Advice needed on managing woodlot for $

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Panther, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Panther

    Panther Well-Known Member

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    I know this is a real open ended question, but just for 'ballpark' figures, how many face-chords of firewood can you guesstimate would come from each acre of a hardwood woodlot.

    In this instance, we have approx. 50 acres of mixed ash, maple and some oak. We want to manage it responsibly and not just clear-cut it (for obvious reasons). The lot is all very mature trees and we want to manage it in a way that it can provide us with some sustainable income over a long period of time.

    I need to include this in the business proposal for the financing company so any guesses would be most helpful!

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Without being able to see it, it would be impossable to even get a ball park figure. A mature tree could yeild 3-5 cords, but a smaller tree taking up the same area might only give 1 face cord. Perhaps someone from Minstry of natural resorces or some such agency could have trained forrester take a look. Having a trained person do the estamate will have more value to a business proposal than any wild guess we'd be able to provide. In the US there are programs that encourage responsable management thru thinning and free assistance and some times real money is available, too. Because of your location, I'd like to caution you about your Ash trees. Because of the Emerald ash Borer, you won't be able to move your ash firewood out of the quarinteened area. It started near Windsor and has been moving north and east, killing millions of ash trees.
     

  3. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No real idea, but wouldn't "very mature" oak, maple, and ash be worth a lot more as lumber than firewood?

    Find someone with a band saw mill, only take a few trees a year...
     
  4. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Call the MNR, they'll give you a list of foresters in your area that can tell you what you actually have. Generally firewood is the LAST thing you want to use hardwoods for in Ontario after you've sorted out the shaver logs and veneer logs.
     
  5. Ed0517

    Ed0517 Well-Known Member

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    I think the rule is you usually can take about a full cord per year per acre with minimal management. Growth should offeset that. Sometimes more.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Somewhere I read that 6 acres will sustainably provide enough heat for an 1800 sq. ft. home and not impact the more valuable trees in the stand. This would be cutting only the dead, no value trees and storm damage. So, if you can determine how many cords of firewood a typical 1800 sq. ft. home would need maybe you could back into the amount you could harvest and sell indefinitely.
     
  7. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    About 20 years ago, I bought 40 acres for $4000. I had a Department of Natural Resources Forrester come out and mark the trees that I should cut, mostly multiple trunks growing from one base, ironwood, elm and crooked or wind damaged trees. Thru a USDA program, to encourage wood lot improvement, I was paid $25 per acre. He also marked the trees that were ready for harvest and gave me an estamate of the number of board feet those trees would represent, listed by specise. I removed 40 face cords each year for 5 years, plus the nice oak, maple, hemlock and yellow birch logs.
     
  8. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention, you should talk to your local Stewardship Council Coordinator. It's an MNR program, http://www.ontariostewardship.org/ontarioStewardship/home/osIndex.asp

    If this is still in Perth County, the coordinator is
    Ken Maronets
    Stewardship Coordinator
    Ministry of Natural Resources
    P.O. Box 819 Clinton, ON
    Phone: 519-482-3589 Fax: 519-482-5031
     
  9. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    This fall I attended some workshops at the MOFGA fair, and a couple of them were on woodlot management. They were done by state foresters and were very informative. Every woodlot owner has an entirely different piece of land and set of trees, and each is different.

    For how long it takes to grow to maturity timber, I would seriously recommend that you consider marking out 1 acre sections, cutting down what you have in a section each year and planting fast growing poplars. By the time you get ten sections into this plan, you will be busy each year running a fire-wood business.

    :)
     
  10. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Panther -

    Did you contact the local Stewardship Council Coordinator?

    I would like to hear what you decided to do.

    :)
     
  11. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Poplar is lousy firewood :)
     
  12. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    wow...i want to see that 3-5 cord tree.
     
  13. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    I have taken 2 to 3 cords of wood a year from each acre of my woodlot without impacting lumber sales. Well thats not actually true.Most of that was cut while trying to make the wood lot BETTER so I guess it was posativly impacting lumber sales.
    Im In IL I might get faster growth than you.

    Meloc there are lots of trees in this area that will make 2 or 3 cords of wood when cut.
    Edcopp in this area popular firewood is almost unsellable...it pretty much has to be oak.
     
  14. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    As the price of firewood goes up, being able to market larger quantities of firewood at lower prices should keep you going.
     
  15. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    Google: Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program MFTIP, it's through the Ontario Woodlot Association. I am in it for a year so far and it GREATLY reduces property taxes. Hope this helps, Chris
     
  16. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MELOC, a face cord is one third of a cord.
     
  17. Country Gent

    Country Gent Well-Known Member

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    My best advice is to selective log the mature trees with forester advice, have the loggers leave the laps for you yo use as firewood , and sell the excess you dont need.A good way to market firewood is in bundles , you can sell a truck load for about 100 bucks , but break it down into bundles at a local campground or gen. store and it is 300 bucks.If you have any wood skills , try to purchase an old long bed lathe and green turn tool handles from those wonderful Ash trees , and then true them round later , you can get 10 bucks for most long handles.If any Reservations are near by and you have any young white oak(abundant)the crfts people go wild over splits for basket making, most times sell by the pound.Hope this helps C.G. :)