pictures of some trees at my timberland

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gnmcmartin
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pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by gnmcmartin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:42 pm

ENTS:

Consider this an appendix to the topic I posted some time ago on buying and managing timberland for peleausre and profit, and to my contributions to Joe's topic on forest economics.

In those topics I talked about the nice black cherry trees growing on my timberland. Here is one of the better ones. See the axe (yellow) for scale:
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Here is the same tree looking up the trunk. Black cherry trees of this quality grow on the Allegheny Pleateau in parts of PA, MD and WV. This tree is about 100 feet tall, and 32" DBH.
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Next is a picture of a very nice double trunked cherry tree. The left hand side is over 30" DBH and is probably top, top veneer quality, but the quality of veneer cannot be verified until the tree is cut and the color and grain evaluated. Anyway, the picture does not do justice to the exceptional beauty of this tree(s). If was difficult to get a good picture because of crowding foliage.
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This next picture is a clump of cherry trees that originated as stump sprouts when the stand was logged in the 1930's. Cherry trees of stump sprout origin are almost always fine trees. Rot does not enter from the stump into the sprouted trees. In addition, it is possible to cut (leaving a 3' stump) or girdle one or more of the trees in a clump like this, without having a risk of rot entering the adjacent trees. Note the dead stem to the left that I girdled about 30 years ago. The trees in this clump are about 110 feet tall and each is of probable veneer quality.
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I am especially fond of forest grown sugar maple trees. There are some very nice ones gfrowing on my timberland. They have benefited from TSI (timber stand improvement) thinning. This one is 100 feet tall and about 32" DBH.
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Here is another, not so large, but beautifully straight with a well-balanced crown:
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Also on my timberland are nice stands of tuliptree--nothing like those Will has found. They average about 110 feet tall, but grow in cathedral-like stands of well formed trees. My favorite, however, is a group I call "The Organ Pipes."
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Finally, the road into my timberland with the rhododendron in bloom. The trees in this picture are poor compared to those in the pictures above. They are here growing on a Dekalb Channery Loam with a SW exposure, a marginal class III site. The trees in the other pictures are growing on Gilpin Channery Loam, good class II sites.
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--Gaines

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:54 pm

Gorgeous timber.

The Organ Pipes remind me of some wonderful poplar groves that I've seen as I've hiked the Appalachian Mountains. Georgia has some truly beautiful poplar groves, but I rarely see anyone here post anything about poplar groves in Georgia.

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Rand
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by Rand » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:49 pm

Beautiful forest.

Are your heights actual measurements or are you just estimating? Based on the sites I've measured the heights seem a little low for the diameters you are reporting.

Joe

Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by Joe » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:19 am

Gaines,

I bet you must get a lot of letters from loggers and foresters with such fine timber! Although there is some decent cherry timber in the western most part of Mass., I've always heard that the best is in your area.

When you're into growing the forest and modifying it via silviculture- it makes you want to live forever to keep at it- which is why my version of Nirvana will be a planet where I can practice silviculture for eternity. There won't be any loggers there, though, I'll just look at a tree, snap my finger, and it's instantly gone. When I'm finished with a stand, I can sit back and watch years go by like seconds--- like in that '60s film, The Time Machine.
Joe

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gnmcmartin
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by gnmcmartin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:14 am

Rand:

The heights of specific individual trees are estimates. But they are based on two kinds of data. First, I last did some selective silvicultural harvesting 5 years ago. At that time I measured selected trees on the ground after felling. Next, I have measured a few trees with my Nikon 440. I have found that the heights of the best trees are rather consistent--there are not any "outliers," or individual trees much taller than others on similar sites. For that reason, I have not been highly motivated to spend much time measuring my trees. The stand is essentially even-aged stand, with some "cull" trees significantly older, and some trees that were small then the clearcut was done in the 30's, and which survived the destructive chaos of the typical logging of the time.

The diameters many of the trees are somewhat larger than they would have been if they were growing in unthinned stands. I have been managing this timberstand for 36 years so far, and have thinned it 4 times. But the diameters I have quoted are for the trees pictured, which are among the larger ones. On the timberland there are about 250 high quality cherry trees in the range of 28 to 34" DBH. But there are approximately 2,500 high quality cherry trees on the timberland. A majority of these are between 16 to 20" DBH. Tall and straight, and just as tall as the larger ones.

