A tree question.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Our land was cleared about eight years ago and almost all trees taken off(except along the creeks where we still have BIG trees)

    We are planning on mainly pasture/fields and have had a dozer in taking down all the scrubby trees growing back.

    A lot of these are growing from the stumps and we have been told will never get really big BUT it would seem to us at least better to have some smaller trees than nothing.

    Will these offshoots grow big enough to provide some shade?
    We want to have the rest cleared(except for a section that will remain wooded along the property line) so we can start making it into pasture.

    We also need some sort of fast(ish) growing tree to put in on part of the property that will be the woodlot,any ideas?

    What would be a good sized woodlot to provide enough firewood?

    By the way,land is in Western North Carolina and is rolling but quite accessible.

    Thanks oz and wife.
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    willows grow real fast but dont put them to close to the house there known to snap in strong winds
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Boy do those willows grow fast! Two years ago we had no willows at the end of our smallest pond. Now they're 10+ feet tall and the trunks are 6+ inches around.

    Cedars grow fast, Sweet Gums grow fast, Poplars grow fast, Pines grow fast.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Lot of trees growing from stumps will be weak and fall easily in a windstorm. But they can shelter smaller trees till the saplings get going, then be harvested for firewood. Best thing to grow might be more of what is already growing there. You didn't say what kind of trees the harvesters took.
     
  5. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Assuming we still have the same type trees.TN here.
    The trees growing back are most likely the ones you dont want.Not good for fire wood hardly good for shade.hack berry/elm/locust.

    For fire wood id plant red oak mainly do to its fairly fast growing, burns hot, and splits easy.If you plant them close enough together for them to compete for light like they do in the woods.They will grow straight up pretty fast,giving you some straight logs.Id also plant some Hickory just because it burns so long and hot.Cherry also bust easy and grows quick.The size lot you would need depends on so many things.How much you burn,how long you wait to start cutting and how good a growing seasons you get.I'm scared to even take a guess here.Umm 2acers or more maybe.Might call your local forest service they might have a better idea how long it takes to grow logs.Which would be the size your wanting in the long run.

    Sugar Maples grow pretty quick and produce a good amount of shade.Not to good for wood in my opion.But thats what i would plant for shade,and they look good.Look in the front yards of old homes(50+years ago) These are what you see the most of for shade trees.They do drop a ton of leaves in fall but they are also gordous when the leaves start turning.
    Could even learn to make maple syrup maybe! :D
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Six acres of woods will sustainable provide fire wood for an average home indefinitely.
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Silver maples are awful. They grow fast, yes. But they get sick easily and can't withstand good sized winds. I suspect, in NC, your typical thunderstorms might not be as bad as ours, but they're likely pretty bad. You need good, hardy trees, then. So stay away from the silver maples.

    Oaks, yes! And hickories --- yes!! Bear in mind, as well, that if you plant good hickories, when you get old and decrepit :D , and your hickories have problems (which they might), tree people will gladly trade out taking care of the tree for some of the wood.

    My favorite is the yellow poplar (tulip poplar)> I think you all can grow them there. They're HUGE!!! very disease resistant, very wind tolerant, very, very hardy and they grow amazingly fast --- which, i suppose, isn't surprising, given they can reach 150-200'. !!

    Me, I'd start with oaks, hickories, some tulip poplars, then expand from there. But get your potentially biggest ones started first.
     
  8. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about the popular.There not worth much as logs if you sold them.Very very water logged with sap when you cut them and burn up quick leaving no coal behind.Humm and i have never managed to bust/split very much of even a straight one when any where near green.but they do grow quick!There a soft wood.Ash is also a soft wood that burns fast.I think grows quick? Burns little hotter than pop. and leaves a little more coal behind.Bust/splits like a dream.Low sap which makes it season out quick.
    If you have trouble getting enough red oaks to set you might also put out some white oaks but they dont bust quit as good when they get big.And im thinking they grow a bit slower.Note sure might check into it.Some game prefer one acorn over the other if you hunt.

    There are several verity's of maple around here.Is the silver the same as they call sugar? Just wondering.I have heard of maples catching disease's alot also.But never seen one that looked bad,when in some ones yard.Haven't paid much attention when out in the woods.Insects do have a field day on the sap which might cause problems?.They round out nice and quick is the main thing i like about them.Figure there has to be a reason so many are planted for shade trees around here.May grandmother had 4 in her front yard (about 30ft round 40ft tall when about 20years old then) so i can say the bad thing i see about them is that they drop so many leaves dureing the fall,but there the most color full tree dureing this time.

    Speaking of wind.You might consider this when planting near your home.Trees that grow tall are fine in summer.But when the ground freezes and thaws in winter they can be up rooted pretty easy dureing wind or ice storms.You want some thing that stays shorter and round for planting near a home.Of course most tree had rather round out given plenty of light.(most)

    Which is why i originally wanted to post again.Do not plant any Sycamore I have one i my back yard now as my grandmother also did years ago.The story is the same every time you step out back.Pick up 900 branches before you mow.And thats a healthy tree.Id hate to think of a what a sick one would look like.But they do round out nice and provide plenty of shade,with them monster leaves.On a side note it has with stood some 60+ winds some how.Humm still wouldn't plant one!

    Also you might consider planting some cedars.For fence post later but as a border of wind brake now.humm if you have the same typ cedar as use.Im thinking they may be differnt? Ours have deep red center.They are used for funiture.like cedar chest.The last longer when used for fence post than anything i no of.They also love to grow in fence rows so they make great live natural post as well.
     
