Another management question....

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Tue Jun 15 06:22:03 EST 1999

bradley wrote:

> Looking for some input and suggestions on timber stand improvement here
> in Southern Missouri. I have 40 some acres of mostly 4 to 6 inch
> diameter mixed oak that for the most part is still a little young I feel
> to thin but the grape vines are really taking over in some parts of
> these stands. I have been cutting these back with pruners but I know
> they will sprout back and will be to deal with again.

Maybe not, it depends on how tall the trees are. If you keep the canopy
fairly tight, the vines will come back but not as aggressively, I suspect.

>  Any suggestions
> on how best to control them??

Just cut with a chainsaw as close to the ground as possible.

>  Also, what are your opinions on pruning
> lower branches of oaks say as you would a walnut stand?

Yes, prune them. By all means. And as the trees grow, keep pruning them. You
can prune off live branches too up to 2/3 the height of the tree with no bad
effect. But especially prune the ones that will make the final "crop trees"-
perhaps 25' or so apart on average. For those, as they get taller,
eventually prune up the first full log- plus the stump height to about 17'.
Pruning the crop trees should be a good financial investment of your time
and cost. Pruning non "crop trees" will look nice, but may not be worth it
from a strict financial point of view.

> I have had
> foresters tell me that studies show it hurts wood quality.

No way. That's crazy. It hurts the wood quality only if you do it wrong.

> How can this
> be if done properly and the same way you would walnut trees??

Prune back to the stem. But if the base of the branch has a "root collar"-
don't cut the collar off- prune back to it- and it will heal over quicker.
The root collar consists of a kind of callus tissue which will grow right
over the fresh cut.

> One more thing, is there any federal tax benefits with owning and
> managing woodlands? My tax preparer says interest on the land is not
> deductible like it would be on a cattle or hay farm. At least until you
> sell the land or the timber. Thanks for any help.

Many states have programs to reduce the property tax if you practice
forestry. You'll need to discuss this with a local forester, preferably a
consultant if you can find one, if not, call the state forestry agency.

Also, I'm sending this to alt.forestry, where there is more traffic.

Joe Zorzin, Silviculturist

The official Zippy the Pinhead homepage

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list