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Author Topic: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise  (Read 3952 times)

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pellethead

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Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« on: June 26, 2001, 11:35:12 am »
Hello and thanks for such a informative well organized forum.  I have quickly scanned this board looking for some help for a project that I am currently starting, but haven't quite seen one answer that suites my question.  

Some Background:  Last year, I purchased a parcel of land on Grosse Ile for development of a custom home.  Its a nice piece of property with many trees that - some of which, unfortunately, will have to be removed.  

My Question:  Can anyone point me in the right direction as to how I may find someone that could help in assessing if the timber from these trees could be of use other than firewood.  There are 4 primary trees that range in diameter from 60" (huge but not in real good shape) to the 18" to 24" range - they appear very healthy and tall with at least 30" of clear trunk (no branches from ground to top).  I think they may be aspen but not quite sure yet as the tops are so high I cannot reach for a leaf sample.  I am going to try tonight to see if I can snag a few and take a few pictures to post here.

At any rate, if they do seem to have some value other than firewood, what is suggested as far as locating someone in the area that could help with removal of trees and stumps?

My builder just wanted to contract a company to remove them with no real use for the wood.  I think there has to be a better use for them.  Any help would be appreciated!

:)

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2001, 05:59:02 pm »
How many trees are there and how many acres? If its just a land clearing for a home site, there probably may not be enough trees for any commercial value other than firewood.

Also, aspen is not the best of firewood, but it can be used as such. You should have a professional Consulting Forester, local Conservation District Forester, or MDNR Service Forester for some advice.

Is this the Grossse Ille out in the river south of Detroit? At least you should know what trees you have as you stated.
~Ron

Offline Jeff

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2001, 06:49:20 pm »
Pellethead,
Please do post the photos, we can help at least determine some species for you.

We might be able to identify mature trees just by the bark, but if you can get leaves Great!
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Offline Bill Johnson

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2001, 05:27:32 pm »
Pellethead:
Just a question. If you can't find some one to take the trees off your hands and you don't want to use the for firewood, have you considered finding some with a small portable sawmill like Kevin runs to cut you some lumber?
It would have to be stacked and air dried and after its dried it would need to be planed but some where down the line you would probably find a use for it.
I think one of Jeff's calculators tells you the number of FBM to expect from a given diameter and length of log.
It's just a thought.
Bill
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pellethead

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2001, 05:37:30 am »
Thanks for the help.  Sorry for being a bit late  on these pics.  The leaf sample is the best I could do as I could not reach any mature branches on any of these trees with my 30' extension pole.  This small "sprig" was growing from the trunk about 25' up.  Any help in identifying would be appriciated.





Offline Tom

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2001, 08:04:39 am »
I have a picture in my book of White Basswood that looks just like this picture.  You would be north of what they consider the range to be but smack ka-dab in the territory for American Basswood.  That's got to be a Basswood and probably American....possibly White. ;D

You did a good job on the pictures.
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Offline HOGFARMER

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2001, 02:06:37 pm »
It looks like Cottonwood to me. :)
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Offline Tom

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2001, 02:53:40 pm »
Yeah, it does look kind of like Cottonwood.  I'm going by photographs and the pictures are quite similar.

Pellethead,
If the tree isn't too Urban, a shotgun makes a good extension pole.  We get Bee swarms down that way sometimes. ;D
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2001, 05:43:28 pm »
Yes, it is cottonwood.
~Ron

Offline Jeff

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2001, 06:14:31 pm »
I concur, absolutely cottonwood
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Online Don P

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2001, 08:06:14 pm »
OK you guys have identified it. So what is the use?
My understanding is cottonwood is a trash tree,is there a use or is it bad firewood,seems like with  the sizes and description I would throw it on the mill and give it a whirl?

Offline Tom

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2001, 08:35:38 pm »
Several years ago I was asked to saw a tree acquired by a company in Jacksonville that bought historic trees and turned them into sellable stuff.
I got to cut their first two trees.  The first was a huge Cottonwood that was the largest in Ohio.  I was told that it was the largest in the U.S. but have no validation.  It was shipped down here on railroad cars.  I cut mostly what I was told were limbs. They were in the 35-40 inch dia. range.  The trunk, or the largest part of it was sold to someone else.  I cut the whole thing up into 2"x2" stock that was later turned into walking sticks.  They came with a certificate telling the history of the tree.

