In Thinning (White Pine) I talked more about thinning concepts in general and tried to define and explain some terminology, as well as described some of the different strategies or prescriptions that might be used. I did include some data samples from my own white pine plantation. Similarly, in Response to Thinning Treatments, I talked again in generalities and broad terms about what you might expect post your first thinning, collecting data and adjusting your longer term forest management plans, etc.
But in this and future thinning updates I’ll be focused more specifically on my white pine forest management efforts and the challenges I’ve faced. Less theory and more practical, along with actual results, warts and all. Three years post my initial treatment, I have some early data points to share. I’ve tried my best to highlight my data collection methods, where and why I’ve made certain adjustments or assumptions and how I’ve manipulated the data to get useful statistics, as well as associated possible error sources. It’s early still, but I’m encouraged with what I see so far. So if you’re interested in the details of my progress, click here Thinning Update: Nov 2013 and jump right in.
All the best for the X-mas holidays, Mark.
Growing trees for lumber or maple syrup production is such a long term endeavour with few short term rewards, that it can certainly be discouraging for a one man forestry operation. But converting your initial sample plots into permanent monitoring/research plots can provide you with important feed back on your efforts. The data collected will not only help you with your longer term planning but provide you with some much needed encouragement and motivation. Response to Thinning Treatments reviews some ideas and things to look for post your first thinning treatment.
Take any encouragement from wherever you can get it. Mark.
As small woodlot owners, I think we have no choice but to strive for quality rather than quantity, if economics is to be considered in our long term management plans. There is just no way we can compete on low end commodity type products with large commercial growers operating vast acreage and/or with operators bidding on stumpage at yearly government actions for huge tracks of land. Proper pruning will help you grow that premium product and avoid competing in the volume commodity part of the market. So check out my new Pruning page under the Forest Management menu to help get you starting.
Work smart, not hard, Mark.
Slash is every forester’s bane. Ignored and left to accumulate it’s simply a work hazard; making an attempt to deal with it means time, effort and money. And it’s not just thinning slash, but pruning slash you’ll be dealing with, if your aim is to grow premium clear lumber or veneer logs.
I’m still experimenting with my work methods, so I can’t say there is a definitive way for woodlot owners acting as one man forestry crews to deal with slash. I’ve expressed some of my thoughts and initial experiences on a new page called Dealing with Slash under the Forest Management menu. I’d be interested to know how others are dealing with slash, if at all, in their own woodlots, so please leave a comment at the bottom of the Dealing with Slash page.
If you’re considering actively managing your white pine plantation then you’ll want to learn more about white pine blister rust (WPBR) and white pine weevil (WPW). These two will likely be your most serious pests. I’ve created a page under forest management, Pests and Pathogens(WP), with my own thoughts on these two invaders and several informative PDFs and links.
Taking forest management efforts seriously means out of pocket expenses. And depending on how many acres you plan to actively manage, such expenses can easily run into the thousands every year. I can assure you that you will burn through, gloves, chaps, oil, chains, eye glasses, work pants, fuel, pruning saws, and dozens of other miscellaneous items, that will quickly add up.
If you’re going to go the distance and dish out that kind of money, why not formalize your activities into some kind official structure such as a partnership or sole proprietorship and try to take advantage of any tax incentives the system might have to offer you. Especially given that forest management is such a long term initiative, you should be looking for short term financial help where ever you can get it, even if it means giving back some of those benefits in later years. As expenses tend to pile up in the early years, with little to no offsetting revenues, you may find that getting your sales tax back on inputs and claiming a business lose against other income, helps ease the pain, and keeps your fledgling forest management business moving forward. So check out my new page Forest Economics, under the Forest Management Menu.
Keep the best, cut the rest, Mark.
For those of you out there with a few acres of pine plantation, be it white, red, or other, thinning your stands will be your principle tool for enhancing the vigor (health) and growth rate of your plantations, not to mention general forest aesthetics.
So if you’re thinking about doing a little forest management, but not quite sure where to start, check out my recently added page Thinning (white pine) under the Forest Management menu, it may give you some useful ideas.
Got five slideshow galleries up now on the barn restoration project. Hopefully some good progress will be made on this major project in the summer of 2011 and I’ll have some new slideshows to add towards the end of the year.
I also got another section, ‘Before You Cut’, up under the Forest Management menu. It details some basic ideas and steps I took to develop a plan of attack for my large and neglected woodlot.
Kindest regards, M.
Installed and managed to figure out flash gallery plug-in, so now I’ve got a couple of slide shows up under the barn restoration menu. Have more to add, so tune back in later.
Made my first entry under Forest Management menu. For all you would-be woodlot owners, check out the So You Wanna Buy a Woodlot page and the Lot Valuation Template link, could be a useful item if you’re trying to value your own lot or looking to buy a lot.