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I have 1-2 acres of mature Poplars I am going to cut down for thicket regrowth. The tops and brush will be left but the main trunks will be burned in an OWB. For those of you who have done this type of clearing, is it better to cut the tree off as close to the ground as possible or is it better to leave the stump a certain height for better regrowth into a thicket? How high? Thanks for any insight! - Dave
 

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Im not an expert, but I do not think stump height matters for poplar. If you clear cut an area of poplar, you will get tons of suckers shooting up from the roots. I had some of my poplar clear cut 2 years ago, and that area is now about 7 to 10 feet tall and very thick.
 

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I also agree that you get a thicket regrowing based upon suckers from the roots. Just getting stump shoots isn't going to give you a thicket most likely.

I've found that cutting single larger poplars seems to result in a disappointing amount of growth. My understanding now is that you need sunlight hitting the ground to get the necessary regrowth from the roots (which I didn't have on the few I had to experiment with). I haven't had experience with doing this to a larger group of poplars, but have seen something similar on the neighbors side (they did it for firewood rather than habitat).
 

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I'm in a similar situation as junglecat. I'm trying to thicken up an area that consists of smaller maples and some large poplars. I was planning on hinging the maples and dropping the poplars. Could cuttings from the tops of the poplars be taken and planted in the area for regrowth?
 

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I'm in a similar situation as junglecat. I'm trying to thicken up an area that consists of smaller maples and some large poplars. I was planning on hinging the maples and dropping the poplars. Could cuttings from the tops of the poplars be taken and planted in the area for regrowth?
no, aspen will not regen by sticking it in the ground...call in a logging crew take the big maples and all of the aspen then leave a spec. for the loggers to leave the small maple......hinge cut and let it pop......
 
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I'm in a similar situation as junglecat. I'm trying to thicken up an area that consists of smaller maples and some large poplars. I was planning on hinging the maples and dropping the poplars. Could cuttings from the tops of the poplars be taken and planted in the area for regrowth?
I have cut about 15 acres over 15 years with most of the wood being poplar. I have loggers come in and cut 5 -7 acres at a time. Your regeneration will come from the root system with a huge stem count if the poplar is healthy.
 

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...call in a logging crew take the big maples and all of the aspen then leave a spec. for the loggers to leave the small maple......hinge cut and let it pop......
Exactly what I did Midalake. Has made great thick regen and bedding in a short time, while putting some money in my pocket too.
 

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Im not an expert, but I do not think stump height matters for poplar. If you clear cut an area of poplar, you will get tons of suckers shooting up from the roots. I had some of my poplar clear cut 2 years ago, and that area is now about 7 to 10 feet tall and very thick.
I did something similar...took a walk yesterday and it seems to be working for the deer!!

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Sky Ecoregion Snow Plant Natural landscape


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I would suggest just cutting the stumps as low as you can. The regen comes on strong and any benefit from leaving the stumps stick up will be very short lived. If the maples are soft maples I would cut them at the same time, saving any you may want to put a stand in.

The thing to remember is if you want it thick shade is your enemy.

OSXer, I remember reading that if you have any large popple near where you cut a single tree the large trees have a way to suppress the root suckers from sprouting with any vigor. Aspen grow in even aged stands and they thin themselves on a seven year cycle. That is why they should be clear cut.
 

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OSXer, I remember reading that if you have any large popple near where you cut a single tree the large trees have a way to suppress the root suckers from sprouting with any vigor. Aspen grow in even aged stands and they thin themselves on a seven year cycle. That is why they should be clear cut.
A very good point indeed. I have read that as well.
 

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I would suggest just cutting the stumps as low as you can. The regen comes on strong and any benefit from leaving the stumps stick up will be very short lived. If the maples are soft maples I would cut them at the same time, saving any you may want to put a stand in.

The thing to remember is if you want it thick shade is your enemy.

OSXer, I remember reading that if you have any large popple near where you cut a single tree the large trees have a way to suppress the root suckers from sprouting with any vigor. Aspen grow in even aged stands and they thin themselves on a seven year cycle. That is why they should be clear cut.
No need to cut them off at the ground. When cut in the winter, the roots will send up shoots everywhere and not likely off the stump. By leaving a tall stump (i aim for 5' tall) it offers short term visual distration in the deers field of view while the regrowth is taking place and does not impact the rate of regrowth
 

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No need to cut them off at the ground. When cut in the winter, the roots will send up shoots everywhere and not likely off the stump. By leaving a tall stump (i aim for 5' tall) it offers short term visual distration in the deers field of view while the regrowth is taking place and does not impact the rate of regrowth
I also cut the stumps tall and use as a foundation to keep my hinge cuts of other species up high.
 

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Good ole Google brought me right back here. lol

Anyone else ever cut down big poplars in hope of lots of regeneration?
I have a clump of pretty big Poplars (15-20" diameter) that the county forester said to cut down and I might get a bunch of suckers sprouting up because he said it looks like all one base root system under ground...
They are super tall and it will be a lot of work to cut down and cut up but if it's worth it I'll put it on the list!!!! :)
 

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Good ole Google brought me right back here. lol

Anyone else ever cut down big poplars in hope of lots of regeneration?
I have a clump of pretty big Poplars (15-20" diameter) that the county forester said to cut down and I might get a bunch of suckers sprouting up because he said it looks like all one base root system under ground...
They are super tall and it will be a lot of work to cut down and cut up but if it's worth it I'll put it on the list!!!! :)
Yes - I've had plenty of aspen regeneration after logging off even areas that had relatively few aspen trees and which were more dominant with conifers or even hardwoods with just a "smattering" of aspen. Everything mentioned above is true from what I can see. Aspen should be managed as "even-aged" which means clearcutting is the preferred method of management. It does like full sunlight. Regen comes from the roots - not the stump so it is doubtful that stump height makes much difference. And...you get much better regen from root suckering if the clearcut is done during winter.

I have had 3 timber sales on our property over the past 20 years and this has been my experience and observations as well.
 

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IMO there is indeed a benefit to leaving high stumps but it has nothing to do with regeneration. Aspen stumps decay and decay attracts ants. Ants feed woodpeckers and up north they feed bears too.

Rather than lose sleep over whether or not to harvest an area the Forest Meister recommends using his time tested rule of thumb forest management technique. It is especially effective in managing for edge loving species like deer, grouse, woodcock and bunnies: When in doubt, wipe it out. Sunlight reaching the forest floor is your best friend. FM
 

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IMO there is indeed a benefit to leaving high stumps but it has nothing to do with regeneration. Aspen stumps decay and decay attracts ants. Ants feed woodpeckers and up north they feed bears too.

Rather than lose sleep over whether or not to harvest an area the Forest Meister recommends using his time tested rule of thumb forest management technique. It is especially effective in managing for edge loving species like deer, grouse, woodcock and bunnies: When in doubt, wipe it out. Sunlight reaching the forest floor is your best friend. FM
I like that saying!!!!

Well I knocked a few down this afternoon. Dropped them all in a pile and then cut a trail through them so it wasn’t such a block.
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I picked morels in a poplar area for decades. Some high counts depending on conditions.
Yes , deer habitat.
But after it was clearcut.........Goodbye morels!

The first year (not my property) the ticks and mice overwintered in the duff and boomed.
Poplar second growth did come up great.
Another area near that was clear cut the regen was as dense as ever seen.
Tracked deer through that jungle , once.....
A wonder they had any hair left on them.
 
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