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Author Topic: Mandatory Cutting Orders  (Read 5690 times)

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Offline 1938farmall

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Mandatory Cutting Orders
« on: February 02, 2009, 10:37:26 am »
I have about 20acres in Managed Forest Law which means low taxes in return for cutting selected trees to keep the woods healthy.  I'm allowed to keep 80 basal feet/acre (80sq.ft.@dbh) of larger stock and want to do so.  I'm thinking this will be at odds with the logger who will try to take as much as possible while he is on the job.  It seems that at this time of the year it would be easy for a Forester to go to GPS points at the center of each acre & look around with an instrument while a helper marks the "no cut" trees adding up to 80 and then move to the next point.  Can someone tell me how it's actually done, and how do I prevent the logger from taking too many trees? (Once the trees are cut, even lawyers can't stand them back up).  Thank you, Al
aka oldnorskie

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 10:45:19 am »
I would have a forester come through and mark all the trees to be cut (be sure saw log trees get stump marked as well). Then check the log decks to make sure the trees cut were painted. Also check cut stumps to make sure there is paint on them. This will help keep the logger honest.

Marking trees depends on long term forest goals (IE wildlife, aesthetics, recreation, timber, etc)

If it is northern hardwoods I would tell the forester you want it marked to 80ft^2/ac, cutting across all diameter classes, so that the stand remains structurally diverse. Generally we mark the diseased and poor health trees first, if more needs to be harvested we mark trees that are unlikely to make it to the next rotation or ones that are unlikely to increase in quality and size. This is typically what we do around here. 

Depending on species composition you can do seed tree release to promote certain species (like oak or walnut), also small patch cuts can be put in to promote wildlife.

Offline 1938farmall

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 10:53:11 am »
Thank you Chevy...  I've heard of loggers who do their own painting & was thinking that marking the base of the "save" trees would be more reliable? al
aka oldnorskie

Offline thompsontimber

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 11:49:15 am »
As chevy stated, that is correct farmall--Simply painting the trees at dbh leaves no evidence if unmarked trees are harvested.  Paint on the stump will provide evidence and make the logger less inclined to take a tree here or there that he should not (not to suggest that most loggers would, most would not, but its a minor bit of work to hit the stumps with a squirt.  That is standard practice in forestry, but not all do it.  I know of a tract locally sold by a consultant forester that was marked on the stem but not marked at the stump.  He turned a logger loose on it while the landowner was on vacation and the logger massacred it, definetely taking more than was marked, but nothing on the stumps for evidence of the wrongdoing.  The empty spaces were the only proof.

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 12:37:08 pm »
Trust, but verify.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline ID4ster

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 12:48:08 pm »
Is your 80 sq ft of basal area a minimum or a maximum amount that you're allowed to keep? And are you required to cut it now? The reason that I ask is that currently across most of the US the timber market is in the dumps and selling now isn't something that I'd recommend. If you don't have to cut than I'd hold off for another year or so. If you must cut than follow the guidelines previously mentioned for marking the trees and have your forester low grade the entire stand. Currently low grade wood (firewood, pallet stock, pellet wood) is about the only thing that is even worth considering for a sale. How you structure the sale (pay-as-cut, lump sum or shares) is something you'll also need to discuss with your forester. Make sure that you have your property boundary marked and a written contract. Make sure that your forester does the marking and that you have an opportunity to review it with him/her. Get a good logger. Good luck.
Bob Hassoldt
Seven Ridges Forestry
Kendrick, Idaho
Want to improve your woodlot the fastest way? Start thinning, believe me it needs it.

Online John Mc

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 01:59:43 pm »
Some good advice you've gotten so far. I'd add that a good forester probably has several good loggers he/she works with regularly, so they know what to expect from them, both in terms of honesty and competence.

Marking at DBH and on the stump is a good practice, though not foolproof. Someone who really wants to cheat you can just bring some marking paint in with them. As others have noted, the "bad eggs" are probably few and far between. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions, however.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline stonebroke

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 02:34:42 pm »
Also painting stumps only works if the logger cannot get the same paint.

Stonebroke

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 02:43:16 pm »
Also painting stumps only works if the logger cannot get the same paint.

Stonebroke


Or if you use paint with tracer added like the forest service and some consultants i know of use. Or if the logger is trust worthy then he will respect the paint.