  9. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    If you can a hold of them, one of the first things that come to my mind is from the lard (formerly) of Oz, eucalyptus, just keep it away from your buildings. Most of them have evasive roots. They provide an unusual combination, very fast growing and a hard wood to boot. That is also a tree that will successfully grow back from stumps, so can be repeatedly harvested for firewood. Not one of the easiest splitting woods though as it tends to have a lot of twists in the trunks. You just need to find a variety that is suited for your temperature ranges.

    I'm a huge fan of cedar, good looking, fast growing, clean burning, great for fences and poll structures, but it is a soft wood, so you need something harder to burn through the night if using for firewood. It makes the best kindling I know, and splits like a dream.

    A lot of pines will grow fast for you for wind blocks, provide shade, and look nice, but most of them are soft and many are sappy, so not great firewood. Some ashes are a medium-hardwood, so will burn hot, but tend to not give you the coals of a good oak. The do burn very clean though and many grow fast. I’m no a big fan of willow. It grows fast and many of them look good, but they ten to be major water hogs. For pure looks, fall maples and a few dogwoods are hard to beat. And of course I cannot survive without some fruit trees.

    I would tend toward removing all the stumps you can and are willing to at one time rather than risking tearing things out later. With most trees you are not likely to be happy with the regrowth, so you might as well get what you really want started as soon as you can. Those are just opinions, something I’m not bashful about sharing.
     
  10. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    We also need some sort of fast(ish) growing tree to put in on part of the property that will be the woodlot,any ideas?
    Thanks oz and wife.[/QUOTE]

    Oz and Wife, I would add a bunch of the kind of locust that makes good fenceposts. I guess it lasts forever! Your county extension agent should be able to direct you on which type. These are pretty, lacy, winter sculptural, trees in my opinion. I would plant them around the perimeter of the property.

    I would also plant mostly the hardwoods mentioned in the other posts. Real fast growing trees like poplar and ash are also fast burning with less heat. Planting closer for straight trunks is a good idea. Spacing advice is, I'm sure, somewhere in the archives of this forum. Then as the trees grow, start selectively thinning.

    Check with California Dept of Ag before even thinking about eucalyptus. I vaguely remember reading that they are not very good for firewood. I seem to remember that there is a ban on planting them. Check it out.

    Sandi
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Insanity's right --- tulip trees wouldn't work for wood.

    But they're so cool, you won't care. :D
     
  12. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    Here are a few links that might be of use:

    http://www.cdr3.com/growers/gr00001.htm

    http://www.ces.uga.edu/pubcd/L350.htm#chart

    http://www.cdr3.com/growers/gr00004.htm

    http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/FORST2/mf773.pdf

    As for eucalyptus, CA's attitude is the typical long-sighted attitude out here. Large numbers of these trees were planted along the roads as a fast grower. Varieties were not well chosen, so the roots tear up the roads and building foundations, and the road crews have to cut them constantly, so now they are considered and "evil tree" by the same people who chose to plant them by the millions. The difficulty with it as firewood is two-fold. Like many hardwoods, it is very difficult to split if you let it dry first, green it usually splits just fine. Second, it is an oily wood, so may take two summers to properly season. If it is not seasoned (fully dried) it can result in chimney fires, so if you use it, make sure it is dry. Once dry it is a very good hard wood. Some places do indeed ban planting all but the small ornamental varieties as then can be intrusive, and pose a forest fire hazard due to their oily nature. We have several firewood farms not far from my place that rotate plots, cutting to the ground every 5 years, and harvest a huge amount of high quality firewood.
     
  13. oldboy

    oldboy New Member

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    Interesting topic for a forester like myself. The stump sprouts may themselves be red oak or yellow-poplar, as they are both strong sprouters, along with sweetgum, sourwood, black cherry, and red maple (the native to SE US). They can become fine trees - if you look closely in NC's national forests you can see large poplar coves with two or three huge trees growing from same clump - old stump sprouts from when it was logged out in the 20's,30's, and 40's. However, you should choose the best (strongest, most dominant) sprout from the clump that has a "U" shaped base (not a sharp "V" shape) and remove all the other shoots. Then, you talk about growth...

    If you're the adventurous type, you might try Paulownia or hybrid poplar in the woodlot. The potential growth rate is incredible (12" diameter in five years very common) and you can resprout them numerous times (up to seven I've heard) without reducing vigor. Of course, they are very lightweight and burn up fast but dry quickly and split easily (paulownia at least). So it's more trips to the woodshed, but easier to carry. Oak and hickory are great but it will be more like thirty or forty years before you have a twelve inch tree.

    And do not plant yellow-poplar near your house. They are very wet trees that grow straight and tall like terminal spires, unstable and total lightning rods when planted in the open. I've seen the carnage MANY times. They are pretty in the woods, though, and as fast growing as SE yellow pines. Sweetgum is too, (fast growing, that is) but impossible to split and to prevent from proliferating in the open areas unless you intend to bush-hog EVERY year. Hope this helps.
     
  14. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Well I have been looking around our property here(where we live) and apart from the HUGE Live Oaks,almost all the other trees are growing from stumps.

    We have little idea what is growing up in NC on the land and few of the trees are over 20 feet high.

    I have looked into the hybrid Poplars and they do seem to grow VERY well.

    Thanks again y'all.