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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


After reading and following several threads over a course of a year, I finally got up the nerve to ask for some advice. Last winter my father and I decided to have our red pines thinned (3rd thinning). So now the question is what to do? Leave alone, plant back to pines or something else? Looking to add cover/bedding? Other parts of the property have done hinge cutting to add browse and cover. In the picture, a lane was planted with a logging trail mix plus some clover and chickory. It has come in very well this fall.

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A good thinning should get some good regrowth of browse. I know the deer really like my friends red pine plantation. Another neighbor had his aggressively thinned a couple yrs ago and now is thick with the regrowth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am seeing red pine, white pine and various oak seedlings in and among the trash of the thinning. I am wondering if there is Something I can specifically to increase the diversity and density?
 

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Of course you could plant trees, shrubs or whatever you want to thicken it up. When you let light in you will get a variety of stuff growing, it just takes a couple yrs to get the results you want. Even if you plant shrubs it will still take time, yrs. nothing wrong with diversity. It's just a matter of time whatever you do. I'll take some pics of my neighbors red pine thinning, been 2-3 yrs since thinning, it looks nice.
 

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Heres a pic from the rd today, before you could see 300 yds down the rows. I would of got more aggressive in thinning but it is much better cover than it was. From what I could see it is mostly musclewood coming in which holds its leaves most of winter. Sounds like you did more cutting and should get better results, but takes time. You mentioned a picture in your post but I don't see one. My other neighbor planted Austrian pines which are fast growing and allow bedding underneath, not as thick as a spruce. Sunlight is the key.
 

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We have red pines that were thinned for the first time about 8 years ago. Hardly anything grew in underneath. Very poor sand soils. When trees were planted 40 years ago there were still stumps from the presettlement logging days and nothing else. One area where we had some die back from disease has a little growth.

Something to think about and wondering if anyone else has had this.

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We have red pines that were thinned for the first time about 8 years ago. Hardly anything grew in underneath. Very poor sand soils. When trees were planted 40 years ago there were still stumps from the presettlement logging days and nothing else. One area where we had some die back from disease has a little growth.

Something to think about and wondering if anyone else has had this.

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Do you think you let enough sunlight in. The area with the disease sounds like it allowed more sunlight to hit the ground. You would think more people would have responded to the op's post. I know every property is different and a lot depends on the soil. I'm only familiar with my area and don't have a clue about Wisconsin. Sounds like he has some good regrowth coming in and just needs some time.
 

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We waited a few years longer than recommended too. Definitely more sunlight by the diseased ones. Plus i think that| area was letting sunlight in before the cut. I think the next cut will bring more growth.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can see the picture in my original post but I will try again. After seeing the pic of your friends property and the spacing of those trees, I think the logger could have been evan more aggressive.
 

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Hope I wasn't too aggressive we will see in a couple years but I think it's going to be really good. Pines look nice but zero food and cover when they reach a certain height. I have noticed a variety of trees and shrubs starting already from tiny oaks to AO, raspberry plants, and spruce. Its ugly now but I have high hopes. Thinking of having a dozen come in and create a long food plot.

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Hope I wasn't too aggressive we will see in a couple years but I think it's going to be really good. Pines look nice but zero food and cover when they reach a certain height. I have noticed a variety of trees and shrubs starting already from tiny oaks to AO, raspberry plants, and spruce. Its ugly now but I have high hopes. Thinking of having a dozen come in and create a long food plot.

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That is going to be one thick nasty area in 5 yrs. That's what I call letting sunlight in. Very nice.
 

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I can see the picture in my original post but I will try again. After seeing the pic of your friends property and the spacing of those trees, I think the logger could have been evan more aggressive.
It's hard to manage a property for deer and money. Easier to do one or the other. I would get the logger back out early spring if deer habitat is your goal. Sunlight is EVERYTHING.
 

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You might be able to speed it up

I have some 50 yr old spruce Xmas tree areas open underneath obviously and once theyre cut I use my crawler loader to push debris away in the rows between tree stumps and then hit those rows with heavy ag manure. Rows need to be 8 ft wide but if they are, that accelerates forbe growth like mad. I till it in the early spring and its a diverse jungle compared to the others with confir needle carpeting If you're on sand it might help even more though simple sunlight will work given time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

An update on the red pine plantation. Ordered spruce and red pine to fill in edges and openings in the plantation. Some additional hinge cutting and edge feathering planned for the winter and the clover food plot added additional area to seed next year. Looking to add chestnut trees and hazlenut around the food plot. Dad and I had a good year taking bucks during gun and late bow season.
 

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Red pine is really not a good choice for whitetails. Mature red pine plantations are considered deer deserts. These trees do grow fast in poor soil and have good cover while young. Once they age they drop all their lower limbs. You will eventually have a very open landscape underneath. Not only is red pine a non food source for deer, it will shade the ground and keep any good browse plants and trees from growing. Norway or White spruce do not offer any food either, but they hold their limbs with age. Providing the ultimate, cover, screen and protect deer from high winds and winter elements. Red pine is good for planting as a screen along side of Spruce. When the quick growing red pine open up underneath, the spruce will have created the ultimate screen. Nothing wrong with red pine scattered here and there. Just don't plant more since you already have many of them. Cutting them down and planting or allowing natural regeneration of other species is a good idea. Good Luck..
 

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Do you think you let enough sunlight in. The area with the disease sounds like it allowed more sunlight to hit the ground. You would think more people would have responded to the op's post. I know every property is different and a lot depends on the soil. I'm only familiar with my area and don't have a clue about Wisconsin. Sounds like he has some good regrowth coming in and just needs some time.
A lot of us were off deer hunting :)
Wis wood duck, for some reason I cannot see any pictures in your post but nonetheless a first thinning in red pine, every third row, will not let in enough light to get much diversity of herbaceous or woody plants going. If your plantation was established on hardwood soils or farm land that was reasonably fertile you should expect another thinning in as little as eight years. At that time conventional forestry indicates taking out another third of the plantation, about every third tree in the remaining rows. Following that thinning and for the next couple of thinnings thereafter you should see a noticeable increase in deer friendly species. If you wish to speed things up a bit have your forester mark a bit heavier at the next cutting, maybe taking 40% to 45% of the trees rather than 33%.

Be careful not to thin too heavily because a big wind or an ice storm the first year or two after thinning could really damage the plantation. FM
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am not sure what is up with pictures? I can see them? The soil is glacial out wash sand (Technically sandy loam). The pines were planted on old farm/pasture. I have seen pictures of my Dad's from the turn of the century (1900) of our 80 and it's all open prairie not a tree to be seen. I know what you mean Bish about a desert under the red pines. The plantation is about a 1/4 of the property broken into three different parts of the property. The intention of any work in the pines is to provide wind break, screening or bedding. I understand that the best would be to thin it out more to get even more sunlight to the ground. But I think there is enough pockets and edges to plant some trees to break up the rows. I agree that red pine will not be the best to plant since I have a few thousand throwing seeds. I did order white spruce and will probably order some Norway spruce. The information I have obtain from you guys have already improved my habitat Immensely. :chillin:
 
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