Offline 1938farmall

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 07:29:59 pm »
Thanks all, for the advice & warnings.  I guess I should have realized that questionable ethics runs the gamut from logging to Wall Street.  Maybe I'll sprinkle some metal filings on the south side of the marked trees & check later with a magnet.  :-) ag
aka oldnorskie

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 07:46:53 pm »
Use care when doing the painted stump marks. Be sure that the paint mark goes well down to ground level so that the low stump can't be cut below the paint mark and the logger can leave evidence of the paint mark on the cut stump. ;)

We always stump mark.
~Ron

Offline snowman

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 07:53:51 pm »
We lose more rights every day. Can't even log your own land your own way anymore. I have land in Wa state i've been logging that has a stream right through the  middle. Enviros got a no cut within 50 feet of stream law put in without regard to forest condition. My main goal in logging this land was to get rid of grand fir with bugs. Lots of those along this stream.State guy said I couldn't cut them, they were still considered shade trees. I said if I leave them all there will be is snags along this creek which will eventually blow over or burn up,wheres your shade then? He said he knew I was right but that was the law. He did however say if i cut them for firewood for personal use ;) it was kind of a loophole. So thats what i did. About 300 cords for personel use. Boy did i burn alota wood this winter,I really should insulate this shack! :)

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 07:54:46 pm »
Use care when doing the painted stump marks. Be sure that the paint mark goes well down to ground level so that the low stump can't be cut below the paint mark and the logger can leave evidence of the paint mark on the cut stump. ;)

We always stump mark.

Yep we try and get them onto the root flare all the way down to the dirt. In 4-5 foot of snow that means digging with your snowshoes for a while at each tree....

Offline ahlkey

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 08:59:20 pm »

Why not consider marking each basal area you want to keep with a different paint color at the stump.  Specific paint is available that degrades so over time the markings will disappear.  I wouldn’t recommend this added labor for larger tracts but with only 20 acres of selective cutting it would not add that much cost.   I have also found the DNR folks who manage the MFL program here in central Wisconsin to be very flexible.  Even if it says you are required to do a cut this year it is usually ok to delay or spread it out over a couple of years even for small woodlots.  If you are not able to do the logging yourself consider being onsite at the end of each day to at least survey how things are going.  Good Luck 

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 11:55:44 pm »
Yes, marking timber is much harder during the snow season, especially in Houghton county. ;) We use a paddle for clearing snow down to the root flare, but try to schedule most of the marking during the snow free seasons.
~Ron

Offline BaldBob

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 12:15:46 am »
Although marking the trees to be cut is perhaps the most common practice, marking the trees to be left can often be a better option.  This is especially likely when you are marking to meet a target residual basal area.  The marker can concentrate on leaving only the most vigorous best form trees, rather than looking for bad trees to cut & hoping there are enough trees left to meet the basal area target.  Also there is no issue of whether or not the logger has access to the same kind of paint since only the unpainted trees are to be cut.  Any stump with paint on it would have been cut in violation of the contract.

Whether or not leave tree marking or cut tree marking  requires more work depends on the original stand composition and the ratio of trees to be cut vs. those to be left.  Since I am basically lazy I have used both systems with the choice usually determined by which system will be easiest in the particular situation. When the number (not necessarily volume)of trees to be cut exceeds the number to be left it is usually easier to leave tree mark.  This is quite often the situation when doing a thinning from below or working in a very dense natural stand.  However, for a light selection sanitation cut it is almost always easier to just mark the trees to be cut.

Offline 1938farmall

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2009, 10:36:44 am »
baldbob... thanks, i was hoping someone would agree that marking the "save" trees would be a viable option.  al
aka oldnorskie

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2009, 06:13:34 pm »
No matter which way you mark it, you'll want to put stump spots on the painted trees.  The only down side to marking to keep is that all your trees will have paint on them.  Depending on the owner, that could be aesthetically unappealing.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2009, 06:15:57 pm »
The only down side to marking to keep is that all your trees will have paint on them.


And the normal tree paint will persist on the trees for years to come. We have stands marked that were painted 5-6+ years ago.


Offline snowman

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Re: Mandatory Cutting Orders
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2009, 07:21:45 pm »
I have a different take on this than the rest of the well meant adviced offered.Get a logger with good refrences, someone you can trust.A logger that values his reputation. Develop an honest relationship based on trust not mistrust.Have your timber marked of course but if you have done your homework and hired an honest logger theres no need to mark stumps. This stump marking thing is a hallmark of the us vs them mentality that the FS has developed. Theres no need for it between a landowner and a well chosen logger. I always feel insulted when people assume I will steal from them given the opportunity. Thats what your doing when you mark the stumps. Also be sure and tell the logger if he must take a leave tree or knocks one over,leave a similar tree that isnt marked. Work together, show some trust and respect. Or then again, maybe those days are gone forever, maybe I'm living in the past. I'm going to go watch some Andy Griffith reruns now,bye :D