What to do?

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Tue Aug 25 11:42:07 EST 1998

In article <1998082502180900.WAA01808 at ladder01.news.aol.com>,
  susan112 at aol.com (Susan112) wrote:
> >Susan, now that your into this discussion, what does your department use
> >as a time frame for seedling to harvest for good sites, for walnut?
> >
> I don't know that there's a department sanctioned time frame.  I would think
> that in intensively managed stands, you could be getting a partial return on
> your investment with nuts and material from thinnings within 20 years.  Then
> comes the dillema of trying to manage for nut production and timber production,
> and the tendancy not to thin hard enough or soon enough...  A harvest could be
> another 40 to 60 years or more depending.  Some are getting faster growth rates
> out of improved stock but they're expensive and some aren't hardy enough out
> here and freeze.
> >Also, are any of those Missouri River bottom farms, that aren't
> >protected by levees anymore, being sold?
> I've heard of bits and pieces around my neck of the woods but it's nothing
> you'd want to buy...If it's not levee protected it's probably a blew hole or
> pile of sand and cottonwoods, landlocked or an island.  The Department actually
> bought up quite a bit of bottom ground and a bunch more went into WRP as part
> of flood buyouts a few years back.
> Walnut plantations  wouldn't do well on those sites anyways due to the flooding
> and competition from soft hardwoods and weeds.
> Susan

Has your department looked into cottonwood planting for such areas? In Oregon
this are exactly the sites targeted. And the hybrid cottonwood are being
mass- grown for pulp, which is harvested in 7-12 years. Seven year old
cottonwood are approximately 75 feet tall and about 10 inches diameter at the
base. 12 year old material exceeds 15 inches diameter. At a local Clackamas
County farm this material is being cut down for firewood, and grows a wide
variety of fungi, including Morchella (symbiotic with cottonwood, BTW),
Pleurotus (better known as oyster), Goat's Beard or Bear's Head (Hericium
erinaceus); and probably is suitable for other fungi as well. Interestingly,
the stumps are the easiest biomass to inoculate with this fungus. And the
trees are grown by simply shoving an 18-24 inch whip into the ground in
January-February. Pretty easy silviculture practice, I'd say.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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