Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

 This one could have done better.

These trees were planted in 1989 by a retired gentleman, and he recently sold this land to an Amish man.  The only management done on this ground was the initial planting, and you can see that it was done pretty well.  The trees are planted pretty close to 10' x 10'; about 436 trees per acre. Click on the photo for a closer look.  The trees were running into each other by ten years of age, and they should have been thinned at around fifteen years.  White pine can stand quite a bit of competition, so they have not thinned themselves.  These trees should have lots of crown, but you can see that the crowns are pinched and very short, about the size of a six to eight year old tree.

Thinning would have allowed the trees to build larger diameters, and that could still be done, but trees that have been suppressed through competition often don't respond, and if they do, it takes several years to build the crown to a size where normal growth is possible.  The easiest way to thin a plantation is to knock out every third row, followed by selective thinnings in later years.  A stand this thick is difficult to work in because trees won't fall over when you cut them.  A contractor once told me that a stand was "too thick to thin!" and his point was well taken.  We worked out a strategy, though, and he got through it pretty well.

This stand is being turned into lumber on-site, and since it is now owned by the Amish, I expect it to be converted to pasture or row crop.

Sawmill Photos!  This is a Lumber Tiger, made in Middlefield, Ohio.  I can't find a website for the company, but contact info is on the internet.  Lots of guys who are retirement age buy mills like this one to use as a hobby.  They have no experience moving logs and they give themselves hernias and ruptured discs. But, these machines are a lot of fun, and they turn out good lumber.


Joel T. said...

Walk 30 feet down a row and the sun would disappear. I hope I don't make the same mistake.

Is that a home-made sawmill?

David aka True Blue Sam said...

I'll swing by there and see if I can zoom in on the name. I don't recognize the brand, but it is similar to a Wood Miser. White pines are just tolerant enough that they don't sort themselves out very well, and they also don't shed dead branches. They are pretty, but high maintenance if you want clear white pine lumber. White pine is a bit unique in that they will grown in fescue. Fescue keeps most trees from doing well, but white pine gets up and out of it, at least in the clay pan soils in So IL.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

It's a Lumber Tiger, made in Middlefield, Ohio. No website, but evidently still in business.

Joel T. said...

It looks like the seat is on top of the blade of the saw. If that's the case, it doesn't give you a good view of the blade through the log. I'd still like to see it in action, though.

I had a chance for a Wood Mizer about 10 years ago from an estate sale. I think it was more that my dad wanted it but didn't feel young enough to run it. I wasn't living close to him or else I'd be spending more time cutting logs than planting trees. A neighbor of his bought it for about a fourth of new price and cut lumber for dad anytime he asked.

Thanks for the info and the lesson on white pines. Although not as many or as close as those in your picture, most are doing well despite the deer's best efforts.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

You found the secret to buying a mill. Find one in an estates sale of an old boy who barely used it, and you buy it cheap. You also need a tractor with a loader for moving logs and piles of lumber, and a roof to keep it all under. It's a serious undertaking if you do it right.

Joel T. said...

What I thought might be the seat is the gas tank. Sheesh, I need better eyes.

Thanks for the close ups.

That Wood Mizer had a log loader, log turner, leveler and more that made the day go pretty easy for the guy cutting. Those of us who pulled and loaded the boards had a different story. It was the top of the line and I let it go. It wasn't the first deal I missed in my life and probably won't be the last.

Thanks again, David.