Leaf litter affect/more sunlight

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by nchunter1989, Feb 11, 2019 at 10:33 PM.

  1. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    erwin,nc
    Hardiness Zone:
    8A
    So I had posted these in my land tour thread, but figured they would get more views here-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is a roughly 1/2-3/4 ac “random cluster” I cut Feb ‘18. I have not been in this area since last spring, walked it last week & was alittle disappointed at the lack of new growth. The stumps & hinges are sprouting, so that is a plus for the “mineral stump” aspect, but not seeing the green I expected from spring & summer.

    Is it possible that the leaf litter is keeping most new growth suppressed, or should I thin more. This picture was taken around 1PM, in my opinion there was a fair amount of sunlight hitting the floor. Thoughts?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  2. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    306
    Location:
    Fordville, ND
    Hardiness Zone:
    3
    You cut those trees kinda high. I think they perform a lot better the closer you cut towards the ground. I quit hinge cutting altogether because what I have doesn't hinge. Where I did it, those spots look like yours. I cut them too high and I didn't get any sprouting.

    There's also still a lot of duff in the sky yet. When I do spots like this, I get them charged up with some lime and gypsum to feed that newly lit ground. I don't try to get it all the way up to 6.5 or better pH, but I do put some on, and from the gypsum, some sulfate/sulfur. It is so incredibly cheap and easy to sweeten a spot like that quickly, a guy almost can't afford to not do it.

    I'd knock most of than canopy out clean, without hinging. Keep what is intentionally good, including seed trees (birch is one such tree for me). You cannot poison your soil with too much sun in this situation.
     
  3. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,957
    Likes Received:
    2,541
    Location:
    Northeastern Oklahoma
    The question about leaf litter is correct...any way you can do a controlled burn through there to remove the ground litter? Sun on bare soil/ash will have everything popping...
     
    Chipdasqrrl likes this.
  4. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    erwin,nc
    Hardiness Zone:
    8A
    [​IMG]

    This is the area view- it slopes down to a large ravine, mostly hardwood. A small “stand” burn could be possible I believe, but not a large one.

    The trees are cut from ankle/thigh height. Originally the intention was to add more horizontal cover to the area more so then increasing the browse.

    I am cutting-versus hinging- on this area, on the North side. It’s pine,holly,oak & gum. The marked area I think would be good to edge feather/thin heavily & let regrow.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    dogghr likes this.
  5. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    I would either have several small burns and work my way thru the area or get a leaf blower and do the work that way. Expose that soil and get some sunlight on it and mother nature should do the rest. You can even scatter some rye in there to encourage other animals to visit and leave some seed as well. The key is the sunlight, the more the better. Hinging and the success of it requires a lot of sunlight. if you still have a decent canopy in the area you are hinging your efforts may not get the desired result....you may need to look into a selective timber harvest or TSI of some more mature trees.
     
  6. Buckly

    Buckly Active Member

    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    W. New York
    Heavy leaf litter will definitely suppress new growth. However it will still occur as the ground can get warmer in the sunlight. My experience has been a 2-3 year suppression with heavy ground cover
     
