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Author Topic: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018  (Read 1442 times)

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Offline teakwood

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Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« on: September 21, 2017, 05:50:35 pm »
In January i have to start a big thinning of my teak plantations, around 17ha (42acres) and around 2500 trees.

Now i am preparing for that.
A worker cuts the underbrush with a machete (a brutal work), then i pass with the MS260 and prune the trees up to 2m (7'), then mark the trees to be thinned with red spray paint, make another pass with the pruning hand saw up to 6m (20') except the red ones, and later another pass has to be made and prune just  the blue ones up to 7,2m (24'). The blue ones are the future trees which will stay to the end, the most straight, fat and dominant trees.

This part of the plantations are 13 years old and that's the second commercial thinning.  Pre commercial thinning at 5 years, first commercial at 9 years, second at 13 years, third at 17 years and then we will see, maybe at 24 years another.

First the battle with the underbrush
 

 
 

  

 

Pruned with chainsaw and marked


 
 

 
Pruning to 20'
 

  

 

double DanG do i love my trees! there is no better feeling than walk thru the forest and see how they grow
 

 

Offline lopet

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 08:42:14 pm »
Good for you. 8) smiley_thumbsup

I will trade your January temperatures. ;D
Make sure you know how to fall properly when you fall and as to not hurt anyone around you.
Also remember, it's not the fall what hurts, its the sudden stop. !!

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 09:17:12 pm »
looking great looking great. 

Questions:  How many trees per acre are you leaving?  What's the average diameter are the harvest trees?  You seem to be keeping a pretty dense stocking level, is that to keep focus on height for now?  Any issues with suppressed buds emerging after thinning?

Love to see some tropical pictures!  You should get TulePeak down to look at some of your sustainable teak.  It is amazing wood.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 09:48:20 pm »
WOW!  Thanks for sharing! 

That's quite the slope in a lot of those pictures. 

Great to see differences and similarities from other areas and climates of the globe! 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline teakwood

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 10:16:35 pm »
Lopet: you don't want our dryseason temperatures! January is actually nice 25-32 (77-88 Fahrenheit) but you definitely don't want march to may 28-36 (82-98) :o :o

Nativewolf:  The plantation is at 360 trees/ha (144/acre) after thinning i leave 220/ha (90/acre), in 4 years will go to 150/ha (60/acre).
Average diam staying is +/- 12". Average of harvest is 8-10".
Now it's dense because it's before thinning, after thinning it looks very thin/light and after 2-3 years the canopy starts closing again and after 4 year it's dense again :D.
It's very difficult to mark the thinning and i am still learning, you have to cut enough but not to much. More trees is more money, but only if they're thick enough! 
The trees in the pictures don't need any more height growing, they're tall enough, but i don't want to cut too many of them because they will be worth a lot more in 4 years.

ooooo, buds emerging is baaaaad in teak!! the stumps need 10 years to finally die. You can see them very good in the first pic. every big leave on the ground you see in the second pic was from a emerging bud from past thinnings. The guy with the machete is ordered to cut them all down. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 09:02:14 am »
Lets be honest here, brush cutter guy is really your snake and turantula finder!  :)

Awesome pics

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2017, 09:54:41 am »
The low density surprises me.  In loblolly pine plantations a low density would be 200/acre with no thinning.  We'd expect to see 12"DBH at 15 years or so (just rough averages, really changes from northern planting zone in Virginia to Southern Georgia).  However, you're not getting much larger trunks with even lower density. 

Wonder if Teak crown is so much larger?  Anyhow, very neat.  Fun to see something different and thanks for sharing.

Offline Don P

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 10:37:17 pm »
very cool.
I think the budding question is about the remaining stems, do they form epicormic or side branches in response to the increased light on the trunk or is teak not one of those trees?

google is my friend, I guess that also is part of your thinning management strategy;
https://www.panamateakforestry.com/english/gti/management_strategies.php

what is done with the thinnings from this round, looks like some decent sized pole stock? how thick is the sapwood in those?

