prunning trees

KMorrisD kmorrisd at aol.com
Fri Apr 10 19:54:41 EST 1998


A couple years ago I sold some large, pruned white pine butt logs (18"DBH) for
a client who had pruned the trees about 25 years ago.  They were mixed in with
unpruned trees and pruned trees that hadn't grown much.  Too many trees had
been pruned and the unpruned trees hadn't been cut as scheduled in the
management plan.

We didn't get anything for the extra value in the large, pruned logs.  The
lumber company got all the profit.  We learned that the next time this stand is
cut--and all the trees will have large pruned butt logs by then--we'll have to
contract for the logging, milling and drying  in order to get the value in
those logs. 

If we do all this and are efficient at it, my client should be able to realize
a 10-15% net of inflation return on the investment in pruning those trees
according to computer simulations of treatment and growth.  Clear white pine
lumber is worth more than clear oak or maple.  It grows nearly twice as fast. 
Simple. 

If you're starting with small trees 6-10" DBH,  you have to assume that the
trees won't get smashed by passing ice and snowstorms over the next 30 years or
so.  That may have been a reasonable assumption 25 years ago, but I don't know
if it still is. 

Actually, I doubt that it is after researching and writing an article on
climate change over the winter.  It's called `Precautionary Planning for the
Effects of Climate Change on Forests in the Northeast` and is on Joe's website
(http://www.forestmeister.com).

Karl Davies   



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