Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
241 - 260 of 332 Posts

· Banned
Joined
·
5,584 Posts
OSXer, What about new ash trees sprouting up on the floor? These out to be good for a while. I don't know if the ashes that were stressed out or dying sent out a lot more seeds, but I'm getting tons of shoots and these will probably give some viable saplings in the next ten years. By then the EAB might have passed through.



These little shoots around this bed are ash shoots:

 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
OSXer, What about new ash trees sprouting up on the floor? These out to be good for a while. I don't know if the ashes that were stressed out or dying sent out a lot more seeds, but I'm getting tons of shoots and these will probably give some viable saplings in the next ten years. By then the EAB might have passed through.
I've seen people say that EAB will move on, but I think it's here to stay. I have a number of trees that aren't dead yet, but in the few year it will take them to die, the younger trees will have thick enough bark that EAB will move to them, so on and so forth.

Here is an example of my woods, though this was taken during the spring and by the end of summer it looked even worse:


While it does allow for a lot of regrowth at the forest floor as you can kind of see above, why have I changed my stance on whether to cut these down?



I had a ladder stand on the big tree to the right ... obviously I had to move it.



While I have new ash sprouting similar to Steven's photos above, my new goal is variety. There is no reason to put all my eggs in one basket, so I've been planting a variety of wildlife friendly shrubs and trees, and fencing them until they get established. It's another reason the ash need to go though. I'm tired of them randomly falling on the things I'm planting to replace them.



Luckily I could bend that cage back and the shrub was ok after it was crushed by part of the tree on the ground behind it.

And here's a good shot of what started me saying that I envy the structure resulting from the large trees that DblTree has dropped. His trees create structure, where as mine are dead, dried, and brittle, so they don't create structure on their own. Instead they hit the ground, shatter, and the "structure" created is relatively flat.



There are some small ash trees that are still alive that I can hinge once the larger ones are down (no sense in doing them first because it'll only increase the chances that they will be crushed flat by a larger tree). The ground is also really good, so there should be vigorous regrowth, but it will take 3-5 years and in the mean time the structure will be limited.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
I've seen people say that EAB will move on, but I think it's here to stay.

I work closely with foresters here in Iowa and I think they feel it is here to stay as well...no way to see the future of course but it doesn't look good.

There is EQUIP/WHIP funds for weed tree removal and interplanting of oaks and conifers for those that might have an interest in changing the type of timber habitat you currently have...;)
 

· Banned
Joined
·
5,584 Posts
I see a lot of ash sprouts in a few heavily shaded areas on one small area of my property. Fortunately, I only have a small percentage of ash to begin with. I can foresee these sprouts growing for eight years or so and then getting to the threshold of about one inch caliper where they are then vulnerable to the EAB. I see those eight years as a blessing for browse and "a very high stem count".

In these areas I will simply let sunshine rule.

The best firewood is ash. You have ash on your property? Cut and use for firewood. Sooner rather than later.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
I was near Detroit this morning sitting in a parking lot and noticed a dead ash tree. At the stump many new shoots were growing up at least 6 feet of fresh new growth, this was the first time I have noticed what looked like dead ash sprouting. Gives a little hope.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
bio-Do you have any pictures of the tamarack swamp that is too thick for bedding? Is it a maize of young trees that are too thick after a cutover? Too thick to walk through?

Would this type of maize regrow out of a black ash/tamarack swamp after EAB hits?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
Cut and use for firewood. Sooner rather than later.
Yep, I'm looking into a wood furnace/stove to make use of them. :)
At the stump many new shoots were growing up at least 6 feet of fresh new growth, this was the first time I have noticed what looked like dead ash sprouting. Gives a little hope.
I've got a variety of trees resprouting. The deer like the browse and the stem density is nice. However, eventually the bark will be thick enough that EAB will lay eggs in it and the larva will kill the trees. My thought is to keep cutting it back before it gets to this point to keep the EAB from killing them. Hopefully someday there will be an EAB solution. Until then, I'll also keep planting a wide variety of other species too!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,065 Posts
I believe the EAB will run its course. It is able to move so rapidly because of the abundance of ash trees. The beetles only fly a short distance, That is all the is needed to find the next ash. Once they make their pass, it will not be an issue. Dutch Elm disease was similar. I have hundreds of ash sprouts ranging from 1 foot to 10 foot tall. The large ash in the fencerows are dieing, but the young trees are still not infected.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
...but the young trees are still not infected.
Won't those trees grow large enough in the next 5-10 years though that the bark will become attractive? In that time there will still be beetles around. Yes, perhaps the "wave of suddenly dying trees" will end, but EAB killing ash will keep occurring until something makes an honest attempt to target and prey on EABs.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter · #251 ·
Some pics from a TSI project I did a while back....

