Oak Stump Sprout Harvest

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by SwampCat, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
    7
    I just bought 40 acres that was clearcut in the late 1990's. It was not replanted. It has a decent site index. Majority of trees that now exist are stump spouted red oak, some loblolly pine, and some cedar. Probably at least 50% of the oak is stump sprouts - three to seven inches in diameter. A lot of them will have three or four trunks from one stump - maybe a 3", a 4", a 5", and a six or seven inch. It would be desirable to remove all but the largest to encourage growth in the one that was left. Is there anyway without breaking the bank to do this - or do I just need to wait another ten years when everything is of decent pulpwood size and let a logger take them out - and hope he doesn't damage the one good leave tree on the stump?
     
  2. TreeFan

    TreeFan Member

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    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    5
    My neighbor's property was 90% red oak, clear cut in the mid 80's. It was thick for a long time but today I can see some nice 30-40 foot oaks there. I suspect they are stump sprouts. There are no competing trunks, so, I do not know what happened to them, but it looks like the dominate sprouts took over as time passed or they were "trimmed". Meanwhile, I had a logger TSI my property in the early 90's and he cut the poorest side of mature forked red oak. They are looking good these days and "no worse for the wear". It may be more than 10 years before you get decent pulp wood if smaller sprouts are left to grow. A chainsaw would make quick work on smaller sprouts. Interesting quandary and perhaps it is time for some experimentation on a number of stump sprouts to see what happens over time.
     
  3. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I am going to chainsaw some of them just to see how they respond. Fortunately, they are big enough to at least supply some round wood for the fireplace. It is pretty obvious how the multiple sprouts affect tree growth. The trees on that ground that are single stem are probably at least 25% larger than the largest of the stump sprouts. It would take forever and a day to do it by hand over the entire 40 acres - but in ten years, a logger is probably going to do a lot of damage as thick as the trees are.
     
  4. readonly

    readonly Active Member

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    If they were big enough for commercial harvest, and you marked one stem on each stump to leave....the remaining stems would probably be broken/damaged during the harvest process. I would just take a chain saw and do it myself now. If none of the stems look good, kill off the stump. I did similar on my property, but did it within 10 years of the cut. We do have chestnut oaks that are 3-4 stems to the stump regrowth, probably 70-80 years old....none of them ever amounted to anything. The single stem Chestnut oaks the same age are huge.
     
  5. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    SW AR
    Hardiness Zone:
    7
    I know the best thing for the trees is for me to do it myself. At my age, I might be dead before I finished. It is obvious the size difference between the single stem trees on that acreage and even the biggest multiple stem trees.
     

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