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Author Topic: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.  (Read 9683 times)

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Offline wageslave

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is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« on: January 08, 2010, 08:05:26 pm »
 Hi all. I am new to the forum, although i have been reading it for months. Alot of very good information. I have recently bought 30 acres of woods that was attached to my three acres with a house and am still in the process of learning what tree is what. I have alot of silver maple or swamp maple some call it i believe. Would any mills be interested in this wood or should it just stay fire wood? It is just starting to mature with some at 12" dia or bigger. I do have ash, elm ,hickory,birch and some pine. I had a forester out in the spring, and he recommended thinning it out for now. There is alot of buckthorn taking over that I am in the process of eliminating along with the thinning. Is this maple worth anything other then firewood? I do not have any oak or walnut. This was abandoned farm land years ago. Should I keep up the crop trees for a mill or use it all for fire wood? Does not seem like I have alot of high value tree's here for a mill. I can get $40 to $60 a face cord depending on if I want to deliver it. Would like to know what some of you guys would recommend that i should do. I have a small backhoe w/thunb,1 ton dump truck,atv, and trailers, along with chainsaws and other equipment. Just not real experienced with forestry. Read alot but not getting answers on soft maple. Thanks for reading, if the snow ever stops I will try to get some pics.Thanks.

Online fishpharmer

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 08:13:43 pm »
wageslave, don't slave to hard.  Welcome 8) 8) Glad you joined the forum.  As you know its a great place.  Unfortunately, I can't help you with your questions.  Someone will come along and offer your some advice.  Where bouts you from?  That will have some bearing on the answers you get.
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Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 08:24:49 pm »
I am on the outskirts of syracuse new york, Buckthorn seems to be taking over most of the woods around here. Thanks for checkin in. I try not to slave to hard, but have to keep up the payments to the government.

Offline motohed

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 08:25:30 pm »
I have had pretty good luck with selling the soft maple for tie logs , I have been getting 275.00 a thousand . It gets rid of the bigger stuff you don't want to deal with in firewood .

Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 08:27:36 pm »
otherwise they would just take the land and house from me.

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 08:29:33 pm »
Not sure about mills buying silver maple, but I dropped one in my parents' back yard last fall and milled the butt log into thick flitches.  Made a real nice coffee table for them for Christmas  :)

Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 08:34:23 pm »
Should I just keep on thinning the junk out, try and pic the best looking straight trees for crop tree's , and finish making some roads. Wait a couple more years and get some logging quotes.what species would be the best to keep? No Walnut ,oak or hard maple on the land.

Online WDH

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 08:47:01 pm »
Silver maple is one of the poorer quality maples from a commercial standpoint.  The main use is ties or pallet stock, both low grade markets for hardwood logs versus the high grade markets for furniture, paneling, etc.  If you were focusing on growing wood there for the next 100 years with the long term view, silver maple is not one of the more desirable trees to invest that much time in.  However, it is also not as bad as some other species either, just lower down on the desirability scale given what buyers currently view as desirable.

It is hard to say exactly what to do without a good inventory of the number and species of trees on your property.  It sounds like that you have the opportunity to improve the quality of your wood lot, but you might have to remove the undesirable stock and begin starting over by planting the desirable species that are matched to your soil type.  That does not mean that you have to clearcut and start over, but you can do some good by removing as much of the lower grade trees in the thinning.  You might consider some small patch clearcuts interspersed in the thinned area where you can plant some better stuff.

With restoring land that has been high graded over the years, there is no instant pudding. You have to be patient and have a long term view.  However, it can also be rewarding.

Hopefully, you can find a forester to work with in detailing a good long term plan that you can begin to execute.  A forester can help you determine what are the best species for your site and be able to help you assess whether you have enough good stock to work with.  There may be a reason that there is no oak, walnut, or hard maple on the property.   They might have been high graded off or your site might not match up well with those species, and that is the reason that they are not there.

So:

I would do a site assessment to determine the soil types and the best species.
I would do a cruise to find out what you have now to work with.
From that, the right thing to do will be easier to determine.
 
or,

You could just cut firewood off of it, enjoy it, and let nature work it all out.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2010, 08:56:25 pm »
Here where I live in western New Brunswick red maple is more prominent, but just about the same tree wood wise. It grows in southern New Brunswick mostly (silver).  Used for ties and pulpwood here. Some is sawed, but the buyers only pay pulpwood prices for it unless it has curly grain. Then your in another market, but better price. I don't know that silver maple has a lot of potential other than pulp and tie logs unless your using it for firewood and your own woodworking. I can't even buy red maple lumber at the lumber broker. They only have rock/sugar maple as far as that's concerned. Nobody here even wants soft maple (red, silver, box elder) for firewood, not the same as hard maple heat. Aspen is worth as much as soft maples in these parts and can harvest it (sizable trees) from seedling/sucker to mature tree twice in your lifetime.  ;)

Here silver maple is on river bottom land and islands that flood in the lowlands.

I have a lot of red maple on my land, but no silver. Mine are mostly moose food since they strip the bark off any decent looking one. ::) :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2010, 09:32:12 pm »
You could just cut firewood off of it, enjoy it, and let nature work it all out.
 
WB
 Thanks for the answers so far, WB I think you hit right on it. I  just didn't want to be cutting any tree's into firewood, if they might be worth more as lumber. I have some white and grey birch,some elm, ash, shagbark hickory and pine tree's. Should I favor any of these over the other when choosing crop tree's?

Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 09:35:26 pm »
Sorry, I meant thanks WDH. My eyes ain't what they used to be.

Offline ford62783

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 09:45:40 pm »
pine isnt always a sure thing the prices are decent now but they go up and down it depends on if u r looking for. i prefer ash and white birch myself being in eastern ny as for firewood soft maple is a stringy wood to split which ive found turns alot of people off to it for that purpose but i dnt mind it my self if u have ur soil tested and find out what kind of trees would fare better and pick a species from there
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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 09:53:02 pm »
I can't really address your question about those species since I am more of a southern pine type of guy.  One of the foresters that works with the northern hardwoods might be able to shed some light on it for you.

One thing is that tastes change.  Oak is in, then oak is out and maple is in, etc..  Walnut seems to be back in.  What I mean by that is a species like shagbark hickory, which is low in demand around here if you can sell it at all, might in future years become more desirable.  I do know that hickory cabinets have been pretty popular.  So things could change.  However, history has a habit of repeating itself, so a good bet is the tried and true oak, walnut, cherry, hard maple, and yellow poplar. 

When I am improving my woods, I always favor a species that has a good market over one that does not unless the tree with no market has high value for other uses like being a good wildlife food source.  Examples are mulberry, dogwood, persimmon, even some lower grade oaks.  Elms, hackberry, the gums (sweetgum and balckgum) only have a market value as low grade, but at least you can sell them.  Hickory is often left behind since it is hard to get anyone to buy it, even for pulp, and it can tend to dominate a stand over time as the better species are logged out.  Therefore, I usually select against hickory.  So, knowledge of the local markets is key to deciding what stays and what goes.
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Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 09:59:42 pm »
I only anticipate being here another 25 to 30 years, at which time I would I have to sell as I could not afford the taxes once I retire. I would rather have whats there regenerate on its own out the species I listed. Just wondering what ones would be best to keep more of. Just thinning it out is going to take me a few years and I don't really see having the time to plant any other species. If anything some of it may become pasture eventually the way the economy is going ,so that I can feed my future farm animals.

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 10:12:48 pm »
Your last post helps!  The most important thing is your objective.  That is one of the first things that we were taught as foresters in school.  "You must understand the objectives of the landowner."  From what you said, I would focus on making the woods look good and less on the species for timber.  Really making the woods look asthetically pleasing will improve the value of the land for a buyer that just wants to get out of the city and have a little piece of their own earth.  From that standpoint, you could select the straightest/healtiest trees with nice full crowns or trees that are uniquely branched or that are visually appealing.  You could cut out the other stuff for firewood.  Keeping the woods clean and open improves the visual appeal. 

So, that puts the silver maple and shagbark hickory in another category altogether since they have nice fall color.  Also, the shagbarks are visibly handsome trees with all the peeling bark.  The trees that are leaning or otherwise unappealing would be the first to go.  Your objectives determine the management strategies.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2010, 06:19:05 am »
White birch is the best of the whole lot you listed for potential. They buy white birch for veneer and lumber. The hard birch we'll call it (yellow birch) that you don't list and the white birch lumber look the same when sawed, yellow is heavier wood though. Makes pulpwood and nice firewood as well (splits easy). It also grows faster than yellow birch because it's an early succession species like aspen. So you have a lot more going for you there. The hickory, if I never sold a stick, I could be assured of where my next tool handle or steam bent sled ski came from. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline wageslave

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2010, 07:16:39 am »
I want to thank you all for your input. From the answers givin I will keep the pine and birch over the maple if I have to choose between them in picking a crop tree. I will keep alot of the food tree's for the animals. I will try to make it all look pleasant to the eye from there. This will take me 3- 5years, as I have been working on it almost a year now between everything else that seems to need to be done and probably have only thinned out 5 acres so far. It does make a mess of the woods, but I do try and cut the scraps as low to the ground as possible. Also making a few brush piles for the critters. Again thank you all. I am sure I will have more questions as I go.

Offline 4genlgr

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2010, 07:44:20 am »
one other thing you could do is to tap the maples and make syrup  if you like being outdoors and working with your trees and land it is another way to enjoy having trees
white(soft, red) and silvers can both be tapped for sap. the sap tends to have a slightly lower suger content so there is alittle more water to boil off.
i can hear the "don't do that youll ruin the logs"now. mark your log trees and and tap the other ones wouldn't have to be the whole lot to have some for your own use.
 just an idea for a different way to use the woods 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2010, 07:49:41 am »
Birch can also be tapped. Trees all make sugar.  ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Re: is silver or swamp maple worth anything other then firewood.
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2010, 08:05:06 am »
What may look like a mess to you,would look pretty good to me.I had a guy from out of state that bought a piece of land that borders mine.My Father and me was cutting big pine trees on our land.We was not in a hurry so we cut the brush up and even cut "roads" for the big pines to fall into.He could not believe how good it looked.He even had to come up and see us from start to just about finish on how we did it.Good luck with what you are doing.Cut the brush up, when you don't need to make a brush pile for the animals,so it will lay on the ground and you will be surprised how quick it will rot down in NY.When I cut down a small fir or pine tree,I run the saw up and down the truck to take all the branches off so it will lay on the ground.I come across some trees that have fell over or died out.The branches will keep them off the ground and they will stay that way for years.I have about 10 arces by the house I want to do what you are doing.Have not been logged for probaly 100 years.We never even cut fire wood on it.
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