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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we are | | this close to owning our own place. We just have to hope nothing goes wrong with the appraisal/finance portion of the deal now. :banana02:

So now I'm wondering how to handle all the trees on the 5 acre property. The front acre is fairly clear with about a dozen or so trees on it. The back 4 acres is wooded. I'm not sure of all the species, but the front trees are mostly white oak, so I'm guessing that's what is largely in the back as well. (I need to take a closer look next time I'm out there.) These are tall trees. I'd like to not have to remove any more trees than necessary, but obviously some of them will have to go.

What do you think would be the best and cheapest way to clear out select trees? I have no experience felling trees and really don't want to take chances learning to do it myself. However, I don't mind cutting the trees up and clearing the mess once they're on the ground. Any suggestions would be great!
 

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White oak is about the best tree you can grow/have in the South, unless you are fortunate enough to have a stand of mature, long leaf pine. Timber prices around here (NW Georgia) are depressed just now, but maybe it's better where you are. Get a few bids from reputable/recommended loggers if you want to harvest some of them. If it were me, I'd probably just manage the woodlot and take what I needed it as I needed it...but that may not mesh with your plans for your homestead. Best wishes in however you choose to proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, the discovery of the trees being white oak was both a happy/sad moment for me. Happy that they are beautiful oaks, sad that some of them have to be cut down.

I'm not sure how I could go about preparing the animal areas for fencing, housing, etc. without clearing the trees first. With the trees being so incredibly tall, it seems like it would be much more difficult and risky to cut them down later. A lot of them would end up falling on a fence or other structure. The reason being our parcel is long and thin. Until I get the surveyor out there I'm not positive of numbers, but looking at the parcel map I'd guess about 160' wide in the front and maybe 200' wide in the back. But then again, maybe there is some felling technique I'm not aware of that makes it a moot point. I imagine there must be. I also imagine it would have a steep price tag. :/

Is there a specific logger association or something who could recommend someone for me? I'm in TN between Clarksville and Nashville.
 

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I'd wait until spring time to survey the other plants you have growing. If you have any areas with herbs or things like ramps you might want to leave the forest cover in those areas. I hired a forester to walk over a 170 acre area and point out unusual trees, shrubs and herbs. It cost me $50 for a couple hours of his time.

A consulting forester should be able to cruise your land and point out trees that should be removed to allow valuable trees to grow faster and provide a greater return in the future. They can also point out damaged or diseased trees that should be removed early. I would not allow mechanized logging unless you want to clear a small area immediately for a home site.

Once the forester has given you an idea on how to manage the parcel, I'd look for a horse logger to harvest the individual trees that should go to improve the stand. In some cases I like to leave older mature trees even if they're damaged or diseased because the mast crops help regenerate the forest. It depends on what's nearby.

A lot also depends on how much deer damage you have. Heavy deer pressure can prevent oaks from reseeding. Once you cut something you may never get the same species back. You might want to ask the forester about invasives like the Ailanthus.Those should be poisoned to prevent root resprouts. If those are in the area, creating open canopies by loggging can allow them to move in and replace the native population.

Species like sycamore found in bottoms along streams are often sought by pulpwood cutters. Once they're removed, you'll have more stream bank erosion. Above all, don't rely on a logger for management advice. They're interested only in the here and now.

TN should have a state forestry department. Call them and also check the colleges for a forestry department. Often a class will look at a parcel as a project if they're near.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That sounds like some good ideas Darren. Thanks! I'll start checking colleges first, and if that doesn't pan out I'll get in touch with the state forestry department. Waiting until spring won't be a problem because I won't even be ready to touch the land until then. I have a lot of work to do on the house first.
 

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agmantoo
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Here is how the system works, at 170 acres mentioned the consulting forester runs out to evaluate the stand of trees so that he has insight on what is there and can possible get a commission on a potential harvest from a sawmill. At 4 acres he is going to ask what is the species and what is the diameter of the trees at breast height. If the answer is less that 14 inches don't expect him to show. A state forester may come by if he has nothing to do.
 

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You could do what somebody around here did. With firewood being in high demand. Put a ad in paper free firewood to thin out my woods. But , you want to set aside a certain amount of trees. I would second the motion of getting some one who know about thinning out a woods.
Somebody put an ad saying for 40.00 cut all the wood you want. The only thing the ad didn't say what type of tree were on the lot.
 

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de oppresso liber
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Contact your local forestry dept and have them come out and look over the place and have them help you set up a plan based on what you want. I never dealt with them in TN but MO offers this service to land owners free of charge (unless you count the tax you are paying).
 

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There are foresters and there are foresters if you catch my drift. I'd see if you can locate one through some non-traditional sources such as a local or state-wide herbal association. Just be up front and talk woodlot management and offer to pay a set fee up front so the forester knows there's no commission involved. They should be able to quote you something over the phone to walk your property.

A local forester suggests this:

http://www.forestguild.org/
 

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It doesnt sound like yer too far from me, I am in south central Ky just a short ways north of the line. I would be happy to drive down sometime and look at yer situation. I have a fair amount of experience with timber and appalachian hardwoods in particular. Wont cost you a thing and who knows, we could end up makin a fair trade of some kind. I know a couple fellas here with portable mills that might be able to deal with you if you need lumber too. Good white oak and firewood just never seems right to appear in the same sentence to me. :)
 

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I'd like to not have to remove any more trees than necessary, but obviously some of them will have to go.!
Nope not Obvious at all.:shrug:

Why not tell us abit about what you plan to do with the place? It might make a lot of difference to the advice you get.
And remember a picture is worth 1000 words heck in a case like this it might be worth a MILLION!
 

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Haney Family Sawmill
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I own and run a Sawmill and landclearing company 80 miles from you. If yo get a logger in and have him flag every tree that he would havest you probably have a good idea what to leave. The ones that he flagged will give you the best return on the land to leave and the stuff they don't want cut. I just cut a mans wood that was a poor as it gets. For 850 dollars worth of cutting he got a 30 by 48 foot barn, The wood was small and everything from gum to Oak.
The site that I mentioned above has taken what 25 years ago was 180 ooo feet of standing timber select cut the poor supports multipule families and now has many times that much timber on the same land and supports their families as the kids have grown.
Roy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It doesnt sound like yer too far from me, I am in south central Ky just a short ways north of the line. I would be happy to drive down sometime and look at yer situation. I have a fair amount of experience with timber and appalachian hardwoods in particular. Wont cost you a thing and who knows, we could end up makin a fair trade of some kind. I know a couple fellas here with portable mills that might be able to deal with you if you need lumber too. Good white oak and firewood just never seems right to appear in the same sentence to me. :)
Well, we seem to have hit a brick wall with the bank that owns the place. Now they're saying they won't let us make the repairs necessary for the loan (crazy catch 22 situation), and we're not willing to spend more on a renovation loan. It looks like the deal is dead in the water. On the plus side, there's another house just a few roads over from this one that we're looking at. Maybe we'll get lucky. We have to find a place sooner or later. If it has too many white oak trees, I'll be PMing you! Thanks! :)
 
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