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Author Topic: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult  (Read 339 times)

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Offline mcpdeltat

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New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« on: September 15, 2020, 04:31:03 PM »
Hey everyone,
I've got about 45ac in north Alabama, all hardwood and mostly oak. It was unattended for some time, I would guess 50-70 years, so needs some attention, I think.

I have a number of trees of various sizes too close to the house, so need to start with these. I have several that have died out at the top and dropped a lot of limbs, yet were solid in the trunk. I have also had some, that looked otherwise healthy, snap off with the heart completely rotted out.

A state forester said he would come out for a visit a while back, but haven't seen him yet. I know of some foresters in the area, but all are associated with loggers or sawmills (I'm thinking I should first talk to someone independent?).

I'm hoping some of you might have words of advice for finding someone to assess individual tree health as well as an overall plan for my property. I wouldn't necessarily have any trees cut, except those next to the house. But, if it is the best thing long term, I would do a select cut.

I appreciate any info...

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 07:36:46 PM »
Donít know anything about oak or Alabama but love the username  :P 

You will get some good advice and learn a lot here on FF I am sure

Offline BaldBob

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 10:44:06 PM »
If you go to Home you can find consulting foresters near you.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 08:04:17 AM »
Top branches snapped out of otherwise good oaks is probably from the ice storms about idk, 6 or 7 years ago now? The broken branches are entry points for trouble.  


Scarlet oak gets a lot of rot in the heart, and ive had hickory look nice but be very unsound then snap off.  Red maples usually show their distress pretty clearly before they get to that point.  


How much of your understory is over populated with twisty shade tolerant species like red maple, black gum, sourwood, sassafrass, tree of heaven, mountain laurel, sumac and stuff like that?  Overall is your woods full of straight stems or curvy ones?  Dark leafy floor or bright green bushy one?


What is your level of interest/capacity to be hands on or hands off?  Do you burn firewood?
Revelation 3:20

Offline mcpdeltat

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 08:55:36 PM »
If you go to Home you can find consulting foresters near you.
Thanks for the link, BaldBob.

Offline mcpdeltat

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 10:01:02 PM »
Mike,
I appreciate the reply. I should post up some photos; next day I get home in time. The ice storms didn't cause much damage for us here. I am seeing the death of upper branches, which start rotting and breaking off from the ends. This works down the tree until all branches are bare. I expect these to be rotted in the heart, but almost all that I have cut down have been solid.

But, there have been a couple of others which have broken off in the trunk during storms. These have had, I would guess, 60-70% of the trunk rotted out, yet appeared to my untrained eye, healthy and fully leafed out. This is the part that concerns me most, although I understand an arborist could possibly take a core sample of a tree to determine its soundness. Perhaps there are other methods these days, like ultrasound?

I'll have to do more research to identify what many of the saplings are, but I would say 95% of anything over 3 inches is red or white oak, with most trees straight. There is the odd poplar, maple, and hickory thrown in. The forest floor is almost all leafy, but with some small patches of mossy green. Our place is up in elevation for AL, at about 1600 ft, and is very rocky.

We don't yet have a stove, but I cut everything up for a relative who does. I have cut some pretty nice logs up for firewood and have, at times, thought it is quite a waste. I am certainly hands-on and have even considered whether a small mill would be worthwhile, but I would hate to make the investment, only to find that most of my good size trees are not sound.


Offline mike_belben

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 08:13:44 AM »
These dying tops, are they small, choked off, shade intolerant trees [oak and hickory] dying in the shade of dominant members, or are they mature trees with access to the top of the canopy,  standing above most neighboring stems and still dying?  Have you noticed a trait by species or is it many types of tree?



Do you have a lot of splotchiness in the leaves around your place, creating spots of fall like colors (or just dead brown spots) even though its not fall yet?
Revelation 3:20

Offline mcpdeltat

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 01:13:14 PM »
I don't believe I am seeing any blotchiness in the leaves. It looks like the trees that are dying out are mature oaks, and are getting sun, in general. Here is a photo of what I am typically seeing.




Here is the trunk of one just a few feet away where this had happened. This one started like the other and progressed throughout the tree. I finally cut this one down about a year ago.



Here is one that has been gone for a while, but I have not yet cut down. 



Here are a couple of photos that give a general idea of what is right around the house.


 


 I hate to lose the shade, but the couple of trees that have broken off have me nervous about what I can safely leave in place. I cut this small one next to my shop yesterday and discovered the heart was gone up to about the 3 ft level. That tree seemed relatively healthy otherwise.




Online btulloh

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2020, 01:33:38 PM »
That first pic looks like some of my oaks that die from drought stress. Nothing to do about it really. When the top looks like that, it seems to be fatal over time and a good indication the bottom is already weakened. 
HM126

Offline mcpdeltat

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2020, 02:16:15 PM »
That first pic looks like some of my oaks that die from drought stress. Nothing to do about it really. When the top looks like that, it seems to be fatal over time and a good indication the bottom is already weakened.
I have had a couple of folks mention to me that drought stress could be involved. We certainly have had some bad periods since we've been here, starting with the 3 year period in 2010.
I'm wondering if the only way to know what is sound is to get an arborist out to check all of the trees within striking distance of the house?

Online btulloh

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2020, 02:52:47 PM »
Arborist sounds like a good idea when the tree is close to the house. Iíve seen trees like that hold up pretty well for a time and just start shedding dead limbs from the top. When Iíve taken down trees like that, they do seem to be in much worse shape than they appeared. Mine are not usually close to something though, so itís more of an academic problem for me. Iíve wondered if a boring near the bottom would reveal anything. I donít have one of those tree coring tools, so have never tried it. Back to the arborist, I suppose. Not all arborists are created equal though. 
HM126

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New Member - Prob Need Forester Consult
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 09:55:53 PM »
I use a long shank harbor freight drillbit in a milwaukee fuel.  I think its 2ft or so, half inch diameter.  Just look at the chip color and feel for hollows. Humus is bad!
Revelation 3:20


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