example of Crop Tree and cull trees (marked X)



Looking skyward at same trees at competing canopy



Cull trees are girdled to kill them and release the crop tree



Reducing canopy allows the released crop tree to grow faster, produce more mast and also encourages oak regeneration




I hinge smaller trees in these areas but all the larger trees are girdled for not only my safety but to limit damages to crop trees. Large trees falling against the crop trees can damage limbs and open up wounds that make them susceptible to diseases such as oak wilt. Girdled trees open up canopy instantly but slough away slowly without causing harm to surrounding trees....;)

 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter · #252 ·
The TSI job am I working on now has an area the landowner did himself last year....always fun to see what they look like a year later! The whole place is full of deer tracks thanks to abundant cover and browse from the downed trees and reduced canopy.

Some trees are bound to break off in which case they send up shoots from the stump



Others where the hinge remains intact...



send up vertical stems easily reached by deer



Either way copious amounts of new screening cover and plentiful browse is available



In the background here you can see the unhinged area and how open it is, devoid of cover and browse



Compared to the hinged area where I can see only a few yards rather then hundreds of yards



He hinged some sizable trees in this area and because of that really opened up canopy!



The leaves are still obvious on this hinged tree!



A chainsaw sure makes a difference in these open timber settings! :cool:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
It is easy to see the benefit from your pictures. Looking at the first 6 feet from the ground up, this is what matters most to a whitetail. Obviously the older a timber stand gets the light to the forest floor gets blocked and we lose the understory. The deer are super attracted to areas like this. A chainsaw should be the first investment one should make if they desire to improve the timber they have for the benefit of the deer.
Thanks again for the pics and hard work in teaching people how to improve their property.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
A chainsaw should be the first investment one should make if they desire to improve the timber they have for the benefit of the deer.

Absolutely! Perhaps the single most important investment a landowner could make!

Some pretty good sized trees' were tipped over last year in this hinged area!



This is pretty common when hinging shagbarks...they stay pretty high up!



Simply reducing canopy allows the whole area to become a whitetail haven!



The bed in it and feed in it



the one thing they don't do however



is travel through it



there is a beat down runway following around the exterior but one could easily cut a path through the hinge cuts if need be.



This is the area we are working on now...wide open...no cover...no feed...no reason for deer to be there!



It easy to see how heavily hinged areas can succeed in funneling deer around them so with a little thought you can leave a narrow, natural travel corridor open by a stand. Traveling bucks will choose the open route even though they might at other times of the year bed in the hinged areas... :cool:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter · #255 ·
In the timber where I am doing TSI now the stand consists of mostly white and red oaks with a smattering of hickories and elms mixed in. It's already been logged and that has opened up canopy already so my first target is the shade tolerant weed tree...ironwood!



I'm hinging every one of those I see



and then "messing it up" by hinging some of the co-dominate species like hickory and elm



Some places are thicker



others not so much simply because there is not much to work with



TSI is crop tree release that in cases like this is primarily weed tree removal and under the cost share agreement there must be a minimum of X number of crop trees per acre so the forester sets guidelines in the Forest Stewardship Plan that we must follow to receive cost share.

It is important when we have good oak and/or walnut stands not to destroy the stand itself and opening up canopy too much can do just that. Open grown oak seedlings will have poor timber value because they will have limbs instead of a tall straight trunk (open grown oak = Savannah oak)

Every timber is different and for that reason being guided by a competent forester is extremely important :cool:
 

· Tornado Jim
Joined
·
20,072 Posts
Every timber is different and for that reason being guided by a competent forester is extremely important :cool:
It should be noted that TSI is an acronym for Timber Stand Improvement.

It is not synonymous with DHI, or Deer Habitat Improvement.

In general, deer habitat is improved incrementally when a TSI program is done. However, it is not the end-goal of a forester to produce better deer habitat, and they will often advise you to do things that are not necessarily favorable to producing good deer habitat, like killing nearby trees (rather than hinging them) that might compete with target trees for nutrients, and moderate rather than aggressive reduction of canopy, in order to prevent excessive branching of trees. They might encourage the presence of black walnut trees, one of the big money trees, which may suppress under-story variety and density. These approaches might be in direct conflict with the optimal approach for someone who is mainly interested in Deer Habitat Improvement.

