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Author Topic: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan  (Read 81831 times)

Offline furu

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20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:24:47 AM »
I have/had a 20 plus acre stand of Alder that while not the best species for the site was well established when I purchased the property in 2007.  In consultation with the county and state foresters we decided to let it continue as the Alder market has just gone exponential in value in the last decade.  (Rather surprising for a species that 30 years was a junk tree and good for firewood at best.)  In addition the site had areas of Phellinus weiri (laminated root rot) in the previous generation of Doug Fir so that species and several others were not candidate species for a generation of timber growth.

At the time of purchase the stand was in need of thinning in a big way as the competition for nutrients was rather significant and some suppression was already evident.  Did not get the thinning done as quickly as I would have liked but in Dec 2011 got the thinning accomplished and was very satisfied with the results.

I have posted some of the results.  The PCT FSI prescription was to drop the thinned material so that it was on the ground and it would be allowed to rot into the soil.  The stand was too juvenile to have any value from this thinning.
This work was done in Dec 2011 thus the lack of foliage.


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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 10:31:57 AM »
Unfortunately in Jan 2012, one month later we suffered a 100 year ice storm that was devastating to the area.  Hardwoods were hit very hard and at my elevation 1500 feet they were massacred.  I was lucky, so to speak.  My stand was only 12 years of age and still juvenile.   I know of folks that had fully mature ready to harvest stands that were turned into matchsticks.  No lumber value at all, just firewood salvage.
A couple of pictures are not of great focus but the tale can be seen.

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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 12:20:12 PM »

 Like the photos, though, not so much the damage.

 What now ? Planning on setting out new stock ?

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 12:30:41 PM »
Yes there are many more posts and pictures to come but other things took priority and made me stop the photo search and verbiage composition for the next group.  Tune back later.

Also I took a break too figure out how some of the other posts have pictures with verbiage between/after the pictures and I could not do that.  I may??? have figured it out for the next group.  Yeah right ::)
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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 05:13:49 PM »

 AHhhh, photo posting is not so hard, I get it right sometimes, and Kirk can do it, so, just keep trying.  ::) :laugh: :laugh:

 IF I remember correctly, you type in one part, then, add the photo, using space bar before and after each photo, type in more, add another photo, rinse and repeat. OR NOT  ::) ::)

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 10:22:06 AM »
After the ice storm the decision that had to be made was how to proceed and with what.  With the Phellinus weiri problem in a fair amount of the stand area Doug fir was not an option except in the southern most part.  I had panted several thousand Western Red Cedar (WRC) in another stand  several years earlier and was very happy with how they were doing even with the browse issue from our friends so that was an option.  

Being as I really like diversity (the silvicultural kind) I had planted a stand of Western White Pine (rust resistant strain) years back that hopefully would be resistant to the Cronartium ribicola a macrocyclic fungus that has decimated much of the area in past decades.  When I was doing that research I found out about a West Side Ponderosa Pine variant that is native to the west side of the Cascades Range.  There are several sub-variants but they all seem to do well.  The US Army pretty much gutted the Pine stand back int he 40's on Ft Lewis.  They are now trying to re-establish the species in a pretty big way but are hoarding all the seed and will not let it be released.  WA DNR nursery has some juvenile PP that they got before the US Army shut down the seed exchange but no seed crop from their young trees yet, so no seedlings.  I did find a large forestry company that had been experimenting with bringing the Willamette Valley Ponderosa Strain up and planting it.  Had many conversation with their foresters and biologists and decided that I would give it a try.  I am a bit more inland and slightly higher elevation but decided to try a test planting.

I hand cleared (love that Stihl FS 450) a plot size for the experiment.

I contacted several of the seedling suppliers and decided to give it a go with two options, a super cell plug and with a P+1, and see how it went.  I established my test area and planted the plugs the end of October 2012 before the ground froze.  The problem with planting plugs in the fall is that frost heaves can actually pop the little suckers right out of the ground.  In theory a couple of weeks was all that was necessary to let the roots start to grab hold even at fall ground temps.  I planted the P+1's in mid February 2013.  Was very pleased with both and the growth has been more than I expected.  In the first year the plugs almost caught up with the P+1's.  From the pictures and the root structure there was a lot of growth energy available.