The next tree I cut was one called the "Spy" tree or "spy Glass Tree" and it came from Penn. I think.  The story was that it was used by colonials in the Revolution.  It was a Red Oak of some sort. The majority of it I cut up into heavy timbers and wide boards that were auctioned in a National auction.

Neither of these trees were considered to be economically fit for the market but there was a lot of money made from them.

The moral of the story is: The value is in the marketing, not the tree. :)
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pellethead

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2001, 09:16:26 pm »
Gents,

Thanks for all the dialog!  Tom, I concur!  That has been my dilemma from the start with this situation.  From what I have been told by the township of Grosse Ile, the largest tree on my property is one of the oldest on the island (100+ years) and while most may consider this species as "trash" I have to believe that there is some use that could result.  I have entertained the idea of using some of the lumber (if I can afford to have someone come on-site and rough cut it) for trim in my new house.  Hell, I go to home depot and see popular being sold as 2x2's for something like $1.50/linear foot.  My whole purpose in this was to try to use the wood for something (be it palettes, household interior trim, or toys) rather than just land-fill.  I am not really interested in profiting  from it, just finding a means by which it could be used for something other than fill.  Don, I agree (throw it on the mill and see what happens) but I am not experienced in this trade and wouldn't have the first clue as to how to start that process at a price point that wouldn't break my pocketbook.  I would love to see the wood go for good cause, but at what price?  Where do I start, who can I contact, etc.....At any rate, I really appreciate all the feed-back/dialog and would love to hear any additional creative ideas.......In the mean-time, here is another picture of my 5 year old son next to the largest one on the land.....Thanks guys, again.....



Offline Tom

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2001, 09:43:07 pm »
Good looking boy.  Be sure you take a bunch of pictures, especially with the uncut land.  He'll enjoy them when He's an old man.

Here is some generic info.

Call Portable Sawmill Manufacturers, ie. Wood Mizer, and ask for a mill owner in your area. (you might also ask here or look on the Timberbuyer.)

If you and he think that harvesting is feasible then cut the tree down, buck to length, prepare him a working site and put on your gloves.

Most portable custom sawyers will perform the sawing service for a small setup fee, 15 to 35 cents per board foot and you pay for blades if there is tramp metal.  A tree like the one behind your son may produce 1500 to 2000 board feet, give or take.

Then you must stack and air dry the wood.  (some may need to be kiln dryed.)  This will take a year or better depending on the weather, site and thickness of the boards.

After you have completed this then you are ready to go into the wood working business.  If you don't have tools you will have the perfect excuse to buy a rudimentary shop followed by some "honey, I need a ________ if you want that."  probably starting with a 12" or bigger planer, a table saw, band saw, jointer, sander, screws, glue and an eye out for more equipment.  Don't forget hand tools.  They aren't as easy or fast but stuff was being built with them before we had electricity.

Now, you may start with the area for the house and the driveway to get trees. But once you start, Landscaping may require more tree removal.  This is an excuse to get your own sawmill. A chainsaw mill like Kevin has may be an option, or you may want to start with a bandsawmill.  The range of dollars is all over the court.

If you go this route, it won't be long before everybody in your neck of the woods is going to want their tree sawed.  You probably won't want to quit your day job but it'll keep you busy on the weekends and Vacations will really become special. :D

It shouldn't take this site long to conjure up more "advice" if you decide to use the tree. ;D 8)
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Novice Land Owner Seeking Advise
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2001, 06:45:23 am »
Cottonwood is not a trash tree, but a problem large Cottonwood can have is shake, or separation of the grain. I don't know what causes it, but any time we cut large amounts of cottonwood on our mill, we always see it in a few of the trees. You won't know that until you get one down.
My Grand Father used it in constructing a storage barn for The Geneva Township hall in Midland county in the 30s. The barn also doubles as a pavilion for the picnic tables as all 4 side have sliding doors that open. The barn will hold about 8 tables. You can go in there today, and the roof sheeting boards look just as white and new as they must have looked back then.

Here is a link with some of uses and characteristics of cotton wood.
http://www.hardwoodspecies.org/index.msql?speciesguide=cottonwood
Just call me the midget doctor.
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