Posts tagged ‘logging’

Light on the Land Small-scale Logging field day: Sept. 19, Brainerd

Small-scale Logging Field Day: September 19, 2009, Brainerd. Download complete event details (PDF)

Small-scale logging is a system and a range of equipment that increases logging flexibility and extends production seasons.  Small-scale logging is designed for harvesting operations where maneuverability is a primary concern.  It is not logging small trees and/or small volumes.

Why attend?

Whether you are a logger, forester, woodland owner, or other land manager, this field day will show you how to maximize profitability through the use of small-scale logging and harvesting equipment, using efficient and safe techniques.

From tree  to finished product is the main theme of this event, with a focus on the private landowner.

Equipment displays:

  • Peterson swing blade sawmill
  • Mulch-R’Down brush clearing
  • ATV arches
  • Farmi Winch
  • Portable Winch(TM)
  • Log-rite Tools

Informational Displays and Forest Products:

  • Lumber drying
  • Lathe turnings
  • Custom log work
  • Growing mushrooms
  • Maple syrup
  • Silent Auction
  • Wood carving, crafts, furniture,
  • misc. lumber, etc.

For more details, including schedule and registration information, check out the event brochure (PDF) or contact Gary Bradford at (218) 927-4599 or Patrick Lanin at (218) 764-3315.

This event is hosted by Northwoods Forestry Cooperative and the Brainerd Chapter of the Minnesota Forestry Association.

September 10, 2009 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

Harvesting Timber: Overview

An overview of harvesting and selling timber in Minnesota, with links to content on timber harvest contracts, visual impacts, selling timber, the future of your woodlands after harvest, and natural and artificial regeneration.

Continue Reading April 28, 2007 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Harvesting and selling timber

A brief overview of different widely accepted methods of selling timber: Lump sum, scale, and percentage. Also links to other useful related sites.

Continue Reading April 28, 2007 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

Harvesting Timber: The Future of Your Woodland

As you plan a timber sale, it is easy to focus on what can be taken out of the stand.  However, as a landowner committed to the stewardship of your land, you need also to be thinking about what will be left behind.  The trees that remain after the harvest are the ones that you’ll see every time you walk through the woods.  They’re also the seed source for your future woods.

Hardwood logpile in stand

Eli Sagor photo

Every timber harvest should leave the woodland in a better condition than it was beforehand.  This can happen in many different ways.  Partial harvests should be designed to remove less desirable species and trees of relatively poor form.  This will focus growing space on the best of your woodland, improving its vigor, quality, and value.  Partial harvests are also a great way to grow big trees quickly.

The same concept applies to clearcut stands as well.  Well planned and executed timber harvests can greatly improve the productive capacity of the woodlot.  But details do matter.  For example, harvesting aspen in the winter leads to more vigorous new growth.

Why?  In spring and summer, most of the tree’s nutrients are in the growing parts of the tree:  stem, twigs, and leaves.  In winter, nutrients move from leaves to roots, where they’re stored until the next growing season.  If you harvest in winter, these nutrients will be available for a fast, vigorous new growth.  If you harvest in summer, the nutrients will be lost.

Details like this can have important impacts on your timber harvest experience.  Before you harvest, talk to a forester who can help you plan ahead for a successful sale.

April 28, 2007 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

Written timber harvest contracts

Why it’s important to have a clear written contract when selling timber, with a link to a timber harvest contract for Minnesota.

Continue Reading April 28, 2007 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

Sample Minnesota timber harvest contract

A sample Minnesota timber harvest contract.

Continue Reading April 28, 2007 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Harvesting timber: Visual impacts

Harvesting timber will dramatically change the appearance of your woods. Even a low-intensity partial harvest will require a cleared landing and skid roads, along with deposition of residual slash. This page has basic information about what to expect and how to manage visual impacts during harvest.

Continue Reading April 22, 2007 at 5:23 am 1 comment

Thinnings and woodland stand improvement

Thinned oak stand near Mora, MN. Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

Thinned oak stand near Mora, MN. Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

Thinnings and timber stand improvement operations are designed to improve the vigor and value of existing forest stands.  There are many ways to do this.  As in choosing the right silvicultural system, choosing the right kind of thinning for your woodland can be somewhat complex.  That decision depends on a number of factors, including site characteristics, stand age, species composition, stand acreage, and landowner objectives.

Thinnings can be precommercial or commercial.  In a precommercial thinning, harvested material can not be sold and is generally not removed from the site.  Precommercial thinnings are made entirely as investments in the future growth of the stand.  Commercial thinnings, on the other hand, yield products that can be sold.  Commercial thinnings sometimes merely break even in the sense of covering harvest costs, but in older stands can be fairly profitable.

