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Pruning timber trees- short video

 
Todd Mansfield
Posts: 15
Location: South eastern Australia
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Here's a short video demonstrating how to use a simple pruning gauge and how to prune your timber trees so that they grow straight and knot free.
I'm sure there are a dozen other techniques but I was surprised at how simple it was!

 
M.R.J. Smith
Posts: 71
Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
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Sweet! Thanks. Didn't know people actually pruned trees for timber. Heck, some people don't prune fruit trees but this guy's got an easy enough system for me to subscribe. I wonder how he gets up there 6 meters though... Just put an extension ladder up against the tree?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I prune to about 18 ft using a pole pruner. About 5 years ago, I took some branches off firs that I intend to build with. They have put on 3 inches of girth since then and the cut marks are closed or closing. When I harvest sometime in the next 3 years, my debarked logs will look a little nicer and the debarking process will be easier. Generally pruning is seen as a very long term strategy, but in an established stand, it can make sense to do it as little as 3 years before harvest. My decisions are often based on opening up views and making the terrain more walkable.

Another benefit to branch pruning a few years before harvest is that the next generation of little trees gets a little more light. Sometimes you can have some nice young ones coming up and plan on them filling the void and you come back a year later to find that they have been shaded out or that the tops have bent in search of light. I prune a little harder on the side where a promising replacement is reaching. At the same time, I use my loppers to clear the ground of other saplings that are competing for space with the chosen one. Competition that is cut is used as a mulch all around the replacement tree. The branches cut from the large tree also serve as mulch. Moisture is retained and ground cover is suppressed. Scotch broom is the perfect mulch since this member of the pea family lays flat and provides a nitrogen boost. When this is done right, the young tree grows very quickly after the large tree is cut. It quickly shades out broom, bracken and other undergrowth that can overwhelm saplings.

On difficult terrain it's important to choose a replacement that is positioned where it won't be harmed by the big tree being felled. Most of my good trees lie below the roadway and within 75 feet of the 1 km road. It's important for mine to fall uphill. They are tall enough to fall across the road, where the excavator and a choker strap can lift them to the level surface for easy processing.
 
Todd Mansfield
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Location: South eastern Australia
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Sounds like you've got a good system for growing timber Dale! Do you graze below the trees to keep the area maintained?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Todd Mansfield wrote:Sounds like you've got a good system for growing timber Dale! Do you graze below the trees to keep the area maintained?
It's pretty much wilderness. Deer, elk, rabbits ... I'm only there part time. Large stock would be eaten by cougars and bears. Chickens and ducks would fall victim to eagles, owls, mink etc. Animals will come in a few years.

Some slopes are so steep that no grazing will ever make sense. A rock got away from me while trail building and it rolled right to the bottom of the valley.

I just checked out YouTube to see what others are up to. This guy needs a good pole lopper for cutting springy stuff. This isn't something to emulate, but it is good for a laugh. --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHI-r040Q_k
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
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Thanks, Todd!


Is that you in the video? (I see that the link in your signature is the same as the link in the video.) If so, nice job! I like your style.
 
Todd Mansfield
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Location: South eastern Australia
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
Todd Mansfield wrote:Sounds like you've got a good system for growing timber Dale! Do you graze below the trees to keep the area maintained?
It's pretty much wilderness. Deer, elk, rabbits ... I'm only there part time. Large stock would be eaten by cougars and bears. Chickens and ducks would fall victim to eagles, owls, mink etc. Animals will come in a few years.

Some slopes are so steep that no grazing will ever make sense. A rock got away from me while trail building and it rolled right to the bottom of the valley.

I just checked out YouTube to see what others are up to. This guy needs a good pole lopper for cutting springy stuff. This isn't something to emulate, but it is good for a laugh. --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHI-r040Q_k


Righto. Timber growing in real bush heh? I did a trip into northern BC into the logging country years ago...definitely wouldn't make much sense to graze there! Youtube clip was great. I saw a great little tool the other day working on a lychee orchard. It was similar to secateurs or loppers on the end of a long stick and it all worked on a spring mechanism. It was old but well looked after so still worked well! Would be perfect to avoid the ladder a bit longer.

 
Todd Mansfield
Posts: 15
Location: South eastern Australia
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Mike Cantrell wrote:Thanks, Todd!


Is that you in the video? (I see that the link in your signature is the same as the link in the video.) If so, nice job! I like your style.


Thanks Mike! I shoot the footage and make an effort to hunt down the people doing good things on the land. The guy in the video is Rowan Reid a prominent agroforester here in Australia
 
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