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What to do with 500+ white pines

 
Posts: 13
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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We just moved into a new 5-acre property that is basically a huge, rectangular lawn with over 500 white pines around the perimeter. The original owner appeared to want a privacy wall, and perhaps a wind break. They are 70 feet tall and most have a diameter between 18" - 24". They are stacked 3 deep in a Cartesian grid at intervals of 10' all the way along the perimeter. Does anybody have any ideas what I should do with them?

The problem: lots of shade, no human food production.
The benefits: there are good mushroom cultivation areas, the area stays cooler in summer, they're a good wind break, they provide privacy.

Proposal: Remove most of them (keep a few), replace with a food forest that provides more food, more diversity, more robustness.

Still, what to do with the white pine, once I harvest it?

As a crop, they're not good for much. I haven't found anybody who'd be willing to harvest them just to take them away for free.

I could make an awful lot of hugelkultur! I'm concerned about the abundance of soft wood for the impact on the fungi.

I could use them to build something (barn, wofati, supports for cob huts). I don't have the skills for that yet, but am open to learning.

Right now, I'm looking for concepts. Anybody have some good ideas?

Thanks,
Dan
 
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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Dan Ellis wrote:

As a crop, they're not good for much. I haven't found anybody who'd be willing to harvest them just to take them away for free.



What? That is HUGE timber value. Why would you even consider giving that resource away for free? Call your local State Forester. They could provide an estimate of value, references for a logger, or even a portable sawmill operator who could come on-site and mill your trees for timbers for a new barn!
 
Dan Ellis
Posts: 13
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Grant Schultz wrote:

Dan Ellis wrote:

As a crop, they're not good for much. I haven't found anybody who'd be willing to harvest them just to take them away for free.



What? That is HUGE timber value. Why would you even consider giving that resource away for free? Call your local State Forester. They could provide an estimate of value, references for a logger, or even a portable sawmill operator who could come on-site and mill your trees for timbers for a new barn!



That's what I expected, too. I had a visit with a state forester a couple of months ago to develop a forest management plan. He came and looked the property and trees over. He told me that nobody in the area is interested in pine. He told me that if it were oak, maple, or something -- anything -- else, I could probably make some money on the deal.

I would LOVE to be proven wrong on this. If anybody knows anybody willing to harvest pine in central MD -- please let me know.
 
Posts: 21
Location: S.E. South Dakota
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I would be all over this if I lived near you.. Given your situation and skill level, I might remove the trees needed, stockpile the logs (paint the ends though) and acquire the skills to use them for your own needs.. They are easier to use while dry for buildings anyways. I would personally love to have a log structure for, well anything really.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Rosemount, MN
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Wood-Mizer keeps a registry of custom sawyers on their site. Searching Maryland pulled up several results.

http://www.woodmizer.com/us/ResourceCenter/FindaCustomSawyer.aspx

You can also check your local Craigslist for sawmills. There's also the Woodfinder site (http://www.woodfinder.com/).

Rich;)
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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Sawmill Exchange is the world's biggest classifieds site for sawmills and related equipment.

Bandmills and more: http://sawmillexchange.com/

May be another incentive to mill your own wood...
 
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Hugelkultur perhaps? My thought would be something like taking out the sides which do not face the prevailing winds (south and east?). I would take the biomass and pile it into a berm between the outer rows on the windward sides (north and west?) and come up with some kind of soil to cover. Once complete the berm serves as a windbreak, and shade has been minimized. If it were me my long term goal would be to take it all out but I would still put most of it on the windward sides of the property to deflect prevailing wind.

You might also consider a chainsaw mill as an inexpensive means to mill your trees into something useable.
 
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I'm a timberframer guy from montana, We work a lot with reclaimed barn beams from the mid west where home steaders would cut down native forest and build their barn from the resultant trees. I can attest they were not hesitant to use white pine for structural barn timbers. Not to sure about 1x and 2x lumber but I bet if you painted the ends like mentioned above (old latex paint is the ticket) and let it sit a year decked off the ground you would have some good stuff there.
 
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I agree with Scott, white pine is actually a very common wood used in timber framing...fairly durable for a soft wood and nice and easy to work!
 
I miss the old days when I would think up a sinister scheme for world domination and you would show a little emotional support. So just look at this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
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