This picture is of the Plug with planting shovel and hammer as reference for sizes.
  


You can see just how strong and thick the root structure is of this plug



This is of the P+1 seedling with the same reference for sizing.  Obviously the root structure of the second year P+1 is clear.



The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) rep and the county and state foresters have been watching to see how my experiment is going.  Ask me again in 10 years.

As an aside I did find where an experiment was done in Oregon where the Oregon east side variant PP was planted in the Willamette Valley with bad results.  Grew fine for 15 years and then failed to thrive beyond that point.  My area while outside the seed zone for the WVPP, that I used and was used by the other big commercial company that I mentioned, is very similar to the area where the seed came from. Not exact but worth a try.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 10:38:35 AM by furu »
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Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 10:41:50 AM »
Well it seems that I have the photo thing with interspersed comments down now versus the other way I was doing it but can't find a way when editing to put it the reason for the edit.  Only took me five tries to get the photos to show where I wanted them to.
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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 11:24:13 AM »

 I would say you did a fine job with this posting.  Nice to see what you are working with.

 What's the target size of the trees for thinning and harvesting ?  How bad is the ground frozen and the length of  time for non-growth per year ?

 Here, temps run from 65 F to 85 F year round, and, 9 months of rainy (most days) and 3 months of shower type rains a couple days a month of so of a steady slow rain.

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 10:36:53 AM »
In my area we have a rather significant problem with a little critter



known as Aplodontia rufa or more commonly as the Mountain Beaver.
They are no relation to the beaver that we call a beaver but they are called that or Boomer.  The are actually a rather rare anthropological critter (wish they were more rare in numbers) as they can be traced back to the early mammals.  This species is the only living member of its genus, Aplodontia, and family, Aplodontiidae.

Well enough of that.  They love to eat forestry seedlings.  They can go through a newly planted area and harvest over 75 seedling in a night and drag them into their burrows for future consumption.  Needless to say that is not my plan of what is good thus I have to use protection tubes to protect the young trees for several years to keep the little critters at bay.

In my test area I decided to use both the tube I have been using for several years



and an alternate tubing that I tried because of recommendations



that has both advantages and disadvantages.  I decided the disadvantages out-way the advantages and I will stick with the solid with hole type tube for plantings in the rehabilitation area I am describing.

In this photo of the test area it can be seen how there is a lot of slash on the floor but there are still matchsticks left up that will be allowed to decay over the years.  The alder tend to decay from the top down.


« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 11:22:12 AM by furu »
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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 11:15:21 AM »

 Nice photos. Thanks for posting them.
 
 We have a similar "little critter". It lives underground and feeds on roots of high $$$ younger trees. Then, the trees just fall over.

 I had some Gopher-mole "peanuts" shipped down. They are in a yellow plastic cone, and, cut the tip of the cone and shove it in the tunnel. I just look for escape holes in the ground, and drop a few peanuts in there. Seems to have lowered the rate of cut offs, or else, the trees are big enough now, that the roots are not as appealing ??

 Here, people don't keep their fences in order, so, calves, horses and goats get on other farms and feed on leaves and bark. We are the only ones with any amount of replanting of timber, for several miles. Most farms are dairy for cheese processing by the owners and sell as block cheese.

 At least, those tubes makes it easy to find the seedlings. I sprayed roundup in lines across the farm, to burn down the grasses, and, planted in the lines. 6-8 weeks later, it was difficult to find some of the seedlings.

 I need to get my hard drive to where I can enable the mouse function, so I can access photoshop and photos of how we did the planting. For some reason, a Win XP repair disc will not enable the mouse function. XP boots up, but, I can't use the mouse or arrows to open programs.

