Converting old pines to a hardwood stand

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Chipdasqrrl, May 31, 2018.

  1. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    I’m looking at converting 40 acres of overgrown Christmas trees (scotch pine) to hardwoods. The understory is very thick with maple trees, which grow very well there. Has anyone ever done or seen anything like this? How did you do it? I think the best option is to go in and clear cut the scotch pines, which unfortunately have little to no timber value.
    Assuming I should cut all the pines down, what is a good time of year to do that? Any time?
    Thanks


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    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  2. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    IMG_5892.JPG IMG_5891.JPG
    Here’s a couple pictures from the Fall of 2016.
     
  3. TreeFan

    TreeFan New Member

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    Wow. Never seen anything like that. FWIW - Those maples look like the "hard maple" variety, which are classified as hardwood and are more valuable than oak! Something to consider/research.
     
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  4. TheOldOak

    TheOldOak Member

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    That looks like a multi-year project. I would consider cutting 35 of the 40 acres of pines down and leave 2-3 areas of 1-2 acres for cover, strategically placed for bedding. You could cut the pines from a 2 acre section just to see what happens. I suspect once sunlight hits those threes, they will grow very fast and thick, so thick it may be hard to hunt the property once they get 6-8 feet tall. Check your state DNR, they may have some type of tree planting program that could help defray the cost of planting more diversity beyond the maples that seem to be everywhere. The other thing you could do is cut the pines and spray the maples with roundup before they take off. Lots of options in my opinion.
     
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  5. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Oh believe me I know, there’s 40 acres of valuable veneer hard maples to the north of the pines. That’s why I want to convert this into a hardwood stand. Haven’t found much on the internet about establishing/converting a hardwood stand. Also can’t find any information about how long it takes for the trees to be a harvestable size.. I would estimate as little as 30 years, no more than 50.


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  6. TreeFan

    TreeFan New Member

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    Neighboring property had a clear cut regrown very thick, like yours, with maple about 20 years ago. They thin very slooooowly over time and are now only 20 foot tall and very thin at the base. Competition and shade weed out weaker trees. Hunting the area was poor as noted in the OldOak post above. I would bet that a "manual" thinning would result in a faster timber production. Random roundup or heavy equipment may provide an out-of-the-box type solution. Today's logging equipment is very large!! There is a new chip board plant opening in Gaylord this fall... Cutting during leaf out is good.. I had a property cut last July/August and all the leaves on the remaining trees burned and fell off due to the extreme sunlight. They did come back fine this spring.
     
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  7. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Good points about the multi year thing and leaving some pines. I plan on leaving a certain few areas and everything along the road.
    Thanks
     
  8. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    What exactly hurts the hunting in areas like this? Is it affecting the ability to hunt the deer or is it poor habitat? I’m fine with sacrificing the hunting for habitat.
    I heard about the chip board plant.. I was hoping they would take scotch pine but I doubt it.
    Lots of good info, thanks
     
  9. TreeFan

    TreeFan New Member

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    Poor hunting was due to limited sight distance. You could only see 10 feet into the stuff... Shooting lanes were a requirement if you wanted to see anything. Come to think of it, shooting lanes would be a good thinning tool...
    As for habitat improvement aspect, I did not see much deer activity within the thick growth, but the deer population was low to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  10. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Works for me. Cover is all that the property lacks. Now I want to do this even more.. lol
     
  11. TheOldOak

    TheOldOak Member

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    Bad news on how long it takes to grow harvestable timber. Most oaks, try about 80 years, walnut maybe 70 years, maple 65 years, etc. Those are minimums. Cut down a tree and count the rings, you'll know how old it was. Your kids and grandkids may see the benefits, us likely not. I bet that property would hold the deer, it will b hard to get them to move in it though. Stick a two acre food plot right in the middle, that would be money during the rut.
     
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  12. TheOldOak

    TheOldOak Member

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    I would think about these things and map out a plan, prevailing wind direction, good stand locations, ideal food plot spot, bedding areas, etc. Once you start dropping trees, no undoing that.
     
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  13. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    It’s pretty much set up for that stuff the way it is with the pines being there. All good info though. Thanks


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  14. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    I’ve decided that I should just hack & squirt the pines, no point in cutting them down when you can kill them much easier.


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