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competing useful trees

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
simple question and i think a simple answer.

I got a hickory and a maple. the maple is sugar and i am relatively light on sugars with a heavy dose of red. the hickory (i have a hard time telling apart or remembering) is probably shell or shagbark. they are literally about 2 feet apart if that, and are both growing wonderfully.


so the question is to thin cull one or not. i think the answer is that if i want both i keep both and get 50% nuts and 50% sugar. simple, right?


similar situation with a white spruce (pretty sure) i got them in a spot that will make them a good screen in a few years. but there are two pretty close. they are both wonderfully formed making in a sense one tree. if i was to kill the smaller one there would be a gap, which would close in. the question then is, will killing the slightly smaller one offer enough advantage to the larger one, or just leave them alone
Matt Ferrall


Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 552
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
    
    4
Trees can usually grow fine in competition.They have a harder time reproducing in those conditions because they must focus their energy into vegetative growth/ competition.So I would guess that the conifers would be fine and the sugar maple would get bigger and have plenty of sugar but that the hickory would have less energy for nuts due to competition and its yield would be very affected.


There is nothing permanent in a culture dependent on such temporaries as civilization
Mark Vander Meer


Joined: Dec 12, 2009
Posts: 74
If there is plenty of space around these two trees, leave them both.    Also, sometimes trees growing close together depend on each other for physical stability, both underground and in the canopy.  Taking one tree could destabilize the other tree.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
To me it keeps coming back to the agricultural question of spacing. Fukuoka talks a lot about it in his books. When i read about planting say walnut, it says space like so for timber, and like so for nuts.  wider for nuts narrower for timber. makes logical sense i guess.

but for timber wouldn't it be also applicable to just use better genetic stock that grows straight trunked. aren't trees that go too fast of inferior wood quality? isn't therefore an 60 foot tree somewhat misleading.

and conversley a nut tree. someone said that maybe if it is competing it will produce less nuts. but i would guess that once it reaches reproduction age if it is stabalized with surrounding competition and no longer has to keep up with the other trees growth, then shouldn't 50% of the canopy produce roughly 50% of the nuts? on top of that i have read that plants can communicate via root systems. (seems perfectly logical) wouldn't it then be posssible for one tree to recognize that his slight competition is of a similar species and they could both reproduce at ease knowing their species is safe. im not trying to anthropomorphize but it would seem that instinctually a tree would know when similar (but diff) genetic stock is around and simply try breeding with them rather than competing with them. I'm still not sure i agree that if maximum spacing for walnuts leaves space for 10, that 15 will in any way reduce yield. I am certainly no expert, it just doesnt seem logical to me. I think it is overmanagement, convince me?
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Timber is a huge industry.  Despite total mismanagement in the past, I would imagine that the industry is now researching for "maximum yield"/acre.  Their research has probably pin pointed maximum growth at the expense of quality.  Just look at the quality of lumber in a 100 year old house compared to the trash wood that is currently being sold.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
John Polk wrote:
Timber is a huge industry.  Despite total mismanagement in the past, I would imagine that the industry is now researching for "maximum yield"/acre.  Their research has probably pin pointed maximum growth at the expense of quality.  Just look at the quality of lumber in a 100 year old house compared to the trash wood that is currently being sold.



i used to invest a little in plum creek timber. they seemed to be a pretty ethical company. I believe their forest management is probably one of the better ones. i dont much follow them any more tho
Mark Vander Meer


Joined: Dec 12, 2009
Posts: 74
Plum Creek Timber Company is one of the least ethical around - in terms of poor/ unsustainable work in the woods.  This is common knowledge in business.  They have a great promotion and marketing department, aimed at making them look good.  I assure you - they are not.
Matt Ferrall


Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 552
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
    
    4
Growing trees close together to increase the quality of the wood is older than modern day forestry.Natives here selected quality bark from trees free of branches.Allowing trees to form large branches creates knots which make it harder to work the wood from any cultural standard.I prefer a closer spacing on nut trees initially and later thining.This gives a person some good logs on the bottom half but allows for full branching(increased nut production)at the top.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
some trees will grow well with their trunks touching and their roots entertwined, however, some will not, if they are already too large to transplant I would go ahead and let them grow and see if how they do.

if you remove one, make it the maple, as they are easier and faster to grow and do not supply proteins.

maples are also fairly easy to move when quite large, hickories are not.

we have moved maples that were 15' tall or more and they grew fine after a little rest..best to do when dormant


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Mark Vander Meer wrote:
Plum Creek Timber Company is one of the least ethical around - in terms of poor/ unsustainable work in the woods.  This is common knowledge in business.  They have a great promotion and marketing department, aimed at making them look good.  I assure you - they are not.


