a few years ago and a bunch of young cherry have responded?  Or sometimes if deer populations are too high they can do the same thing.  Anyway, the point is that you have a disturbed system, if an older forest (50 years) your cherry would be 50+ feet tall.  Cherry is a colonizing species, it does not grow up in shade under other trees so your areas with cherry stump sprouts should have quite a bit of sun.

In answer to your man question though: what to do.  Easiest is to do nothing, nature will sort it out and eventually just 1-3 stems will survive.  If you have time and energy feel free to select the straightest young stem and that will concentrate growth on that stem and you'll have a more valuable forest in 30 years.  There are a lot worse things to have than a field of vigorous cherry stump sprouts.  Deer should be all over that area in the fall/winter.  Also, the sprouts will grow much much faster than seedlings coming up from seed.  

Location:  Depending on your location cherry can have very different growth rates.  In my area of northern VA it can grow 3+ feet per year.  Those "bushes" of stump sprouts would have been 2 or at most 3 years of regrowth.  So whereabouts are you?  

The local county forestry office is almost always willing to come meet new landowners and tell them about their forest.  Schedule a visit with your local forestry official.  

Liking Walnut

Offline livemusic

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 11:14:32 AM »
I just landed a large plot of timber which has a lot of black cherry.  The land hasn't been touched in 50 years so as a result the trees I'm experiencing are "interesting" and untouched.  I have hundreds bushes of black cherry trees.  Instead of a single trunk, I have a base which contains maybe 4 to 6 suckers that are growing from said base.  Each branch from the base averages 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  Sometimes the base has one main trunk with multiple branches. Sometimes it's a ADMIN EDIT.  Is there any benefit to removing the old suckers and keeping the main trunk or should I just trash the whole system. And when I mean hundreds of bushes, I literally mean maybe 300 to 400 individual systems. I just purchased 50 acres.

What I'm thinking is that removing the suckers and letting the individual tree run through a 10 year growth cycle after a trim could still be worth the effort.

Again these are black cherry trees.  Thoughts?

Thanks oh mighty foresters.
Why don't you edit your profile so that your location shows? Your question is interesting, look forward to the thread. I have that same thing going on with Red Maple. Except mine are not sprouts, they are tall stems (trees) in a cluster from one stump.
~~~
Bill

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 01:45:42 AM »
I have a bunch of very tall maples that must have originally started as vine maples, but shot up tall and skinny to get past the big firs over the years. They are all like 140'+ tall. At the base they look like one massive 36" dia log, that goes to individual stems maybe 12" - 20" thick at about 20'. They look like prime chunks of wood until you cut them down and throw them on the mill. The first clue is the 5 or 6 piths... the second comes when you start sawing it into boards and they crack and go every which way. Prime firewood they are...
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 06:27:01 AM »
@Stuart Caruk Yes that's a common issue with stump sprouts that never establish a dominant stem, the stems eventually grow into one another and only separate up much higher.  Of course, like most things you guys out in the PNW just do it on a slightly larger scale. 

Can't do it this week but next week I could get some pictures of a 50 year old Yellow Poplar stand that is all stump sprouts.
Liking Walnut

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 06:45:08 AM »
Well thinning I will select out of a bunch a dominant stem cut the rest of the maple or alder and never had an issue, out here cherry, willow, and oak are all track bait.

Offline Lumberjohn

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 05:14:52 PM »
I would think at 50 years old the dominate ones would have killed of the lesser ones and been bigger. At least that's what I see around here. The ones that survive have always been clean and taller being in competition with each other.

Offline midlifecrisis31

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 10:26:01 PM »
This is a good example of what's back there.  Think...20 acres of "this".  There's also a lot of older growth further back but this is the predominant crop of trees.  It's a TON of fire wood no doubt.  Can any of this be rescued though?  Could I find the one straight trunk and knock out the rest?  And if I did, to what benefit?  Would I just have more roots for one straight future firewood log?

If you look closely, there are lots of single trunk saplings.  The older ones could be removed to give the younger ones room and sun to grow.  



Offline Ianab

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2019, 02:00:08 AM »
I'd think that could be recovered / improved, with a lot of work. If the canopy stays fairly much closed in, the stump re-sprouts won't come to much as they will be crowded out by the "leave" trees. So you start snaking some trails in there, dropping anything that looks ugly for firewood, and leaving the ones that look like they have the makings of a decent tree. (in another ~40 years?) 

Left alone 90% of those trees will eventually get crowded out and nature will sort things out, it always does. Some of the surviving trees will be pretty ugly, but that's what happens in a natural forest. But you can influence things by removing the less desirable ones, and freeing up the space for the nice straight leaders to grow. 
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Offline Ruffgear

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2019, 07:26:16 AM »
Kinda looks like buckthorn..

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2019, 08:18:10 AM »
Id root rake it and put down hayseed
Revelation 3:20

Offline midlifecrisis31

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2019, 11:30:54 AM »
I'd think that could be recovered / improved, with a lot of work. If the canopy stays fairly much closed in, the stump re-sprouts won't come to much as they will be crowded out by the "leave" trees. So you start snaking some trails in there, dropping anything that looks ugly for firewood, and leaving the ones that look like they have the makings of a decent tree. (in another ~40 years?)

Left alone 90% of those trees will eventually get crowded out and nature will sort things out, it always does. Some of the surviving trees will be pretty ugly, but that's what happens in a natural forest. But you can influence things by removing the less desirable ones, and freeing up the space for the nice straight leaders to grow.


That's what I was thinking.  Picking the good ones and removing the less desirable ones.  It's a lot of work but could be worth it in the long run.  There are also some black walnuts back there so I could give room for those to rise to the sun.

Offline midlifecrisis31

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2019, 11:32:03 AM »
Id root rake it and put down hayseed
Agreed - I was considering pulling them out with their roots then either burning them, chipping them or just dragging them to the side and letting them decompose.  They'd be a paradise for birds and small game to make their homes too.

Offline bitternut

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Re: Cherry tree "bushes" vs a single trunk tree. Should I save or just chip
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2019, 06:19:18 PM »
What makes you think these are cherry trees? Upstate NY is a large diverse area. What area of  Upstate NY is your land located? The pictures you posted look like what are commonly referred to as thorn apples to me.


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