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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a forester scheduled to visit my 40 this weekend. I would like to have the property logged to open up the canopy and thicken things up, it is way too open right now. The majority of the big trees that I have are oaks, both red and white. I don't have a count yet on how many oaks I have, but 75 is just a guess. Should I allow any oaks to be cut as long as they are not crowding each other? It would seem to me that I should leave the big oaks and cut most everything else. But if I don't allow any oaks to be cut, there may not be enough timber value from the other species for any logging company to even bother with.
 

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Depends on what your goals are. ........I'm having 46 acres logged this winter. It's a mix of maple, aspen and oak. The oaks are very large and good acorn producers, but there are too many of them to allow good regeneration of the other species after the cut, so I'm having most cut (only leaving about 4 per acre). This was a tough decision but, in all reality, deer sightings in this area were rare during daylight hours, due to the woods being too open. I'm hoping by removing most of the oak, that I can allow enough light in to get good regeneration of the other species. Time will tell if this works, but based on cuts we've done in the past, if you leave too much canopy, much of the new growth that you get immediately after a cutting will wither and die within a few years due to lack of light as the remaining canopy fills back in. Make sure you communicate your goals to the forrester....if you are managing your woods for wildlife (deer), you will likely take a much different approach than if managing for timber.
 

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BB I know what you mean about that being a tough decision to cut the oaks! I am having a hard time convincing myself that it's the right thing to do. You're always taught that deer love acorns second to none. So it's hard to justify taking them out. I like your idea of leaving a few per acre. I'm thinking of creating 8 or 10 small bedding pockets. I could cut the oaks that will hinder regeneration near the beds, and leave some of the others. Just a thought.


Kdub
 

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Have the forester check and see if any have Oak Wilt. If they do have them taken out. I hate to see any big oaks cut but some have to go. I had my woods downstate cut off and they left a lot of white oaks spaced through out the area and the deer would feed on the acorns all winter
 

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We're only taking Red Oaks out....leaving all White Oaks. Only problem with the White Oaks is they don't produce acorns anywhere near as consistently.
 

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4 oaks per acre to allow for maximum acorn production assuming no other competition from other trees for sunlight. Keep a mix of both red and white.

Don't keep any oaks near bedding or they will just spend time eating at the bedding site and not move around.
 

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We're only taking Red Oaks out....leaving all White Oaks. Only problem with the White Oaks is they don't produce acorns anywhere near as consistently.
What I noticed on mine was after it was cut the white oak produced every year. They left a few red oaks which were to small and when they started producing the deer eat the acorns from the red oak in the fall and on the white oaks they hit them in Jan and Feb. I use to be able to watch them from the house as the woods were around the house. I put in an under ground fence system for the dogs and the deer would not cross it until it had snow over it. The wire was under ground and they had a trail around the wire just outside of its range
 

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I know it's impossible to keep deer from leaving a 40 acre piece. It seems like the acorns would give them another reason to stay. There's not much for food on the property right now. Wouldn't it. E best to try to cut and hinge everything else, and keep as many healthy oak trees as possible?


Kdub
 

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Let the deer eat acorns on the neighbors property cut those trees, if you don't have security cover your not going to have daylight movement. Take that money and invest it into provided year round food, food plot, soft mast, and edible shrub plantings.


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The oaks are very large and good acorn producers, but there are too many of them to allow good regeneration of the other species after the cut, so I'm having most cut (only leaving about 4 per acre).
...........
Besides the 4 oaks per acre, about how many maples and aspen that you mention ? No beech, hickory, walnut, pine, apple, ash, etc ?

L & O
 

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Not sure what your question is.....?? But I'll give a shot at what I think you are asking..... The only tree species on the area to be cut are Oak,Aspen and Maple. Taking all the Aspen and Maple and as mentioned some oak to open the canopy more.


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I've got a forester scheduled to visit my 40 this weekend. I would like to have the property logged to open up the canopy and thicken things up, it is way too open right now. The majority of the big trees that I have are oaks, both red and white. I don't have a count yet on how many oaks I have, but 75 is just a guess. Should I allow any oaks to be cut as long as they are not crowding each other? It would seem to me that I should leave the big oaks and cut most everything else. But if I don't allow any oaks to be cut, there may not be enough timber value from the other species for any logging company to even bother with.
I had fifty Northern Red Oaks cut from about 15 acres. They were the biggest, straightest, most veneer quality, and most valuable. What got left behind was smaller NROs and some large black oaks. The NROs that were liberated have since thrived. I probably have more NROs producing acorns than I had before. The black oaks thrived also and the deer and turkeys seem to prefer the smaller acorns. I don't regret the cutting at all. All kinds of trees were promoted and some were cut in a secondary cut (red maple and popple). More deer are visiting and more understory exists. They don't bed in my hardwoods, but they visit them just before dark in October when I'm in my treestands.
 

