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Author Topic: Thoughts on Big Oaks  (Read 3096 times)

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Offline AndyC

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Thoughts on Big Oaks
« on: May 04, 2010, 08:02:07 PM »
I am debating with myself and my wife about what we should do long term for our 5 acres here in NE Ohio.  We have some (6 at varying stages of prime or past prime) very large (all between 36-50" dbh) what we call swamp oaks (white oak) in the front part of our property and have a TON of nice saplings from 10-20 ft tall all around the old guys - straight as rails like their Daddys are. 

My intention is not to clear all the older one's unless they are decayed to the point of endangering people or it would be better to selectively remove to allow the young one's to better thrive.  My thought too are why not determine once they are just past their prime and get lumber from them too because one of them I know is getting eaten alive by ants, rot as it dies.  BUT then the one in the picture - when you are standing under it - makes the word magnificent pop in your head.....  it's almost majestic and I never use that word.  As you can probably tell there are many other trees on the property from ash, maple, poplar, hickory, etc. 

I wanted to get some of your thoughts on what we should consider?  I look at that tree and have never seen one that straight and clear for 30-40 ft up and BIG for Ohio.  I measured it last year and it's 50" dbh, 103' tall with a crown of 91'.  Usually they are short and really stout but this one had to fight it's way to sunlight..... which brings up another question...... it has a slight spiraling to it - like it was twisting as it grew (maybe 1/3 of a turn all the way up?  What does this - damage - natural growth, invasive bugs??   

 


Offline Tom

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 11:36:23 PM »
Andy,
I took the other post, in forestry and logging, off.  It gets confusing when there are identical posts.  Most of us try to read all of the pertinent threads anyway.
extinct

Offline WDH

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 12:53:48 AM »
Think of the value of the tree as it is now to you compared to the value of the tree as lumber.  Also, if the tree is thriving, you can always find unfortunate white oaks that have to come down anyway because of construction and make lumber from the unfortunates, and you can let your majestic tree live on while it is healthy.  If it is not healthy, then that is another consideration, placing the tree in the unfortunate category.
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Offline woodtroll

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 12:20:46 PM »
A few thoughts:
They are yard trees and worth significantly more as such, apposed to lumber.
Swamp White oak is a long lasting tree even with some decay may May last a long time.
The spiral on the one shown looks like an old lightning scar.
 I am not there to see them but if you want oak regen to do well, maybe cut the other species. Oak is intermediate for shade tolerance.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 05:28:11 PM »
I think it would be a shame to cut those big oaks unless they were actually dead or near dead. Once you do, they're gone, and its not everyone that has the pleasure of owning and enjoying such grand trees.  To me that value far exceeds their value as a wood product.

The largest tree on my property is a white pine. Its not that big as white pines go, but every time I stand beneath it, I admire it. I'd never dream of cutting it while it is still healthy.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 05:54:05 PM »
I agree. If they are healthy and not a hazard to anything important then I'd be leaving them to look impressive and grow a bit bigger.

A tree will usually give some sign that it's health is declining. Dead branches up top, fungus around the butt, roots starting to lift etc. When that starts happening it's probably time to take them out, and wait 100 years for another one to grow.

The smaller younger trees that you have around it, you can be selective there and thin out the suppressed or unhealthy ones and leave more space for the best ones to grow. Then when the big one does need to come down you will still have some nice trees left around it.

Ian
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Offline Norm

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 12:18:40 PM »
I have some very big red oaks on my property that are past their prime and I'm sure the ants have moved into the core. They are worth more to me for the enjoyment of the shade and aesthetic value than any lumber they may produce. Funny thing is as a sawyer I tend to be more of a tree hugger than I was years ago before getting a mill. Maybe it's because of my age that I appreciate God's gifts of nature. :)

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 01:01:36 PM »
Norm,

That's the best attitude to have for your trees. The nonmonitary values of trees for shade, aeshetics, wildlife, wind and snow protection, etc. depending upon their locations within the landscape will usually be more than their monitary values for the timber products that might be obtained from them. Their value in your landscape might be priceless. ;)
~Ron

Offline Magicman

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 02:11:01 PM »
Which amplifies the need to always be planting new trees.  The young may die, the old must die, so if there are going to be big old trees in the future.....we gotta do it.  I planted 5000 oaks last year and 1300 this year.  60 years from now when they are mature, I'll remind my great-great grandchildren that they need to plant some also.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 05:08:13 PM »
That will make you a haint, then.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 06:09:46 PM »
But, I ain't a haint    smiley_skull.......yet !!!

My CPA says that if you are planting trees for future generations and are not planning on harvesting them yourself, then it is considered a "hobby" and NOT tax deductible.  That is serious business.  Something that you would NEVER want to say to an IRS auditor.
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Offline ErikC

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2010, 11:26:56 AM »
 Along those lines MM--There is a man I know here in the valley that planted a pine plantation when he was fairly young. His son-in-law and daughter have moved onto that property in the last few years after they retired, it is down the road about a mile from the old man, who is still alive and well. He is watching them build a handcrafted log home from the trees he planted when they were kids, if even born yet at all. Gotta plant em now to have some later :)
I would keep those big oaks as long as possible, and thin around to encourage the best younger trees as well. They may live a lot longer than you think.
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Offline Norm

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2010, 02:34:06 PM »
You guys are sure right with the need to replant for future generations. Every fall we go out and dig up the very small trees that have come up that year, they seem to be the best to survive for us. Of all the different species we do this with the slippery elm seem to be the hardiest with the red and white oaks close behind. For the black walnuts I hire a couple of dozen squirrels to plant the nuts for me in the fall. Best part is they work darn cheap....just a few extra walnuts and their happy. :D

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Thoughts on Big Oaks
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2010, 06:18:54 PM »
Kathy hates the squirriels they rob her bird feeders, but me i love um they plant the walnuts for me.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM


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