Small Cabin

Small Cabin Forum
 - Forums - Register/Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -

Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Question about thinning trees
Author Message
justins7
Member
# Posted: 14 May 2020 12:31
Reply 


I'm in the Catskills in NY state. I have a lot of wild wooded areas with trees coming out all over. I've been reading about how to thin the trees — woodland maintenance.

I understand I need to thin these. The older trees are pretty straight-forward, as far as what to cut down. But what about young trees? There are areas with many dozens of little trees shooting out; they're anywhere from 4' to 15' high.
My question is: When do I thin these out? Do I wait until they're 5-10 years old (much taller)? And how to decide when there're many little trees of the same size and type, all fighting for sunlight, all the same?

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 14 May 2020 19:06
Reply 


Unless there going to fal on something important, you need firewood or don't want mature trees with no undergrowth many years down the line just leave the trees.

I have spent alot of time in the catskills. I grew up in ulster county.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 14 May 2020 20:10 - Edited by: ICC
Reply 


I believe you should be able to get the best response to your questions by talking to someone in your state's forestry department. Our family has interacted with the New Mexico State Forestry department for decades regarding our forested lands. What we do in NM may be a little different than what makes for a more healthy forest in NYS. A healthy forest needs a variety of ages to be sustainable.

Foresters use basal area of the trees when determining the optimum number of trees per acre. The basal area of a tree is defined as the cross-sectional area (usually in square feet) of a single tree at breast height, or 4½ feet above ground. The diameter of a tree at 4½ feet above the ground is called diameter at breast height (DBH). They have tables that convert diamters and tree numbers into sq. ft per acre. The best value varies with climate and species.

If you want to read up on this basal area standard here is one of many online sources.

justins7
Member
# Posted: 15 May 2020 12:14
Reply 


Thanks for all the info. I will try contacting the Catskills Forest Assoc. — good idea.

spoofer
Member
# Posted: 15 May 2020 18:03
Reply 


It is helpful I've been told is to always trim the suckers off trees to help them stay healthy and grow fast.

LittleDummerBoy
Member
# Posted: 16 May 2020 09:30
Reply 


I think it's important to know what kind of trees you're referring to.
Red Maple? Oak? Spruce?

old243
Member
# Posted: 17 May 2020 08:54
Reply 


I think the trees will decide which ones survive. . They are all competing for light. I have heard that , if you are managing for lumber production, that the crowns of the trees , should not touch. If you decide to thin, you could remove some of the least valuable varieties, crooked, any with defects, or disease.. Remove those close to, and competing with a valuable tree, that will mature into a timber producer. You want to leave nice straight trunks. I guess it depends what your expectations are for your forest. If you have a lot of mature or over mature trees , you might consider harvesting some. Have a forester look at and recommend , your best approach. I have a small hardwood bush , that has been providing , all the fire wood for myself and my son. for the last 40 years. old243

halfmarathondon
Member
# Posted: 20 May 2020 17:10
Reply 


First off, you can't tell a trees age by it's size. Especially true if your woods are too dense as mine are. That 4" dbh tree may be older than the 10" dbh tree next to it.

Just like with your cabin, you need to start with a plan. A timber management plan. What are your objectives? Beside a healthy stand. Wildlife habitat, timber sale, etc.

Then work with a Forester. Here in MO I worked with the states county Forester and the county Conservation Agent.

Then, with their help, do an inventory of your woods. Once you know the basal area, you can determine how much and which to thin. If some trees are large enough, a selective harvest could be part of that plan. (I was not that fortunate)

The plan for my 80 acres covers 10 years. Selective thinning, prescribed burns, possibly a small harvest in one stand around year 8. I'm managing for white oak, and wildlife diversity.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 20 May 2020 20:39 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Quoting: justins7
I understand I need to thin these. The older trees are pretty straight-forward, as far as what to cut down. But what about young trees? There are areas with many dozens of...


Justin, marketable timber starts at 8" through, but they need spacing too. You want about 15 feet between trees, clip lower branches to the 10 foot mark, but never remove more than 50% of the crown.

Do you have hardwoods or softwoods or a bit of both?

I just had a little over 40 acres professionally thinned, cost about $1,250 per acre. They didnt haul anything out, just ground it up using a skid steer (ASV120) and a Fencon mulcher that used hammers.

You can get help in your state if you have enough acreage. Mine picked up 75% of the cost, still about $13,000 from me.

My state always has a 50/50 split, but with extra fed funding, a 75/25, seen 90/10 and even 100/0

I also get a nice tax break, like about $30 a year on 20 acres, but I hire a professional forester, submit a forest management plan with my tax assessor and it needs to be renewed every 10 yrs.

The state help you out in return for you providing habitat for wildelife, woodfiber and recreation.

Type of trees and how many acres

justins7
Member
# Posted: 21 May 2020 13:34
Reply 


It's only four acres. The trees are mostly maple, ash (obviously will succumb to the ash borer eventually) and some birch. All of the work is something I am planning on doing myself.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 21 May 2020 15:44 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Justin, how big are the trees, ie diameter. I bought one of those DR tow behind chippers, the 16.0 model, I didn't make it road legal, I only tow it around on the property and this thing is a beast, I got the extended chute for it too, it chewed up the wood and made a gorgeous pile of chips a gardener would love to have. With 4 acres and you nibbling at it, t is might work. But you need a quad or side by side or truck to move it around. Drop tree, chip up all branches, leave main truck for sale, firewood etc.

16.5 tow behind chipper

justins7
Member
# Posted: 26 May 2020 13:29
Reply 


My wife has been talking about renting one of those so we can have mulch. It seems like a great thing to own!

The trees I was initially referring to are tiny — just a few inches in diameter in this one area. But there are many so I was wondering when to thin them.

Your reply
Bold Style  Italic Style  Underlined Style  Thumbnail Image Link  Large Image Link  URL Link           :) ;) :-( :confused: More smilies...

» Username  » Password 
Only registered users can post here. Please enter your login/password details before posting a message, or register here first.