Well sorry Mark but I don't really know you and have absolutely no reason to believe you. You assertions may very well be true, but at least Plum Creek makes an attempt at conveying their truth. I don't have any real interest in PCT being a good company, but your post offers absolutely no reason to think otherwise.

I did research back when i was involved and there was enough positive for me to be ok with them. offer some evidence or my opinion has no change. if its 'common knowledge' then it should have been easy enough to produce from message 1.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Plum Creek Timber is the largest private land owner in the US.  They are a spin off of the Burlington Northern Railway, which was granted 47 million acres (190,000 km2) of timberland by the US government in the 1860's.

Their record through the years has been much better than most of their competitors.
Most of their recent criticism has been from environmental groups who do not want to see them develop their lands. 
An excerpt from Wikipedia:

Environmental record

There is some controversy over the management of Plum Creek's timberland, mostly from
environmental groups who decry the recent move from Plum Creek as a timber management
company into a developer of its land, taking advantage of the much more profitable
land values that have occurred for undeveloped land in the late 1990s until the crash
in real estate prices. Plum Creek is engaged in a proposal for a large resort and
development tract in the Northern Maine Woods, on Moosehead Lake by Greenville, Maine,
one of the largest undeveloped forests east of the Mississippi.

This follows on the heels of their development of managed land in Washington state
(Suncadia) and Montana (Moonlight Basin, Yellowstone Club) into costly resorts,
bringing golf courses and luxury housing into the deep forests. The debate pits
conservation groups trying to balance recreation and protection, and the effects of
sprawl and over-development upon wildlife, quality of life, and the employment of
local populations who depend in part on the hunting, fishing and tourist trades which
may be damaged by the over-development of the area.

Plum Creek believes in three principles: Replanting, Protecting Water Quality and
Managing Wildlife Habitat. Every year Plum Creek replants approximately 85 million seedlings
and plans for the natural regeneration of millions of trees. Close to 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2)
of land owned by Plum Creek are a part of four habitat conservation plans across the country and
in Montana are involved in a conservation agreement for the grizzly bear.

In 2001, Plum Creek at their Medium Density Fiberboard facility completed the installation of a
biofilter, a new air emission treatment technology. This technology uses naturally occurring
bacteria to destroy air pollutants that are generated in the wood fiber drying and pressing
processes. The technology doesn’t burn natural gas like most treatment systems do to destroy pollutants.

They are also currently working on a Plum Creek Moosehead development. According to an
environmental group, calling themselves the Native Forest Network (NFN), if approved by
the Land Use Regulation Commission, Plum Creek’s plan would increase Maine’s total
carbon emissions by nearly 8%.
Mark Vander Meer


Joined: Dec 12, 2009
Posts: 74
I am a forest ecologist, specializing in forest restoration, sustainable forest practices and disturbance ecology.  I have lived between sections of Plum Creek land for over 20 years and have seen first hand how they treat their ownerships.  Literature searches can’t describe how this company operates.  Environmentalists aren’t the only one disgusted with this company.  Look for yourself – get out there and walk the land.  The attached photo is a Plum Creek cut in a virgin riparian spruce forest near the Swan River in western Montana.  This is quite typical of their work. 


[Thumbnail for Plum Creek Cut, Swan Valley, Montana.JPG]

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
there are a few timber companies around here that do that kind of clear cutting too..leaving NOTHINIG for the animals..thus, the animals end up on OUR property to find food and shelter..

several years back, we went to the woods to forage for blueberries, and the forest was GONE..for hundreds of acres..that year we had lots of black bear and deer eating on our land..

since, we have had more black bear and deer than we ever had before the clear cutting.

sure they put in some baby trees..duh..they are baby trees..it takes a long time for an oak to produce acorns for deer food, and berries for bear food..etc..what are they thinking !
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I'm not sure this isn't a little misleading. If literature searches don't offer anything, i still only have your word of mouth. I have walked the woods before, tho thanks for the offer...