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Tornado Jim
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I recommend having oaks no more closely spaced than this (if you are interested in deer habitat).

This is an oak savanna on my property. It is the way oaks are meant to grow if you want to produce acorns. These trees are each and every one flooded by sunlight. They can reach branches out sideways, each branch collecting lots of sunlight to produce a good acorn crop.

Most oak woods on farm lots in Michigan are way to thick.

Growing oaks for timber production and for deer habitat are mutually exclusive activities.

 

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Tornado Jim
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I've got a forester scheduled to visit my 40 this weekend. I would like to have the property logged to open up the canopy and thicken things up, it is way too open right now. The majority of the big trees that I have are oaks, both red and white. I don't have a count yet on how many oaks I have, but 75 is just a guess. Should I allow any oaks to be cut as long as they are not crowding each other? It would seem to me that I should leave the big oaks and cut most everything else. But if I don't allow any oaks to be cut, there may not be enough timber value from the other species for any logging company to even bother with.
And by the way, a forester is in the business of growing trees.

It is really important for you to ask yourself if you are more interested in growing deer or growing trees. If the answer is both, that is fine, but realize that you will not be able to optimize for deer habitat if you optimize for timber production.
 

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I recommend having oaks no more closely spaced than this (if you are interested in deer habitat).

This is an oak savanna on my property. It is the way oaks are meant to grow if you want to produce acorns. These trees are each and every one flooded by sunlight. They can reach branches out sideways, each branch collecting lots of sunlight to produce a good acorn crop.

Most oak woods on farm lots in Michigan are way to thick.

Growing oaks for timber production and for deer habitat are mutually exclusive activities.

That is an awesome picture Mr. Brauker!!!
 

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And by the way, a forester is in the business of growing trees.

It is really important for you to ask yourself if you are more interested in growing deer or growing trees. If the answer is both, that is fine, but realize that you will not be able to optimize for deer habitat if you optimize for timber production.
The first question the forester I am working with asked was what I wanted to do, timber or wildlife management. Then we went from there as to what was going to be done
 

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I know it's impossible to keep deer from leaving a 40 acre piece. It seems like the acorns would give them another reason to stay. There's not much for food on the property right now. Wouldn't it. E best to try to cut and hinge everything else, and keep as many healthy oak trees as possible?


Kdub

Depending upon the hunting pressure on your neighboring properties I would agree with your above theory. Probably the better theory in most Michigan locations and scenarios. With just 40 acres, sacrificing a bit of bed to food separation and movement may be worth keeping the deer on your property longer. Some good acorns would keep the deer on your piece longer but could very well be a deciding factor for a few additional deer to prefer those locations for their choice bedding.
 

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I would definitely leave a few oaks in strategic locations. I would leave them in areas you want deer to travel once they get up on their feet and be in areas you can easily access without bumping deer from bedding.. With the good crop of acorns this year, our best bow stands were mostly just inside cover where several red oaks were littering the ground with acorns, they were up on their feet early in these locations. We had atleast 60 acres of red clover; but deer were hanging around the oaks until dark most evenings until acorns dried up. On my neighbors, deer would enter a hayfield from a brushy thicket then race across the field to a stand of red oaks consisting of 4 trees. Bucks had the ground tore up with scrapes in and around the oak stands.
 

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Tornado Jim
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I would definitely leave a few oaks in strategic locations. I would leave them in areas you want deer to travel once they get up on their feet and be in areas you can easily access without bumping deer from bedding.. With the good crop of acorns this year, our best bow stands were mostly just inside cover where several red oaks were littering the ground with acorns, they were up on their feet early in these locations. We had atleast 60 acres of red clover; but deer were hanging around the oaks until dark most evenings until acorns dried up. On my neighbors, deer would enter a hayfield from a brushy thicket then race across the field to a stand of red oaks consisting of 4 trees. Bucks had the ground tore up with scrapes in and around the oak stands.
Good advice chasin.

I think fewer oaks in discrete locations are far better on small properties than many oaks scattered around.

Those oaks should be situated in a location where deer have to leave their bedding sanctuary in daytime if they want to feed on them.

Because acorns are a destination food, if they are plentiful in the bedding area, deer have no reason to leave the bedding area in daylight when acorns are plentiful.

And this points up again why the forester may not give the best advice unless he also has expertise in how to get deer to move on a small property. He may expertly optimize the habitat for acorns rather than timber, but he does not likely have the understanding of how to locate those acorn producers so that they force daytime movement of deer.
 
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