My main point is, if you are primarily into producing timber, then the forester's word is golden. However, if you are primarily into Deer Habitat Improvement, you will want to do things much differently than he (the forester) would recommend. If you lie between these extreme's, you probably want to get the opinion of a good forester and a deer habitat consultant and integrate the information to produce a plan that is more balanced.

In my own case, none of my wood lot work is eligible for cost-sharing. Even though I had a qualified forester walk my woods with me, I ended up ignoring most of what he said, because I was not interested in timber development, and he simply did not see the woods from the perspective of deer management.

Many people (most probably) will want a balanced program that both improves the timber and improves deer habitat at the same time--for that, the input of a good forester is invaluable. If you are imbalanced (like me:)) towards wanting to produce deer habitat, then a forester is not likely to help you much.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
676 Posts
It should be noted that TSI is an acronym for Timber Stand Improvement.

It is not synonymous with DHI, or Deer Habitat Improvement.

In general, deer habitat is improved incrementally when a TSI program is done. However, it is not the end-goal of a forester to produce better deer habitat, and they will often advise you to do things that are not necessarily favorable to producing good deer habitat, like killing nearby trees (rather than hinging them) that might compete with target trees for nutrients, and moderate rather than aggressive reduction of canopy, in order to prevent excessive branching of trees. They might encourage the presence of black walnut trees, one of the big money trees, which may suppress under-story variety and density. These approaches might be in direct conflict with the optimal approach for someone who is mainly interested in Deer Habitat Improvement.

My main point is, if you are primarily into producing timber, then the forester's word is golden. However, if you are primarily into Deer Habitat Improvement, you will want to do things much differently than he (the forester) would recommend. If you lie between these extreme's, you probably want to get the opinion of a good forester and a deer habitat consultant and integrate the information to produce a plan that is more balanced.

In my own case, none of my wood lot work is eligible for cost-sharing. Even though I had a qualified forester walk my woods with me, I ended up ignoring most of what he said, because I was not interested in timber development, and he simply did not see the woods from the perspective of deer management.

Many people (most probably) will want a balanced program that both improves the timber and improves deer habitat at the same time--for that, the input of a good forester is invaluable. If you are imbalanced (like me:)) towards wanting to produce deer habitat, then a forester is not likely to help you much.

Agree.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter · #258 ·
Another day of TSI/hinging...girdling larger trees to release crop trees and hinging smaller weed trees



It doesn't take long to turn an open area



into a dense thicket of cover



That will erupt with new growth this spring



Allowing sunlight to the forest floor will allow young oaks to survive and plenty of forbs and new browse to grow.



I have cut for 2 weeks straight from dawn til dark, a vary diverse species of trees and thus far not a single tree has done anything but tip over. The angle cut keeps them from tipping backwards and they simply fall over but please be safe an start with smaller trees first. Experiment with the species of weed trees in your timber and decide which method of cut seems to work well for you.

Remember chainsaw chaps, helmet with face protection and if possible wait for warm days without snow. It is important to be able to move back and snow can make it slippery and easy to loose your footing, especially on steep slopes common here in SE Iowa.

Ice cleats on your boots can be helpful when working in snow so consider giving those a try and if at all possible, take someone with you for safety reasons..... :cool:
 

· Tornado Jim
Joined
·
20,072 Posts
I have cut for 2 weeks straight from dawn til dark, a vary diverse species of trees and thus far not a single tree has done anything but tip over. The angle cut keeps them from tipping backwards and they simply fall over but please be safe an start with smaller trees first. Experiment with the species of weed trees in your timber and decide which method of cut seems to work well for you.
If a tree falls backwards then the hinge was cut too far through, period. If smaller trees break off they were released too much (cut through too far). A properly cut tree will not fall backwards under any circumstances. Releasing a tree too much (cutting too far through it, so that it decides where to go instead of you deciding), is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Stability and control of the direction of fall require a hinge that is robust enough to hold the tree in place even if you misjudged the direction. You have to take into account where the tree wants to go, of course, but if it wants to go back towards you creating an angled cut to prevent it from falling backwards simply creates instability of the cut, and the end result often involves the tree falling in an unintended direction or breaking off.

If you have hundreds of acres of woods, break-offs and trees falling where they want is not a problem (other than a safety issue). If you are like me, with only small areas of hardwoods to work with, then each tree is of value, and good control of how and where they will fall is essential.

There is a discussion of how angle cutting makes a tree unstable here.

