Poorly shaped black cherry trees

Ron Wenrich woodtick at lebmofo.com
Thu Oct 9 19:57:05 EST 1997

Michael Courtney <michael at helium> wrote in article
<61iidk$45f at senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>...
> There are a number of poorly shaped black cherry trees at our farm.
> Most are less than 12" and shaped in such a way as it's obvious they
> will not produce 8' sawlogs later in life.  4' and 6' logs are
> possible, but not 8'.  On the recommendation of my forester, I'll be
> going through and taking out a number of poorly shaped trees (various
> species) to make more room for the nicely shaped trees.  These poorly 
> shaped trees will be used for firewood.  However, I am considering 
> leaving the poorly shaped cherry trees because my forester mentioned
> that mills sometimes get so desparate for cherry that they will
> still pay good money for poorly shaped trees/short logs.  Is it
> to expect that these poorly shaped cherry trees might be more valuable
> the nicely shaped maple and poplar which would benefit from their
> I understand it's hard to guess about the value of trees 20 years from
> but I'd appreciate any comments.
> --
> Michael Courtney, Ph. D. 
> michael at amo.mit.edu  
I guess I'll put in my 2 cents.  Short logs willl have minimal value. 
There will be no opportunity for veneer, and that is where the money is. 
6' cherry will still yield select lumber, however, 4' logs will yield no
better than 1 Com.  This further reduces the future value.

It may be hard to guess the future value of trees, but a short logged tree
will not gain as much volume as a better shaped tree.  You'll have more
volume going on a longer stem.  Hardwood stumpage outstrips inflation by
about 3% historically.  Although your stand may not be worth as much per
Mbf, there will be more volume at 20 yrs.

Hardwoods tend to go in cycles.  Oak was popular before the depression then
fell off in favor of maple after WWII.  Oak became popular again in the
next generation.  These cycles occur about every 30 years.  My guess is
that maple will make a comeback, looking at past cycles.  The trend right
now is towards painted cabinets, which allows for the use of "cheaper"
woods.  Oak has not recovered to the prices of just 2 years ago, and maple
has been real strong this year, as well as poplar.

If you didn't cut out the cherry, what other management objectives are
there?  Cut the maple to release the cherry?  Probably not a very sound


More information about the Ag-forst mailing list