Offline teakwood

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 05:01:20 am »
Mike: Your not that off with that comment  :D. He cuts thru a snake every once in a while. When we started to clear the land for planting it was bad, they killed one per day over the first 3 years!! Mostly rattle snakes, i am no fan of killing animals and gave them the order to not cut any boa in half, but i couldn't really demand that with the venomous ones or i would have been left without workers. The tarantulas are no problem, they just stay in their hole when they feel vibrations.
The worst are the wasps and ants and ooooh almost forgot the ticks! (but they're more of a dry season problem). The worker gets stung by wasps every day, some are meaner than others. There are at least 50 different types of wasps.

But it's not that bad when you finally get used to it.


Don P: yeah i was guessing a little bit what he meant with that bud question.
Epicormic (had to look that up of course) i have never seen on teak.
Side branching of course, after thinning they tend to grow some side branches where the sun hits but very little, maybe one branch per tree but they don't grow big because the canopy closes fast again and suppresses the new branch and they tend to dry out and get thrown off from the tree. Never the less we pass every 2 year repruning  the trees. more branches grow from the bottom of the tree (what's the correct word for that?) from the trunk. they call them children here.
Side branching is more of a problem on the border trees where a skidtrail passes. Those trees get a lot of sun light from the side.

The logs i sell mostly to Hindu buyers, the bigger the trees the more buyers we have. The Hindu have the lowest price but are the only ones who buy small diam logs. The Chinese and Vietnamese are crazy for logs over 12" and they pay better.
Sapwood should be smaller than 1-1.5"
These pics are from 2016, so the logs should be better by now. Less sapwood, better color on the heartwood
 

  

    

Offline coxy

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 07:22:29 am »
nice pics of everything   why do you cut all the under brush before cutting the trees does this help in them growing faster like weeding a garden  as far as your critters go you would never see me there  :D

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2017, 09:10:47 am »
Yeah..youd need to import workers that would even do that job if that plantation was in america.   Or spend $100k on some hepa filtered AC'd sidehill flail mower. 

Offline teakwood

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 09:40:43 am »
Why do i cut the underbrush?  ???

Take a look at the first and third pic again! It wouldn't be possible to walk thru that with a chainsaw in hand. What you can't see in the pics that there are lots of climbing plants/ liana typ vegetation who connect every underbrush to the other. you would just hang up if you try to walk thru that.
I don't know if the trees actually benefit from the cleared underbrush but it sure looks nice and eases every other task after that: stockpruning, marking, height pruning, felling, skidding.

Yeah..youd need to import workers that would even do that job if that plantation was in america.   Or spend $100k on some hepa filtered AC'd sidehill flail mower. 
:D :D
and that worker earns 2.4$/hour (i pay him 20 cents more than normal because he is doing on heck of a job. he is 48 and i can put what ever youngster beside him and after a day of works he just leaves them far behind, that's worth something!


Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 10:36:43 am »
Thanks to DonP for clearing up my suppressed bud question, I couldn't remember how teak sprouted or if it did.  Long years ago.

Have you ever put animals in the plantation?  Cows are popular in Thailand/Myanmar/India.  Never seen the teak on Java, I know it is intensive.  Goats would surely keep the undergrowth pretty clear, you'd have to fence though.  In Thailand they'd just hire kids to be cow herds, cheaper than fencing, no real predators, they just keep them moving and herded together. 

Interesting that the Indian buyers pay less but take anything and that the Vietnamese buy at higher prices.  Huh.


Offline Don P

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 10:44:21 am »
our Christmas tree plantations are kept quite clean as well, generally steep land. more often than not that is immigrant labor and herbicides though. not that I'm suggesting that if the economics can allow non chemical methods.

thinking of value added, could those smaller poles produce all heart 6x6" posts and timbers. that and decking would probably find market here.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 11:12:56 am »
sustainable certified forest teak decking, heck it would never make it past the docks due to the boat yards.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 11:14:20 am »
our Christmas tree plantations are kept quite clean as well, generally steep land. more often than not that is immigrant labor and herbicides though. not that I'm suggesting that if the economics can allow non chemical methods.

thinking of value added, could those smaller poles produce all heart 6x6" posts and timbers. that and decking would probably find market here.