 Right now, I run Win 7 on a slave heard drive, which is a PIA.

 I may go to Fl this coming spring, and will take that hard drive with me, to see if #1 Son can figure this out. Techs here are not very good.

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 10:30:30 AM »
It did not take long for the undesirable vegetation to take over after the ice storm damage.  In my area we always have an issue with undergrowth (it is very hard on young seedlings and can quickly choke out a lot of work on a replant) and from this set of pictures you can see what it soon looked like and what I had to deal with in getting ready to replant.

As can be seen from the following images not all is evenly bad but all requires some work before I could consider putting seedlings in.









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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 01:08:08 PM »

 Would it be possible to run a large tractor with an extra heavy duty Bush Hog-Rotary cutter, type rig, to chop that slash and brush and keep things cut short until the saplings get a good foot hold ?

 When I lived in Arkansas, I knew a guy that built such a thing, and would go out after he sold off some timber and cut all the small stuff into chip type stuff. He DEMANDED the trees were cut close to the ground or no cutting.

 I got to cut the last 15 acrres he had, both because I would do as he wanted, and, I had the sawmill and his hay shed had been lightning struck and burned to the ground.

 Some of the local loggers had tried to buy his timber for years, but, the "outsider" got the job.  ;D ;D

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 09:47:06 PM »
Would it be possible to run a large tractor with an extra heavy duty Bush Hog-Rotary cutter, type rig, to chop that slash and brush and keep things cut short until the saplings get a good foot hold ?

I have a Woods Brushbull BB-720 that is capable of up to 4 inch stems.  4" is kind of pushing it and I had stuff larger than that by a good bit.  In addition the PCT stumps were a problem with the rubber tires and the risk of having a puncture made the risk of repair costs well exceeding the cost of the alternative.  After getting the initial site prep and mulch done I may be able to do a bit more with the BB720 but with the density of the planting it will be hard to get that size machine in without having accidents with the seedlings.

I rented a Cat 299DXHP with a forestry mulching head.

Here is a partial picture of the mulching head



and a picture of the teeth on the drum.



The machine did a pretty good job but I did have a problem with the head picking up a 1 inch cable left over from the last logging and that was fun to get off.  I had a track try to shed but caught it early.  I could have mulched much smaller but I wanted to keep the CWD at a decent size so that the decay would not be too rapid.


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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 09:50:58 PM »
Here are some photos taken from the cab of the mulcher and it can be seen the vegetation that I was dealing with.



Photo having backed out from path

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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 10:01:18 PM »
Here are some photos of the site prep during the work.  Not quite complete but you can see the overall concept.  There are many stems that were damaged by the ice storm that have been left standing.  They have been already or will be hack and squirted to kill but there is enough CWD on the forest floor that I want these to decay in the future and drop over time.  The species tends to decay from the top down so they drop pretty much straight down and not fall over.  Be careful of the widow makers during a wind storm as they decay however.  :o :o







The next two have artifacts in the photo from the photo picture compression software that I do not seem to be able to get rid of.



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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 05:40:31 AM »

 That mulcher type cutter did an amazing job. Didn't realize 4" stuff could be cut with a rotary type cutter ?
 I know shears are used on skid steer machines, now.

 You have done an excellent job so far. Hope the new plants get the results you are seeking.

 I have photos of the alternator rotor, in the camera, and, should take some of our 8+ year old plantings. Then, try to get them posted.

 Thanks for all the photos in your thread. Makes things so much nicer to understand what you are doing.

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2015, 12:38:24 PM »
That mulcher type cutter did an amazing job. Didn't realize 4" stuff could be cut with a rotary type cutter ?