  7. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    975
    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    Your cuts may be browsed to hard to really take off in new growth. But what I'm more concerned with is that you let in sunshine to the ground but nothing is growing. I suggest that you do some research on what foresters call "scarification", that would make a huge difference in growing early successional forest habitat. That's a side benefit of logging, the heavy equipment turns up dirt to promote new growth. Dogghr, in his theory of random clusters says; After hinging an area, I spread WW to attract my turkeys who churn up the ground promoting new growth of the now exposed soils. I have done this as well, if you have turkeys to do this work for you. Or get a hand rake, skidloader, tractor etc. and turn up some soil. A standard rule of thumb to grow most seeds is that they need to have direct soil contact to grow, your forest floor litter prevents that, hence the hinge cutting leaving the forest floor looking like a desert. Without that leaf cover your area there will look like a jungle in several years.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 11:50 AM
    Jack Terpack likes this.
  8. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    erwin,nc
    Hardiness Zone:
    8A
    Good point. Looks like I need to get in there with a leaf blower or call it an exercise day & break out the rake. Lol!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  9. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,220
    Likes Received:
    1,855
    Location:
    Monroe County, WV
    Couple points. First, I cut shoulder high and to the ground, depending on tree, you can get good growth w/ hinging. Second, ignoring leaf litter question for moment, more concerned the need to open canopy more especially of pines I might be seeing in that pic. But that can be an ongoing process, if you like me, you get done as you get it done, no big deal.
    As for leaf litter, don't over think. Mature forests have produced for thousands of years with several feet of duff on the forest floor. I've never had an area exposed to light that didn't produce new growth of brush and tree. As mentioned couple things can speed that process, such as fire, blowing leaves/raking, or spreading seed to attract the scratchings of turkeys and others.
    The primary planter of seeds is not so much what we do, but the efforts of rodents,squirrles, and such. They dig and plant seeds, chit out stuff they eat, etc. Bears probably have more seed in their chit than one could spread with a planter. My point, what you do will work if you are patient enough. Good luck, I think you are on the right path. Just remember , cut more, not less, and be careful.
     
    weekender21 likes this.
  10. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,882
    Likes Received:
    799
    Location:
    Portland, TN
    If you don't want to rake and avoid burning, get a 4 wheeler in there with a narrow section of chain link fence. Put some weight on the fence and slowly drag the leaves. It will get you to the soil. Slow speed with the right weight and you will improve the situation.

    Increase your sunlight too. WW will get the turkeys on the job as the other posters said.

    Good luck. Your efforts are good just add to it and you will get a better outcome.

    Wayne
     
  11. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    306
    Location:
    Fordville, ND
    Hardiness Zone:
    3
    The other part of this is to just quit growing so many leaves. Get those buggers cut down.

    I've personally never seen leaf litter so bad that it smothers out vegetation. I'd be curious to know what the soil composition is, along with soil pH.
     
    dogghr and nchunter1989 like this.
  12. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Active Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    erwin,nc
    Hardiness Zone:
    8A
    Yeah I would love to drop some of the bigger ones, but the LO is tree happy. I’ve tried to explain the benefits of thinning, both for the timber & wildlife but it is small victories.

    The soil for most of the higher ground is sandy loam,changes to mostly sand as it drops to the river & creek. I have not done a soil sample there, but the surrounding areas were 4.8-5.2.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  13. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    753
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado
    flick that Bic.

    G
     
  14. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Georgia
    BURN BABY BURN!!!!
     
  15. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    753
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado
    I had little burning experience before I became a pyromaniac in Iowa. I used a mower and water tank out in my open fields to construct breaks and wet lines to burn off of but no more than a garden rake and a Bic in my woods. I had anxious moments when I was learning but with some experience comes calm. The problem more often isn't controlling a raging forest fire but rather getting leaf liter to burn at all. Start small by raking out a perimeter line, rake out around sensitive trees and dead snags, then light up an easy backburn and just feel it. It takes very little effort to put out a small fire in leaf liter if it doesn't feel right.

    4 14 Farm 123 (780 x 585).jpg

    4 14 Farm 108 (780 x 585).jpg

    4 14 Farm 164 (780 x 585).jpg

    4 14 Farm 256 (780 x 585).jpg

    4 14 Farm 251 (780 x 585).jpg

    The results that you want can be pretty instantaneous.

    5 14 Farm 254 (780 x 585).jpg

    5 14 Farm 280 (780 x 585).jpg

    5 14 Farm 282 (780 x 585).jpg

    G
     
    howboutthemdawgs likes this.
  16. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    753
    Location:
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado
    May after a burn.

    5 14 Farm 038 (780 x 585).jpg

    5 14 Farm 050 (780 x 585).jpg

    5 14 Farm 052 (780 x 585).jpg

    G
     
    Triple C and Jack Terpack like this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. meyerske
Total: 108 (members: 1, guests: 40, robots: 67)
(moderators are listed in blue)