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Reforesting cedar groves towards sylvopasture

 
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Hey all. We are currently trying to clear out a few cedar groves and bringing down a couple medium sized, 10-14 ft, cedars but mostly it's areas with a lot of 6-9 ft cedars. My current plan is the use the wood to make biochar for use in the pastures or garden. I know Paul would prefer a 9ft tall hugel mound but I don't think we will have enough material to make longer than a 5ft long mound and we have no back hoe etc to do major earth works and I can't find a place locally that does rentals and I doubt it would be enough to convince a track hoe operator to come out for such a small job. So with the goal of areas where I can graze our sheep and provide plenty of shade for them this is my plan. I had heard Paul say in a somewhat recent podcast that he suspects conifers strip the calcium from the soil and acidify it so I was considering spreading lime as a 1 time deal as we broadcast seed

Location: Missouri, zone 6a fairly near st Louis. Ground is primarily clay and in some areas is only 4-6 in deep before we hit very gravelly areas with quite a bit of sandstone underneath. Our property has a mix of very old oaks and some old ish cedars, a few young cedar groves that have mostly defoliated the ground and a number of black locust and honey locust. We have lots of elderberry, blackberry and raspberry. The pastures are full of broad-leaved Forbes and grasses so I doubt this property has ever seen herbicide except maybe a few spots near the house.

Pioneer species I will encourage, seed or transplant: black locust, false indigo, mulberries, willow, and clover most of my soil seed bank is not a problem for my sheep to handle and tends to be primarily clover, plantain and wild grasses.
Pioneer species I will discourage and would be welcome for suggestions to manage beyond pruners: trifolia rose, Himalayan blackberries (sometimes allowed because yum) and burdock

Primary biomass:clover and fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. If someone has suggestions on native grasses or grasses that do well in a non watered or fertilized rotational grazed system I'd be open to it.

We currently have three 1 year old katahdin ewes and we will be getting a ram this fall to breed them in November. The goal is to have 15 ish sheep next fall by breeding and buying in. Currently we have around 7 acres of pasture and another 8 of forest that has some grass forages I expect to be converting around an acre or 2 into pasture. Long term I think I would cap our flock at 3-4 rams and around 10 consistent breeding ewes and butchering or selling 10-20 lambs per year . We currently have the issue that the grass grows to fast for our flock to eat down and I think we could easily over winter 15 on existing forage especially if we butcher or sell by August.

Finally if anyone has suggestions for dealing with the cedar stumps I would be very appreciative. My inclination is to burn them out or at least to level ideally using something like a barrel updraft stove. I would also be open to drilling and inoculating the stumps but I don't know any good species to us for this.
 
steward
Posts: 15122
Location: USDA Zone 8a
4150
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I live with lots of cedar stumps.  The builder or previous landowner cut them flat to the ground which has not been a problem for us.

Where you might have paths your suggestion might work.

Here are some threads that might offer some suggestions for the silvopasture:

https://permies.com/t/86344/Field-Silvopasture-Battle-Begun

https://permies.com/t/150917/Silvopasture-Tree-shrub-Selection

https://permies.com/t/157739/Creating-forest-farm-thoughts-ideas

 
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