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Author Topic: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?  (Read 1381 times)

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Offline SineWave

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Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« on: January 12, 2016, 11:04:54 PM »
Hey, all,

I have a small wooded parcel, about 15 acres, that's got some real nice timber on it, as well as a few acres that were logged maybe 10-15 yrs ago, and I'm looking for a good book or website or other reference to tell me how to manage it.

Specifically, there are maybe 3 or 5 acres on it (the part that was logged) which is now covered with about 85% small sweet gums maybe 4-6" diameter and about 3 or 4 feet apart. I would like to selectively thin this stuff out, so that I can replace some of it with more desirable species such as oaks, hickories/pecans, hybrid chestnuts, walnuts, etc.

The main concern I have is that I suspect there are specific ways you need to do this, since different tree species grow faster than others, and some might like to be partially shaded when young (aren't beeches like that?) whereas others need full sun, etc., and maybe what I want to do isn't possible (for example, if the oaks or hickories or walnuts won't grow fast enough to not be shaded out by the gums). My hunch is that there are only so many things you can do with a given set of circumstances in a woodlot, and I want to know what they are in my case so I can choose the best plan for my situation.

The goal will be to cut a good share of the nice timber (loblolly pine, white oak and sweet gum, mainly) for use in construction and furniture and maybe boatbuilding, and replace it as I go along, so that I don't degrade the quality / future health of the woodlot. (I plan to build on the parcel and eventually live there, too.)

Can anyone suggest any good reads on all of this? I hope I'm not too vague with my questions, here -- I guess I don't even know what I don't know yet!

TIA for any help.

Jeff

Offline RCBS

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 06:10:18 AM »
I just recently found this site, though I haven't had time to delve in just yet. http://mylandplan.org

Do you have a local extension office/farm bureu?  The local soil & water conservation office here is where a lot of good info can be found.  Some of these types of offices will even offer to help establish a management plan at no cost.  Good luck!
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 09:02:07 AM »
The New York State Extension Forestry program offers webinars that you can tune in to on various forestry related subjects. If you participate in one of the "live" sessions, you can type in questions for the presenter and get them answered. They also have YouTube site where you can see recorded sessions of past webinars: Forest Connect YouTube Channel

The program is organized by the NYS Extension Forester, Peter Smallidge - who also happens to be a Forestry Forum member.

I've found the quality of these webinars to be excellent.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 09:54:10 AM »
Seems to me you are at that website now. Plenty of guys here willing to offer suggestions.

If you already have 4-6" diameter trees, there's your forest. If you want to put in something else, the remaining trees even after thinning are going to suppress them. When you thin the sweetgums, The remaining trees are going to accelerate and increase their crowns rapidly, shading out anything little. Your sweetgums have probably a 20 year lead over anything you put in at this point. If you are looking to start with oaks, hickories and so on you are going to have to create a clearcut to get them to succeed. I would think a half acre minimum to have any chance of success. Add to that the proximity of lots of sweetgum, guess how many of them are going to be in the new mix. That means heavy labor inputs to get the new stand you want.

On the other hand, with a little thinning and pruning you will have some lumber producing trees in maybe 20 more years. My thought would be to make lemonade now and then consider your clearcut, maybe a couple of acres in size when your 4-6" trees are mature enough to get a product. This is the tough thing about taking care of your woods. You might not live long enough to see the fruits of your labor, especially when you are looking at 40-60 years from planting before getting something worth being excited about. Best to start with loving your woods and making the best of things while trying to make improvements as you go. You plant a tree for your grandchildren.
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline SineWave

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 06:44:01 AM »
Thanks, guys. I appreciate the help and will check out that YouTube channel and website.

Unfortunately, I probably don't have 30 yrs to play with, but maybe the next guy will. In the meantime, I'll probably put in quite a few pecans. They grow fast, around here at least, and if I don't live to see timber from them, I will probably (God willing) live to see them produce nuts for us and the critters.

In the meantime, I'll probably take out quite a few of the old loblolly pines. Many of them are reaching old age, and we've got pine bark beetles not far up the coast from here, and I don't want to lose them.

Online thecfarm

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 07:44:27 AM »
I enjoy playing,planning,my woods out. Yes,I won't see the results,but I see it in my mind. I may not be doing it exactly right,but I have having a very good time trying. I take out the bad looking ones,and the ones that are growing to close together and a few old ones. The crown of the trees are important too, to see who is touching who.
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 07:40:48 PM »
 I do a lot of timber stand improvement that I'll never see the end results,but I feel someone will notice it someday.
Ed K

Offline Plankton

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 08:17:38 PM »
One great book, not sure if it's still in print though. The country journal Woodlot Primer by Richard M. Brett.

Great book for inspiration and practical advice on small Woodlot management specifically.

Me and Dad do TSI work on our woods at the farm, cutting for future harvests and ascetic value. Only have ever pulled non merchanatble softwood and chord wood off the property. Planted nut trees and thinned stands that I'll never see to true maturity. Some thing about leaving it better then you got it feels good.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2016, 08:23:27 PM »
to start Gifford Pinchon  A Primer of forestry
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Offline pwrwagontom

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 05:16:46 PM »
http://www.forestrypressproducts.com/working-with-your-woodland-a-landowners-guide/

I've always thought the above to be an excellent, easy to read introduction to woodlot management geared towards someone with limited or basic knowledge.  Several people who I've recommended it to have echoed the same!

I've kept my copy around for reference.

-T

Offline John Mc

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 06:06:47 PM »
PwrwagonTom - I forgot about that book. I've got a copy on my shelf. It's a good one.

BTW... I know a PowerWagonTim who lives up my way.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline ten_mile

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Re: Good books or websites for small woodlot management?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 06:07:11 PM »
Your profile says you live in Virginia. I took an online forestry course aimed at small landowners about 10 years ago from Virginia Tech / Virginia Department of Forestry. Something like that would answer a lot of your questions. Take a look at:

http://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu

There are lots of resources available there including reading material, courses, workshops, newsletters and more.


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