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=364252
 

· Tornado Jim
Joined
·
20,072 Posts
In my opinion, break offs of trees when hinging are mainly a function of how they are cut, not time of year or other theories. While break-offs are tolerable in situations where the main purpose is TSI, and large acreage of woods are available, those of us with small acreage and limited woods who are focusing mainly on creating deer habitat need to optimize our chances by getting as many trees as possible to remain on the stump. Maples can be a real problem, but there are ways to tackle them that will lead to success most of the time on trees of 6 inches or less, even in very frigid conditions. I got a chance this morning to get out and do some cutting of maple trees in 12 degree weather, because I have heard talk of the difficulty of getting trees to remain intact in cold weather.

Whether a tree is going to survive hinging or not is very much dependent on technique. I thought I would address some of the key elements that go into getting survival of maple trees, which are one of the toughest ones to deal with.

This first image shows the ingredients for getting a maple to survive. Number one is to have something in the drop area to cushion the fall of the tree. Notice there are two small maple trees to the right and left of the maple we want to cut, which is the one in the right center of the picture (upper left panel). The crown of the target maple is big enough that it will hang up in those two trees, so we will drop it dead center between the trees--we purposefully want those trees to prevent it from falling. No matter which way this tree wants to go, we will ensure it will fall where we want by creating the hinge in the right location. We decide where the tree goes, it doesn't. Next is the cut. We cut far enough to be able to pull the tree over but not far enough that it can release on its own. It is essential that the hinge be able to support the entire tree (this can be accomplished even with substantial lean in the tree). Now we have a firm, stable tree that is ready to be partially pulled over. By using a 16 foot pole we are easily able to pull it over so it gently nestles into the two smaller maples (lower left). We then do very partial cuts on the two maples. We don't want them to release on their own either. Finally, we ease all three trees down together and all three have excellent connections with their stumps. These trees will all survive (lower right).



If we want a tree to snap off, well that's easy to do, just cut it and let it release on its own without anything to cushion its fall. That is demonstrated in the next panel. There are two maples of identical size (upper left). The closer one was just cut and pushed over. When the top hit the ground, the hinge dislodged and broke off. We could take either of these trees in whatever direction we wanted, but we chose to land the more distant one on a pile of other debris. We slowly eased it over with the pole and actually hand eased it down by pushing up as hard a possible on it as it fell--the hinge is completely intact (lower left). Looking at it from another angle, you can see that it actually came down on a small sapling that is bent to the right near the older horizontal log, and that log kept if from going all the way to the ground, but not before the tree top landed against a previously hinged tree, cut specifically for the purpose of easing the fall of this second tree. A little bit of distance makes a huge difference on the stress applied to the hinge. By having the tree land so that it stayed parallel with the ground, stress was reduced on the hinge. None of this happened by accident, if we let it go where it wanted to go, where we put the previous tree, there was nothing to control its fall and it very likely would have broken off.



The final panel shows the hinging of a 7 inch tree in 12 degree weather. This size and larger maples are very difficult to keep alive under any conditions. The target tree is the one with the chain saw at the base. We chose the direction of fall very carefully. If we fall this tree to the right, which is where it wants to go (red arrow), it will crash to the ground and the hinge will almost certainly shatter. Instead, we made the hinge facing some dead leaners and a couple of smaller maples we want to get in the way and cushion the fall (black arrows, upper left panel. This is where having a very small saw comes in handy. We are able to get a wedge in behind the saw so that we can encourage the tree to tilt to the left instead of taking its desired direction of fall. Again, we do not cut far enough to release the tree. The wedges and pole will be used to put the tree where we want it. We use the wedge to move it into position, then make partial cuts in the two maples that we are taking it into, and then use the pole to ease the whole thing down. We end up with 3 intact maple trees.



Folks, how much care you use in hinging tree depends on your circumstances. It is all well and good to say you will get lots of growth from the stumps and exposed soil, and break offs don't matter, but I am here to tell you that break offs should not be routine at any time of the year. Yes, they will happen with larger trees and especially ash and maple trees, but there is no excuse for them happening regularly with smaller trees. It happens because people cut too far and allow the tree to release in a random manner. In the case I am showing you here, we have about 2 acres of maples in this area. It is an entry area from a CRP field to some stand sets and we want it is thick and gnarly as possible, and do not want any deer bedding here during the season. Accomplishing that requires careful consideration of how you are going to place each tree, and how many survive or at least remain hooked to their stumps to provide horizontal cover can be critical. If you have hundreds of acres that you are doing TSI on, and the timber is more important to you than wildlife habitat, by all means just walk through, cut trees until they release, and let them fall where they may. But if you are like me (and most people I know) optimizing the habitat is of critical importance. You can't uncut a tree.
 
241 - 260 of 332 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top