redoak at forestmeister.com
Thu Mar 5 05:31:10 EST 1998
> In article <34FD9D99.F77707E0 at forestmeister.com>, Joseph Zorzin
> <redoak at forestmeister.com> writes:
> >My bitch is that loggers continue to highgrade forests. I think that
> >should stop. Full scale mixed forests need silviculture that only a REAL
> >forester understands.
> Does this mean I am a REAL "forester" afterall? Be careful when using the
> terms All, Never, Exclusively, None, Every, .....
> While you were hibernating, I responded to a post from what seemed to be the
> truely unknowing with regard to his Oak/Hickory forest in the midwest. I
> related the typical situation of forestry management -- (none) or "mother
> nature". I think a logger was knocking on his door.
> Maybe I made an incorrect assumption that I was somewhat on track when I
> indicated that his slightly "smaller" trees could very likely have been the
> losers in the battle for light/nutrients and could have been the same age as
> the dominates. This is typical of many stands that I've been familiar with in
> Southern MI. My suggestion first was to "seek counsel of a forester" (HOW
> ABOUT THAT!). I further indicated that a probable remedy was to initially
> harvest the sub-dominants (leaving the dominants -- after all a ring of growth
> on a large tree yields a greater increase in lumber than that of a smaller one.
> Sufficiant light will enter the the understory to promote regeneration. I
> think that I even mentioned that the "smaller trees" if of the same age group
> would be too old to respond to a release. His big money harvest most likely
> would come with the second cut some 7 or so years down the road. I think we
> successfully thworted a high-grade.
The smaller trees may have been the the more valuable species and
possibly should have been encouraged at the expense of the bigger trees.
The dominants are often just the faster and much lower value species. Or
it could be that the stand was previously high graded, leaving the worse
trees as the dominants.
When the "bad" trees are bigger than the "good" trees- we forestmeisters
do a thinning to remove many of the bad trees either by a fuelwood
harvest or a "precommerial thinning" by chainsaw girdling many of the
The determinination of which trees should stay and which should be
harvested can only properly be made by a forester who understands the
local silviculture (forest culture). Some of silviculture seems like
just plain common sense, but much of it isn't common sense at all. It
takes academic study plus years in the woods to really understand it.
Regarding the smaller trees responding to a release- it depends on the
species, not the size. Many species are very shade tolerant, such as
sugar maple, beech, hemlock and others- and they will respond very well
by releasing them from larger poor quality trees. To paraphrase the
First Lady, "it takes a forester". <G>
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