Clearings with a forestry mulcher?

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by MarkDarvin, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Good morning all,

    Has anyone brought in a forestry mulcher to open up the forest floor to sunlight and just left the debris lay from the mulcher? I'm wonder if there is a noticeable lag in regen where the debris is laying all chewed to bits, vs where someone may have cleared just by dropping trees and leaving them whole. and does that regen speed change a few years down the road?
     
  2. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I did that in 2015. I had a 40’ wide path cleared along a mile of boundary line to build a fence and had some woods opened up - a little. The forty foot wide right of way started growing right away. But, I did not have him mulch the bigger trees he took down - over 5 or 6 inch diameter. I had him just mulch the tops and push the trunks to the side so I could cut them into firewood if I wanted. Also, it saves a lot of time if you arent having them mulch 8 and 10 inch tree trunks and that reduces the amount of chips. I have to keep that right of way sprayed and bush hogged now.

    The woods I had cleaned up did not do anything - but I didnt really want them to. I had him mulch small trees, brush, and vines so I could see farther in the woods for hunting. I had no trees in the over story cleared.

    If I didnt care what it looked like, I would probably just hinge cut. If I wanted it to look nice and be able to work it with equipment, I would mulch it. On my place, any opening starts filling in quickly with ash and sweetgum. If I dont maintain the opening, it is gone in a few years.
     
  3. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    You did get a multi-year stall where there was more material chipped on the ground then?

    I don't know that I'll ever need a mulcher at this point. I'm pretty confident I'm getting the upper hand on my place with the saw and other rental equipment, and I'm done expanding plots and trails for now. Sometimes I think about just bringing in the big machines to finish off my sanctuary area, but then I can't let go of the idea I'll lose the beneficials mixed among the work area.
     
  4. 144

    144 Active Member

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    I had a mulcher out a few time over the last 5 or 6 years. The only time I saw it stall out the majority of the growth for more than a season was when I had him clear out a small loblolly pine thicket. There was no small brush, just trees, so a lot of mulch on the ground. Didn’t have a lot of growth in the first couple of years, just some trees resprouting and a few weeds. Within 3 to 4 years, the majority of the mulch was gone and back to needing to be bushhogged.

    One unintended consequence was that when the pines were mulched, it attracted some pine beetles to neighboring trees. Lost a few that year due to that.


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  5. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I got maybe a year, at most two, before it started growing up - but again, I didnt have the trunks mulched which would have put a lot more chips on the ground
     
  6. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    We had a few acres cleared at our lease several years ago. The hardwood chips and pieces were breaking/broken down faster than I thought would happen. The pine chips had to raked up so that we could plant. We still have piles of pine chips and it has been roughly 6 years since they were made them.


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