Forest thinning, should I mark the trees to be cut first?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by canfossi, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    I am setting up my 100 acres as a managed forest for property tax purposes and for the health of the forest. The forestry consultant advised me to remove 60 percent of the ironwood trees (which are of lesser quality) that are crowding the higher quality trees like sugar maple and oak etc. Should I mark the ironwood trees that I am cutting down or just cut them as I walk through the forest? This aspect of the forest improvement will be done over the next few years, not all this year due to the size of the property. Thanks, Chris
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    what tax advantages are there to doing this?
     

  3. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    My land in Maine is in Tree Growth,definate tax advantage(especially in high tax Me.).What you call ironwood we call hornbeam,I believe,can't mill it but it's great firewood,probably some of the best.Try and get someone with horses to pull wood,skidders will tear hell out of land,don't believe loggers when they tell you they'll be careful,once contract is signed things will change.
     
  4. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    Ditto..I'm also curious about the tax advantages you refer to.
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you removing the trees yourself? Are you marking them so you can look over the situation and see if you have enough marked and the most critical to remove ones marked?

    If you hire someone to remove the trees, there are funds available to help from the Forest Service if you are enrolled in one of the management programs.

    The 'tax advantage' is that the desirable trees grow faster and are ready to harvest sooner. $$$

    I have just started on this project on some land in southern Missouri, so this post just about used up my knowledge base. :p
     
  6. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like the tree farm I have- I get an ag exemption which lowers my property taxes from around $1300 to $200 a year. Has nothing to do with income taxes, though any sale of timber is taxable of course.
     
  7. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    mark them then take a walk through again in a week .look for dead trees and holes in the bush that you did not see the first time . your first cut should remove dead ,damaged or shading trees then open up small patches of ground for regrowth. you may have to follow the foresters plan in order to get the rebates. also opening up skid roads and fire lane acsess routes . iron wood is a reasonable fire wood so should be able to market that which you can not use.
     
  8. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Ironwood around here ain't worth cutting. Why burn trashwood when there's so much oak and hickory literally going to waste (tops and knotty wood left by loggers)

    The tax advantage in Texas is worse, if you have forest land. Ag is the best rate, mixed forest next, highest rate is for pine timber. Had to get all of my pine plantations rerated as mixed forest.

    As far as marking the trees.....are you cutting the trees yourself, or are you going to have to pay someone. Unless there's a better market for that stuff there than there is here...I'd just get the chainsaw out and knock em down as I went by em. If you're paying someone, have you done a cost/benefit analysis of the difference in the tax rate/loggers rates?

    Good luck...anythings better than paying the taxman... :grit:
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The tax advantage is for property tax deferral. Most states tax farm and forestry tracts on the ability to produce not on the "best use or fair market value" such as for industrial or housing sites. Typical example; $400 +- for an acre of timberland where the same acre could be $60,000, therefore the $400 acre would be taxed at $3 not the $450 for the $60,000. The purpose of the relief is to permit those engaged in producing ag or forestry products to remain in business.
     
  10. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I have land in Maine in 'Tree growth'. the forestry dept has booklets to help. Knowing about your trees is important. How much room does each tree need to grow well? Walk through and mark which trees you want to remove, so the remaining trees will have room to grow. If each tree needs a good 12 feet around it to get 'full-sunlight' then mark which trees you want to farm, and remove everything else.

    Here in Maine we have state licensed 'foresters' who can be paid to advise you.

    Here they also review each area of forest by airplane, and they spray the forests to 'defoliate' the softwoods, to help encourage the hardwoods to grow into the openings. last year they did this across the street from my place.
     
  11. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Tax advantage:

    1- property taxes may be lower [here they are much lower].

    2- income taxes may be lowered through proper usage of a schedule 'F'.

    3- vehicle taxes, owning farm land or forestry land may qualify you for special license plates on your cars with lower registration fees and taxes.

    :)
     
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    canfossi, are you opposed to using herbicide? If not, you can get a product that you can coat a 6 inch long encompassing circle around the base of the tree during any season and it will kill the tree. The carrier for the herbicide is diesel fuel and it will penetrate the bark and kill the undesired small trees. If you saw these ironwood trees will they sucker back out?
     
  13. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    In southern Ontario there is a tax program for forested properties. It reduces property taxes if the owner goes through a program and does things to improve their woodlot in complience with the program. I plan to do all the work myself and won't be using any machinery like skidders or the like to damage the forest. All the wood that I cut won't be used for profit, but for myself as firewood. Just thought I'd clarify things. Thanks Chris
     
  14. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I got the forest service to walk through my land and get it set up as a stewardship forest. I submitted the plan drawn up by the forest service to the county tax department, and they now tax my land as forest use. Forest use land is about $2500 an acre here. Compare that with the surrounding tracts which have been selling for $20,000 - $30,000 an acre for development and you can quickly see how much money I have saved by doing a bit of work. This years tax bill was less than $200 and would have been over $1000 had I not gotten the forest tax exemption. As some one else said you need to imporve your forest by thinning and doing other things they suggest to stay on the forest use list, but it is all things I would do anyway so it is costing me nothing to save a pile of money.
     
  15. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    In Ohio:

    "CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Value, is a program designed to reduce the taxable value of land being used for commercial agricultural production. To qualify you must have at least 10 acres of land in commercial agricultural use or be able to generate the minimum gross income requirement of $2,500 per year. There is a fee of $25 to sign up for this program and the owner must renew annually, but at no fee. Once the land is withdrawn from the CAUV program or no longer qualifies, some of the tax savings must be paid back."

    and

    "Ohio Forest Tax Law is a State-managed program. If you have 10 or more acres of qualifying woodlands, you may qualify for a 50% reduction on the taxable value of the forested land."