The diameter of any individual tree relative to its age is mostly a function of its crown size. The TSI thinning I have done has given the best trees more space to develop good sized, well-balanced crowns. In areas where there are many high quality trees, I have been reluctant to thin as many out as I would in areas where there are fewer really excellent trees. I probably would have more extremely valuable trees if I had thinned some areas a bit more aggressively. But, on the other hand, I have a strong aesthetic preference for stands with very tall straight trees. My project forester thinks I should always thin down to a basal area of 75 square feet per acre, but I just can't bring myself to do that. I had extensive conversations with David Marquis at the NE USDA forest experiment station, who has done research of black cherry silviculture, and I am convinced that my approach is a good one. He believes that on sites like mine, productive stands of black cherry can carry a basal area of 140 feet.

Well, sorry for the overly long response here.

Joe:

I love it that you and I have very much the same feelings about doing TSI and watching a forest grow. It is absolutely astounding how my timberland has responded and changed over the years, and how much it has benefited from my work. Yes, I would like to see how this forest could develop over the next 100 years or "forever," and keep working to do what I can to enhance it. But, alas, our tenure here is all too short!

When I first bought the timberland and did my first TSI, the trees in the pictures here were nothing I even noticed, with the exception of the two sugar maples. They have been special from the start. But the cherry trees I pictured here--I have no recollection of them from my first go-through doing TSI. Obviously, I favored them, but at that time they were nothing I even took special note of. But now!!!

--Gaines

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Larry Tucei
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:07 am

Gaines, You have a beautiful Forest and I'm sure you have worked long and hard to get it that way. I hope to have a small one of my own someday. Larry

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Rand
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by Rand » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:01 am

Thanks Gaines. I find long winded explanations rather interesting.

Those cherries looked so much like the big ones at Cook forest that top out above 120' I just had to ask.

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gnmcmartin
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by gnmcmartin » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Rand:

The black cherry on my property, on the very best sites, I would guess have the potential to grow to 120, but maybe not much more. If my memory is any good on this --and I can't swear that it is--the ones I cut 5 years ago were growing about 5 to 7 inches in height per year. But the growth of black cherry slows a bit more than some other species after age 80, and mine are getting close to that.

On my timberland the trees with the greatest hight growth potential are eastern hemlock--if the adelgids don't get them, white pine, and Norway spruce. I would guess that each of these could grow over 140 easily, and perhaps 150 or more.

One might think that the tuliptree could be among the tallest, but the site index (50 year height growth) for my tuliptrees is just a bit over 90 feet. Those that Will has found I would guess have grown something like 140 feet in 50 years, and in one or two cases possibly a bit more. I would think my tuliptrees would top out somewhere around 130 feet--maybe as much as 140. But they can be long lived and grow to very large diameters on my timberland.

Perhaps the native red spruce could top 140 eventually--they are long lived and keep on adding height to advanced ages. But right now the tallest is probably not much over 90 feet.

--Gaines

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JHarkness
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by JHarkness » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:20 pm

Gaines,

Your timberland is exceptionally beautiful, even the empty understory (I assume because of deer) isn't an eyesore like empty understories often are. Despite being a managed forest, it has a very natural look to it. I know you've gone into a lot of detail in discussing the principles and economics behind managing a forest in this way, but I can't recall you talking much about what methods you use for the actually thinning and harvests? I am hoping to do a similar form of long term forest management on my own forest land in New York, preferably even managing for old growth characteristics if I can figure out a way to do that. But I am struggling still with coming up with a "cutting plan", so to speak. In essence, an idea of which trees should be cut, how many and when. I oppose the idea of doing a stand-wide thinning, unless it is entirely isolated trees or groups of trees, I seek a more natural approach of single or group tree selection over a more substantial, multi-stand, area. I would really appreciate knowing how you chose which trees to remove, how many over a certain areas and when.


Thanks,
Joshua Harkness
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

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Don
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Re: pictures of some trees at my timberland

Post by Don » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:46 pm

Gaines-
Reflecting my lifelong appreciation of what came to be called old-growth, the thoughts I had paging down through your comments and images, had me thinking of the way I "define old-growth".
1) Vertical stand structure is heterogeneous (reflects diversity of ages and types)
2) Horizontal heterogeneity in the tree species makeup and plant community
3) Presence of coarse woody debris that serves as a 'time-release of carbon"
4) (and reflects my liking for western ponderosa pine forests) open, park-like stands...
Well done Gaines, you should be quite proud of your efforts !
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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