Yes I was very pleased with the result of the mulcher. 
The rotary cutter I have is only spec'ed by Woods for 3" but I have used it on 4" but only if it is green material.  Dry would be a disaster thus my comment "about pushing it".  When I have done larger diameter than spec I have raised it up and slowly lowered it over the subject material.
There is a "rotary cutter"  designed for use on a compact track loader (CTL)/skid steer that is spec'ed at 7 inches. Bradco Extreme Ground Shark
Of course the four blades are 3/4" thick and the wheel/disc they are mounted on is something around 600+ pounds.  It is like a four bladed horizontal ax mounted on your equipment. It also takes 30-45 gal per minute flow rate to run it but so do the drum mulcher heads like Fecon, Cimaf and the one I used.

They have both a standard model rated at 4" and an "Extreme" model rated at 7".  Somewhat intrigued by the Extreme model.
http://bradco.com/Product-Details/143/Extreme-Duty-Ground-Shark%E2%84%A2-Brush-Cutter
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2015, 10:12:34 PM »
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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2015, 10:33:08 AM »
Well as an update.

In the small 6+ acre area that I am doing this year I now have 1000 plus west-side Ponderosa Pine (PP) planted. Still have to plant the 1000 or so Western Red Cedar (WRC). No pictures yet.  I am still trying to finish getting the protect-a-tubes installed on the PP.  I have 600 installed so far but it is just back breaking work.  I figured between 3 to 4 bend-overs for every tube installation.  How to build up the core muscles of the waist and lower back.
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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2015, 06:17:54 PM »
Well I am finally back to update the thread.  I was very disappointed in the quality of the seedlings (2+0) that I received from one of the forestry nurseries.  The root-to-shoot ratio was a bit anemic to say the least.  I expect that I will have to replant a significant number of the Ponderosa Pines (PP)'s and will be purchasing from a different source in the future.
On the other hand the Western Redcedar WRC seedling were very high quality and I was very pleased.






« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 06:44:14 PM by furu »
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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2015, 07:30:23 PM »
Well my posting of photos has deteriorated in the last couple of months.  I uploaded some that were not even viewable in the post.  Then did it again.  I hope these are a bit better.

As I posted the root-to-shoot ratio on the PP seedlings was not good,  I had a state forester and a county forester both agree with my assessment of their quality.  Here are the photos of some.  Some are obviously worse than others as can be seen.









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Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2015, 11:56:10 PM »
Well I am finally getting some photos of this planting posted as to what it looks like.  I planted 2000 plus seedlings with protection tubes.

These photos were taken facing different cardinal directions and from different locations just  to give an idea of the area and the post plant look.

Of course now to deal with the inevitable competing vegetation issues as the stuff tries to choke out the new seedlings.  Welcome to Western Washington and the vegetation issues we have.





















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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2015, 10:06:09 AM »

 That seedling stock looked plenty root deprived.  ::)  Down here, we get bagged plants and getting the helpers to dig or poke a deep hole for the tap root, is difficult. Roots are balled up in the bag, so, need a little help getting spread a little. Not hard to tell which ones were NOT set correctly.  >:(

 How soon would you expect to see the sets outgrow the surrounding competition ? Do you plan any spraying ? Down here, Glyphosate' (round up) is used everywhere. There is talk of banning it, due to unprotected workers spraying upwind, etc. , and getting sick.

 It's nice to see the updated photos. Thanks for sharing.

Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2016, 07:16:50 PM »
Well I am well into this years planting season and have not updated this for a while.  As I posted in another thread my new mulcher is a pretty nice piece of equipment and very useful.  

Thought I would post a picture that I took out the front while working in rather tall Himalayan blackberries.  If I can figure out how to post videos I will post one of a tree mulch.

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Offline furu

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Re: 20+ acre stand rehabilitation plan
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2016, 12:57:30 AM »
Had not updated this thread much lately.  
I have a couple of photos that show a bit of what this one area looked like before  I got started as a result of the undesirable vegetative matter taking over.  Seeing the top over bottom shot of the same background reveals a totally different forest environment.


In this set you can see a before site prep and and an after planting and tube protection.  Use the foreground tree and the larger background tree for reference.




In this set there is a partial site prep photo and a post planting photo again.  Same area but a different angle exposing a different background.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else will ever even know.