    Although I won't qualify for the forestry program (not enough acres in forest), I am beginning to remove trees selectively from my woods to improve the health of the total environment of those acres. I identify the trees I want to keep based on their requirement of light, water and space - cut the rest.
     
  16. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    is this a provicial wia or one through a regional conservation authority? 100 acres would heat a lot of houses with a minimal impact on forest density. if you are not planning on skidding then how are you removing wood from the bush? just slashing the trees can end up in a tangled fire trap! can understand that cutting acess roads would open up the bush to poaching and tree/wood theives. we have this problem here in ottawa as well as people dumping trash . we work with some landowners and their criteria from govt. varies in what can be cut and when.
     
  17. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    Ford major, this is a program in Ontario, Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program MFTIP, it's through the MNR and Ontario Woodlot Association, they have a website www.ont-woodlot-assoc.org I plan on getting the wood out by sled as part of my woodlot isn't accessible during the spring, summer and fall months. I won't be cutting access roads, I know it will take a while to do by sled, (least impact to the forest) but it's going to be done over a few years and most of the ironwoods are of smaller diameter.
     
  18. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    am well aquained with the Ontario Woodlot Association, they are 15 minutes south of me and right beside my wifes work. we were part of a wia with lands and forests for decades, plus my fil was a woodsman in the kingston area.sled for small diameter will work well if you do not get deep snow . a small electric winch would help in the tough going. can understand the want for low impact after seeing bushes clear cut! horse logging is some what better dependant on the driver.
     
  19. lapdog59

    lapdog59 Active Member

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    Definitely mark those trees you want to cut ahead of time. It is too easy to make mistakes with a chainsaw in hand. Also you should consider selectively harvesting some of the mature high value trees also. Usually take those that have deformities, possible rot, and are very old and sickly and growing very little. You want to leave behind a healthy stand with an optimal mix of various species.
     
  20. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting and informative. I had heard that horses were better than machinery but I hadn't thought of a small electric winch when brute force is needed and there is no horse to be had. Would you need much of a battery?

    100 acres would be great. How much biomass is on it now I wonder. Is it sloped or hilly? Are there wetlands? I imagine in the long term you would average at least 50 cord be year, so even if you are managing it to develop into hardwood lumber and sugar bush ther would still be at least 5 cord for yourself I should think. I only have an acre of Eastern Cedar, but I do quite well in kindling just on thinings and deadfall. Having your own sugar bush would give you another use for fuel wood.

    I think Ironwood, or American Hop-hornbeam, used to be used for journal bearings and is good for firewood, though don't try to split it or throw it very far. :) Perhaps someday it will be useful again so with that much land it wouldn't hurt to let one or to oldies and/or biggies continue to grow. There is an old on in the Arboretum in Odell Park in Fredericton, N.B. I could see it being useful, like cast iron, as an engine bed for damping vibration and sound. For small home power projects like a 1 hp steam engine it could be just the ticket. I think it was used on certain parts of boats also. You might even use it as runners for your sled.

    I'm just going to read this now and see. You have me curious.
    http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/aginfo/trees/handbook/th-3-81.pdf
    Yes. It says wood used for posts, tool handles, and mallets. I think it would be interesting for journal bearings and engine beds. Might make the generator or pump run a lot quieter. It might also make an interesting cylinder for a pump.

    http://www.nativetech.org/plantgath/hornbeam.htm
    "" Chippewa used the wood at the heart of the branch in making a cough syrup, and in a medicine for kidney disorders. The wood is very strong as the name implies and was used for the frames for dwellings, and from the crooks of branches, pothooks were made to suspend cooking vessels over fires. ""

    http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ostrya+carpinifolia
    "" Wood - hard, very tough, close grained. Used for general carpentry and for charcoal. ""


    http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/forest/htmls/trees/O-virginiana.html
    "" Interesting Facts
    European farmers used relatives of the hop hornbeam to make yokes for oxen, from whence the name "hornbeam" arises. These trees were also referred to as "yoke-elms." ...It is used chiefly in the manufacture of tool handles, but also for fence posts and fuel. Native Americans used hop hornbeam to treat toothache and sore muscles, coughs, hemorrhages in the lungs, kidney disease, tuberculosis, and a host of other ailments. ""

    http://www.queensu.ca/pps/grounds/arboretum/hophornbearh.htm
    "" The only species of the genus Ostrya native to Canada, it is pursued commercially due to the strength of its wood. It is one of the strongest woods indigenous to Canada, and previously was used for runners on sleighs. The name hop-hornbeam is derived frorn thecluster of fruit which resemble "hops". ""

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/natbltn/300-399/nb356.htm
    "" In the early days it was used for sled runners, levers for prying, wedges or "gluts" for splitting logs, mallets, tool handles, and sometimes for bows. ""

    http://www.geocities.com/sevenponds/HTF2003.pdf
    "" Also known as ironwood, it was favored by early settlers for mallet handles [ed. or mallets and tool handles] , sled runners, wagon parts or rake teeth; the wood is extremely durable but requires much time and skill to work. Frances Densmore noted the Chippewa of the western Great Lakes used hop hornbeam to make wigwam poles. It is pliable when green so it can be bent to the necessary shapes, yet tough and elastic when dry. The result was a secure lodge made of poles an inch or less thick. ""

    It's only disadvantage commercially seems to be that it grows slow and does not get that big around. It is not just heavy, but very strong. I suppose metals and plastics are better suited for mass production, but still a useful wood.