As for brenda its all a matter of scale. I know we hear horrible things about clearcuts and i am certainly no expert, but a lot of clear cutting actually feeds animals. If one owns 50 acres and every year clearcuts 1 then the harm is fairly small. if it is managed properly this is not a big deal. and if we want to judge a company with millions of acres we have to understand their whole model.

i'm sure when you get to the nitty gritty a company like plum creek has a lot of faults. i do not for a second doubt this. but i think they make some effort to protect lands that need to be protected and manage effectively. they receive no value if they clearcut and there is a landslide and the land never returns to its value. in that sense they should be pitied if that is there problem, and the investors certainly aren't going to like it.

a clearcut awaken hundreds of edible plants and if done in checkered swathes across the entirety of their land then that is there choice and it does have some merit.

if in that picture they were to bury all those remaining logs and plant fruit trees on top they would be praised by us. but this is america and everything is GO GO GO, and this doesn't have the same kind of forseeable return. MONEY, they need it to pay the investors (just declared a 42 cent dividend, free money for investors, noble in its own right). if people like us can show them that such a technique is a viable use for their land, they may start to do it.

timber practices have long been a mess. again i am no expert this is just my impression. and to hold plum creek liable for that doesn't seem fair to me. they make plenty of efforts to do the right thing for EVERYONE involved. if we must teach them we must teach them.

it is a healthy debate. i do not truly endorse almost any company i ever invested in. its more about not losing my slight store of money over time to inflation. its about trying to use some of my wiles and patience to get some of the 'benefits' before the whole shthouse goes up. but for plum creek i thought of it in the sense that if the whole shthouse does go up,  then what company could be more valuable then one of if not the largest land owner in america.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
i do agree that cutting trees like aspens will encourage the roots to regrow aspens..which is wonderful browse for deer..but then there are the oaks..which feed the deer, wild turkey and others..and the cherry which feed the same plus the birds and bears..etc.

when they clear cut 100's of acres all at once and don't leave any place for the animals to go for food then it is obvious that they are destroying a lot of wildlife.

esp when those wildlife show up here starving and eating everything in site.

I really don't mind the wildlife coming here to eat, I actually purposely plant food for them and protect the things I don't want them to destroy..but I still cannot endorse the clear cutting that was done on the state land behind us..you can drive for miles dozens of years later and hardly see an adult tree.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
clearly it shouldn't be done in huge swathes. but don't forget all the annuals and perennials it opens up space for.

often it comes down for me to the fact that people don't actually want change. (not you just in general). what people want is the status quo. we all talk about things like oil, and forestry, but when it comes down to it no one is willing to make the sacrifices. we have all sorts of excuses but it turns out most of us just think we deserve these certain things and they are our god-given right. i know so many people like this, and they are good people. they are just incapable of understanding they are the problem. its not plum creek timber that is the problem. it is our needs for this or that, now. we don't want expensive wood, or expensive energy, we want it cheap. we feel entitled to it and until that changes huge swathes will be clearcut and we will mine our oil at an exponential pace.

i am currently trying to take my life and my footprint into my own hands. i think most of us here are in the .02% that wish to, or maybe just understand how hard it really is. so when the words flowing from our mouths about clearcuts and oil come out, we arent speaking like ignorant fools.

but i no longer blame the government or coporations or whatnot (except maybe monsanto, or fascists) i blame the people who NEED NEED NEED
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Looking at that photo of the clear cut, I estimate that it is a photo of approximately ¼ acre.  There are living trees on 3 sides of the photo.  The land was probably cleaned up later.  It could have been cleared for development.

My experiences have been that the PR people for environmental groups can be as deceitful as are the PR people for the corporations.  Each one is trying to sell an idea that their vision is the one YOU want to see.  I have seen some "good" groups get so big and powerful that their main objective has been obscured by the need to support a well paid staff that has grown too large to continue functionality.  In essence, they have become corporations themselves.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    4
these beautiful acres of trees that were clear cut all were chipped up and went to the co gen plant to provide steam to run the factories in a nearby town..none of them  were used as LUMBER or wood products..they all went to steam..acres and acres of beautiful trees up in steam.

I can't see where that is useful when right down the road is a landfill full of stuff that could have been burned to produce the same steam without having to cut down acres and acres of trees to do it.

that is what they are doing in Michigan ..cutting trees for the co gen plant !!
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5862
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
Destroying a forest for steam...YIKES
That makes as much sense as using a chain saw to open a can of sardines.
Matt Banchero


Joined: Jun 12, 2011
Posts: 10
To answer your two questions...

The maple and the hickory tree should be left uncut in my opinion.  Cutting one may have a negative effect on the other if they have formed a relationship in the roots.  The remaining tree will likely be bare and will look malformed on the side that had been shaded by the other tree.  This would matter to me if the trees were located in zone 1 or where I would see them daily. 

The white spruce trees are a different situation.  When conifers grow they will often shed their lower branches and will decline in value as a visual barrier.  In that case you may benefit from thinning the row for diameter growth and then plant another row of young trees about 20' in front to take over as a visual barrier. 

Then again if you don't care about yield from your row of spruce trees and the trees are getting light from at least two sides you may not need to cut anything. 
 
 
subject: competing useful trees
 
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