DonP not to derail the thread but do cows just damage the fir too much to allow cows in the older Christmas trees?  I assume you're mostly growing fraiser fir?

Offline Don P

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 01:19:54 pm »
 and off into the weeds  :D, I'm not a fan of livestock and trees. it would be too late for the early weed suppression need in Christmas trees before the young trees could handle cattle amongst them. if anyone would know of a trial it would be this agent, she has tried lots of alternatives.
https://christmastrees.ces.ncsu.edu/christmastrees-ipm-farms/
http://fraseripm.blogspot.com/search/label/organic

what I was thinking with the deck parts comment is if there is post harvest time to process that with a lucas. ship air dried rough milled and keep the shipping weight/waste and primary processing money at home.

Offline teakwood

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2017, 06:09:51 pm »
After the third year we put cattle in. My neighbor has his cattle in my plantations about half of the year. He pays me 3$/head/month. For me it's a win win, they help eating the underbrush and put some on the ground with their walking around, he checks my fences and repairs them as needed. But of course they don't mow that underbrush nice, lots of wooden sticks and non eatable vegetation as well but it helps. I am not a cattle guy and with the cow stealing around here for me it's not a profitable business.

our Christmas tree plantations are kept quite clean as well, generally steep land. more often than not that is immigrant labor and herbicides though. not that I'm suggesting that if the economics can allow non chemical methods.

thinking of value added, could those smaller poles produce all heart 6x6" posts and timbers. that and decking would probably find market here.


Yes they can produce all heart posts(depending on the length required). Do you have something in mind?
For the timber you have to be careful: It's still young wood, (for furniture i just use +20 year old teak, at least) don't confuse young plantation teak with old grown 40,50,70 years old primary forest teak from Burma, Indonesia, ...

sustainable certified forest teak decking, heck it would never make it past the docks due to the boat yards.
i am not sure if i understand what you mean. This teak is still too young to be used on luxury boats

and off into the weeds  :D, I'm not a fan of livestock and trees. it would be too late for the early weed suppression need in Christmas trees before the young trees could handle cattle amongst them. if anyone would know of a trial it would be this agent, she has tried lots of alternatives.
https://christmastrees.ces.ncsu.edu/christmastrees-ipm-farms/
http://fraseripm.blogspot.com/search/label/organic

what I was thinking with the deck parts comment is if there is post harvest time to process that with a lucas. ship air dried rough milled and keep the shipping weight/waste and primary processing money at home.


What do you mean with that?  I have a small bandsaw mill (like a small woodmizer) and there are dry ovens 6miles from my home at a company that i know very well. Or ruff sawn lumber up to 6/4 air dries within 3 month during dry season down to 12-14% 

Offline Don P

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2017, 06:31:40 pm »
looking at the log pile it looks like another possible market opportunity for these small diameter logs would be to mill them into 6x6 porch and deck posts and 5/4 x 6" floor decking, railings use 2x4 often. it might be worthwhile to add value and produce something there rather than selling to the one low paying log buyer. easy for me to say from afar  :)

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Preparing for next teak thinning 2018
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2017, 07:42:48 pm »
So you think this young plantation teak is going to move a bit?  Boat yards are certainly scrambling to find good alternatives to teak.  They can't get enough of it. 

DonP- I can see cattle and Christmas being a bit challenging.  We're going to be doing babydoll sheep in our blueberry fields, have to move them in april due to usda manure/fecal matter rules but other than that they help and are a hit with the kids.

Cattle in tropical plantations is usually a win win, teakwood is doing it the smart way, getting a few dollars and no cows to maintain.