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Logging the Land

 
Julie Helms
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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Welcome Chaya and Wilson!
I have a question about logging. We have an 11 acre property that is 95% wooded (it is actually a property we have with a hunting cabin on it, not our regular home). We have gotten offers from logging companies to come in and remove some of the trees for a pretty good amount of money. It is a lot of red maple, tulip trees and oaks.
What kind of guidelines should we be thinking about in considering this. It is not something we have ever done before.

Thanks,
Julie
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 977
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I highly recommend you go to www.forestryforums.com and ask there, you have lots of people with lots of experience doing just this - many are land owners.

Be careful - I hate to say it but a lot of loggers are just plain crooks. If you have a sizable amount, the cost of a forestry professional will more than pay for itself. This is not a time to go cheap, because you will get back a lot more, often twice as much, with a forestry professional, than trying to deal with a buyer yourself.

Also, a forester can recommend the best way to go about improving your stand of trees, if you would like, for future value.

There be gold in them there trees - especially for the future.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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there are tons of horror stories about people coming in and making a mess of the land and stealing people blind..so please please be careful and do your research.

in the early 70's our property was pulped..they were only supposed to take the aspen trees, nothing else..well they stole all of our hardwoods and left the woods a mess..40 years later it still has not recovered..
 
Chaya Foedus
Posts: 17
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I would definitely follow the advice of the previous posters--This is an area I haven't personally ventured (we've just felled trees for land management and firewood, not for sale). I know that Joel Salatin talks quite a bit about these things, too, in some of his books. One thing that he mentioned in "Everything I want to do is illegal" is that the newer model of only selecting certain trees can make things worse, because the trees left standing have not been strengthened over time by wind, and they are too big now to develop that. He said that later walks through those fields will show snapped trees that couldn't withstand that process. He mentions a few other concerns about that method, too. He talks about how land is on a maturity cycle and if you are going to harvest, it's best to let the land rest and start a new cycle, which we know as Permaculturists to be the grasses. The Native Americans sometimes re-started this process with setting fires, and that's the basic end effect. So other than just pulling a few trees that have to go, selective harvesting is really a fine science, and a controversial one.

Starting on pg 500, Carla Emery covers land management and harvesting wood, so I'll relay her words to give you a good starting place.

"February is an awful time to be out scouting for wood. The wood is best gotten during the fine dry days of midsummer and early fall. Old timers say that if you fell the tree while the sap is still in the leaves, the trunk will be dryer and easier to cut."

Most of Carla's energy on this subject is in tree-planting and care, and then on how to chop down your own trees without killing yourself. She doesn't venture into the area of what to look for in a company, etc.
 
Julie Helms
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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Thank you all, this was very helpful advice. My husband and I will carefully consider and do research before proceeding.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Usually when they come in and selectively cut, the take all of the 'prime' trees, and leave you with the scrubs.
Like others have said, I would advise getting a forestry pro to come in and survey it before you speak with the loggers.
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 977
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Yes, in the industry up north, that is called high grading, down here, it is called genetic erosion.

It takes up there generations to recover a forest that has been damaged. If you need, I can help connect you with foresters who will do a good job. What I do for a living is grow plantations and bring back permanent forests, so this is an area I know very well.

Drop me a private message if you wish some free help (I don't live in the USA anymore)
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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Just an FYI, those forestry forums are actually at www.forestryforum.com with no "S" at the end.

Thanks for that link by the way.

peace
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3617
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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Try to get some good references. Also, a logger willing to work with you. He might charge a little extra but be willing to put in some swales and hugelkultur sites.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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As Fred pointed out, it will take a long time for the forest to recover. Please do not underestimate the fact that if they take all of the prime trees, your gene pool for regrowing will come from the scrubs that they found to be useless. You will regrow an inferior forest.
 
Wilson Foedus
Posts: 43
Location: NW Montana
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Speaking to the topic of "top grading," I realize that I run the risk of sounding anecdotal here, but I recently discovered something when I interviewed a forester for a blog.

He said, that the company that he worked with ran on a very high set of internally imposed ethics. They would log the dead trees out first, then the ones that were dying, and leaving the best trees for last. Now this process was imposed in the 50's. By doing this he said, "the healthy trees could 'nurse' the younger sapplings being planted."

I was personally wowed by that statement. Keeping in mind up here in NW Montana, the risk of fire is very real to a forester. If they leave all of the prime timer standing and not cut it down right away (think: "bird in the hand"), then there is a huge risk to the next 5 year's production if a lightning strike was to take out their crop. But by doing the right thing by the land (pre-permaculture ethics) they would ensure that their sons and daughters taking over the company would have trees 40 years from now.

"All roads lead to permaculture." --Paul Wheaton
 
Monte Hines
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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All the advice is very good...

Based upon our experience we would add... Suggest viewing loggers previous work and discussing with his previous logging site owners.

Deeds Do The Talkin'!

Regards
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 977
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Wilson Foedus wrote:He said, that the company that he worked with ran on a very high set of internally imposed ethics. They would log the dead trees out first, then the ones that were dying, and leaving the best trees for last. Now this process was imposed in the 50's. By doing this he said, "the healthy trees could 'nurse' the younger sapplings being planted."


This is totally true, we see it in our plantations. We encourage the wildlings (self seeded) and they are always so much better than those we planted, in growth and quality. Sometimes we get so many we have to go through removing some.

Taking a pasture to forest is a challenge and expensive, or takes a very long time. Maintaining a forest, is a piece of cake, and about 5 times more profitable than grazing animals on the same land.
 
Monte Hines
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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Tri-State Forestry Conference Kicks Off March 10 In Wisconsin
http://hines.blogspot.com/2012/02/tri-state-forestry-conference-kicks-off.html <--- MORE DETAILS

Other states may have similar get togethers which could help those interested in "Logging the Land"

The 2012 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference is slated for Saturday, March 10 at the Sinsinawa Mound Center, Sinsinawa, Wis., near Dubuque, Iowa.

According to Jay Hayek, University of Illinois extension forester, the conference, which is in its 18th year, draws 550 woodland landowners from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

"It has become one of the largest private woodland owner conferences in the nation," Hayek says. "More than 25 presentations will cover a wide range of forestry and wildlife topics including timber marketing in today's economy, woodland prescribed fire, forestry herbicides, timber harvesting, safe handling and processing of wild game, introductory beekeeping, common tree diseases and pests and how to treat them, maple syrup production for the beginner, and crop tree release techniques to maximize tree growth.

A full list of topics and registration materials are posted online at www.forestry.iastate.edu. http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/tri_state/tristate_2012/forms/tri-state_talks.pdf

Participants will have the opportunity to interact with state and federal forest managers, to see the most recent advances in forestry technology at the vendor's fair.

"This year, there will be a two-hour chain-saw safety and maintenance discussion taught by STIHL Safety Instructors and a two-hour estate planning workshop," Hayek adds. "Enrollment for both the chain-saw safety and the estate planning workshop will be limited to the first 50 individuals. We will also be offering a two-hour session on forest management and stream water quality, which will highlight new research and restoration techniques."

The adult registration fee is $50 per person. The fee includes a continental breakfast, buffet luncheon, refreshments, resource packet and handouts. The deadline to mail registrations is March 1. Advance registration is required.

For more information, contact Jay Hayek at 217-244-0534 or send email tojhayek@illinois.edu.

The conference is presented in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Services at Iowa State University and University of Illinois; the Department of Natural Resources from each of the three states; the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University; and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more ...   2016 PDC and Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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