This section provides a basic overview of different thinning and timber stand improvement strategies.

Row thinning

Row thinning in red pine near Mora, MN. Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

Row thinning in red pine near Mora, MN. Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

As the name suggests, row thinning means removing trees in rows or strips.  Row thinnings are most often conducted in plantations, where trees are planted in rows.  Row thinnings are relatively efficient.  They also open up lanes for harvesting equipment to enter and move around within the stand, which may not be possible in unthinned plantation stands.  In most plantations, the first thinning is a row thinning.

Selection thinning
Selection thinning involves removal of certain trees based on their characteristics, spacing, and other considerations.  Selection thinning is often used in plantation stands for second or subsequent thinnings.  The advantage of selection thinning is that it allows more flexibility than row thinning, allowing for the removal of low-value trees.  This focuses growth on high-value trees, improving the health and long-term value of the stand.

Selection thinning can also occur in hardwood stands.  However, if not applied carefully, this approach can lead to high-grading, which can damage the stand and severely set back its vigor and long-term value.

Crop tree thinning

Crowns of unthinned (top) and thinned red pine, Cloquet MN. Flickr photo by esagor.

Crowns of unthinned (top) and thinned red pine, Cloquet MN. Flickr photo by esagor.

Crop tree thinning involves carefully maximizing the growing space available to the best trees in the stand.  Crop tree thinning is an excellent approach to use while cutting firewood on your property.  Crop tree thinning involves the following steps:

  1. Walk through your stand and identify the trees with the greatest potential future value.  These are your crop trees.  Mark your crop trees using flagging tape, spray paint, or some other marker.  “Value” need not mean “timber value.”  You might mark den trees, trees of rare species, or any other kind of tree that you want to thrive in your woodlot.
  2. Identify any trees that are in direct competition with your crop trees.  To identify competing trees, don’t look down.  Look UP at the crowns.  Any tree with a crown that’s touching the crown of your crop tree is competing with it.
  3. Remove some or all of the competing trees.  Be careful not to overdo it.  If your crop trees have been growing under intense competition for years, they could be shocked and stressed if all trees around them are removed at once.  Consider a multi-stage approach where competing trees are removed over a several-year period.
  4. Monitor crown closure after thinning.  Repeat these steps as needed.

High-grading involves harvesting only the highest-value trees from a stand and leaving all the rest.  High-grading can severely degrade the health, visual appearance, and long-term value of the stand.  High-graded stands tend to contain suppressed trees of poor form and/or species.  It can take decades for the stand to recover.  Diameter-limit cutting is one common way to high-grade a stand.

Although a partial harvest may seem preferable to a clearcut, in many cases you’d be far better off clearcutting the stand.  Clearcutting will generally lead to vigorous new growth of an early successional stand.  By contrast, high-grading leads to stagnant growth of a low-value stand.

Woodland stand improvement

    One approach to woodland stand improvement. Adapted from Woodland Stewardship: A guide for Midwestern landowners. Click for a larger version.

One approach to woodland stand improvement. Adapted from "Woodland Stewardship: A guide for Midwestern landowners." Click for a larger version.

Woodland stand improvement refers to any treatment designed primarily to improve the composition and condition of an existing stand. Stand improvement treatments require a financial investment in the future of the stand.

There are many different types of stand improvement treatments. One common approach is to kill or remove undesirable species to allow desired species more room to grow. Another approach is a targeted release of the best young trees in a stand. Trees are released by removing competing vegetation.

For more info
Another excellent source of information on Minnesota silviculture, including thinnings and stand improvement, is the North Central Forest Management Guides.

April 18, 2007 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

Silvicultural systems

Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

Flickr photo by esagor. Click for original.

Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis.

Many people think that clearcutting is the only way to harvest timber.  That’s not the case.  Although clearcutting is an efficient and effective system, it is by no means the optimal harvest system for every situation.  Among other things, the optimal silvicultural system depends on site characteristics, forest type, and landowner objectives.

Silvicultural systems can range from single-tree selection up to clearcutting. Any treatment (such as a thinning) designed to enhance growth, quality, vigor, and composition of the stand after establishment or regeneration and prior to final harvest.

Intermediate treatments such as woodland stand improvement can improve the stand’s vigor and value. Improving the quality of a stand through pruning, girdling or removing undesirable species, applying herbicide, or other treatments. TSI treatments are generally precommercial.

You can find a basic, straightforward overview of different silvicultural systems at the North Central Forest Management Guides site.

April 18, 2007 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

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