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Author Topic: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?  (Read 1014 times)

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Offline 20ozjolt

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Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« on: February 23, 2017, 03:46:35 pm »
Have about 8 acres, the rear four are all at the point the alders have saturated the soil and are beginning to die off and the pine and Douglass fur are starting to come in.

Should I clear our the junk trees and do supplemental planting for the evergreen or continue to let nature manage it?

Offline pine

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 03:05:39 am »
Without knowing your actual long term plan and goals it is really a challenge to give valid advice. 

From the question's wording I would guess that you are out in the PNW on the west side of the hill, but the pine reference implies a likelihood that you are on the east side depending upon which pine you are thinking of.

It really depends upon what your want to do with the stand. 

If the Alder has not started to go "punky" yet then you might want to sell it off depending upon just how much you have of it.  A small time logger might be able to be interested in it but the big boys will not, given your acreage size. 
Again location can be a big factor.  If on the west side the competing vegetation might very well  overrun the DF and turn your stand into junk without an active management plan of action.  Actively managing it is your best bet.

Online Ianab

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 04:36:56 am »
Yeah, it depends on what your aim is.

"Doing Nothing" is a valid type of forest management. The forest will evolve in whatever way the local climate, soil, species dictate. It's likely to go through various stages of succession with different trees.

Or you may prefer pine trees and want to encourage their growth?

Or you like hunting or wildlife and might want to create clearings with grass and shrubs to encourage that?

Or you want a long term financial return (maybe for your Grand kids) by encouraging the more valuable $ tree to grow?

Or some other goal?

None of those things are wrong or right, just different goals for the land. Once you sort out what you want to achieve, then you can work on what the best way to accomplish this is. If you want to encourage the bigger and longer lived pine, then cutting small clearings in the overcrowded alder and planting more seedlings in these spaces is a valid plan. Pines generally need good light to grow well, and the shelter of other trees around the small clearing gives them a sheltered spot to grow up towards the light and gives you nice tall straight trees in the future.
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Offline 20ozjolt

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 06:55:23 pm »
sorry, and yes west side of cascades, Mt. Hood near Sandy to be specific.

I have plenty of pulp or firewood trees... vine maple, big leaf maple, alder, dog wood / cotton wood, some other random trees,

Then in evergreens Douglass fir (most common), some grand Fir, some yellow pine (i think from the needles), and some other randoms from over the years... like spruce and odd balls that were planted as decorations...

Yes active "management", we keep the undergrowth down, mark and encourage the trees we want to keep, knock down a junk tree to make light for firs... so passive active i guess... up to now it was mostly done for the tax break. but I'm wanting to be more active about it, and expand the growing to including moving three acres of field into high intensity, plant fir on a 6-7' spacing and do ten year 1/3 cut pulp or firewood, 10 to 15 year telephone poll 1/2 cut, rest grow to harvest 30-60 years later....  plan.

but what I'm not sure of is the best way to manage the rear four acres that have had a very soft management the last 30+ years....  most the logging outfits don't want to deal with it unless they get to clear cut the whole property... not what we want at this time.

Offline 20ozjolt

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 06:56:33 pm »
alder "punky" ?

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 07:55:51 pm »
How big is your alder and maple?
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Offline pine

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 05:15:36 am »
alder "punky" ?

Western Red Alder have a relatively short lifespan compared to most other trees. 
As they reach their maturity they start to die from the top down and the wood gets soft and rot starts to form even though the tree is still standing.  The resulting soft/starting to rot wood is often referred to as "punky."  The term may be a bit of a throw back.

Just think of it as soft and starting to lose cellular structure.

Offline 20ozjolt

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Re: Woods maintenance... clear out the alder?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 12:05:39 pm »
the Alder ranges from 3' to...  well I felled a 90'er not to long ago, diameters on the mature ones go from 8" to 30" rough eyeballing