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I have 15 acres of 15 year old loblolly pine (central va) and need suggestions

 
bob day
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The trees need thinning at least, plus loblolly is mostly grown for pulp wood, but it's tough for me to reduce an 8"diameter 30' tall tree to just pulp wood, sorry if i sound like a tree hugger.

I know they're a weed, i know there are better trees to plant, and you have to break eggs to make an omlette

So i'm interested in any and all ideas of how to manage this crop, especially since i was told 15 acres is too small for the big operators to set up.
 
John Elliott
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If it makes you feel any better, clearing a monoculture and replacing it with a diverse variety is in keeping with permaculture principles. Look a little more into smaller operators who will harvest it for you. For 15 acres down here in Georgia, there would be many loggers willing to do the job.
 
bob day
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I was given one persons name, but told i might only get 11 =17 cents per hundred (if you're selling pulp wood is that hundred pounds?) and how much does a tree weigh?

And i just did some research and discovered what i may actually have is white pines predominantly. someone told me early on they were loblolly, but after seeing a picture of loblolly i may have a few, but most are white

I have put an ad on Craigs list for pine trees for sale with the suggestion they would make good natural landscape timbers. And i will try and salvage some of the better ones, bark them and dry them

I've even thought about buying a sawmill to make boards, but i would have to go in plastic debt for that. 8 inch trunks may not be worth the expense but in dry applications they might do well for buildings just using the round wood
 
Frank Brentwood
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Location: Long Island, NY (Zone 7)
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If you don't know them already, get to know your county extension agent. Your taxes pay for the service, might as well make use of it.

Have him/her come out and take a look at your trees. They can tell you what you have on your land and can give you an idea of what it is worth. Many can also recommend a logger who is willing to deal with smaller quantities than the big companies are willing to go for.

Personally, my experience with loggers has been hit-or-miss, even using ones that were considered "good guys" and came highly recommended. Being an informed customer is the best starting point.
 
bob day
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I've only toyed with the idea of thinning and logging before, have just started to do research, and just took a walk with a more critical eye. Most of them are indeed white pines- funny, if that anonymous expert hadn't said they were loblolly i would have said they were white pines, and it was only seeing the profile of a loblolly today that made me re evaluate.

I of course didn't manage the stand with herbicides, so in places there are numbers of deciduous saplings, and that original 15 acre estimate may be less than 10 after all the voids and overgrowth of other trees are accounted for.

I do have a feeler ad out on craigs list, but don't intend to rush into any major projects (unless someone offers me an obscene amount of money), and the idea of talking with the county extension agent is a good one, i've been meaning to do that anyway just to get a feel for the receptiveness to permaculture teaching.
 
John Elliott
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A pine tree weighs a ton.*

*Your mileage may vary. Offer good for a limited time only. Not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

My neighbor had her 10 acres done last year, and boy did the loggers leave a mess. Took the pulp pines and left all sorts of other stuff. But looking on the bright side, if you intend to put in some hugelkultur, they will leave you LOTS of material to work with. So much so that you will probably need some full-size earth moving equipment to arrange it, not just some little Bobcat.
 
jimmy gallop
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sell the pine nettles there worth more than the trees,bale them and sell them to landscapers.you get a harvest every year,
 
bob day
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i had thought about using the needles in my own plantings, especially the blueberry bushes i'm cultivating, and that's a good idea to keep in mind as i get into developing my plans for the area. And certainly for the next several years i would expect there will be portions of the pines left thinned out to grow to maturity, perhaps in contour belts as i start to do more diverse plantings on swales. Maybe use a lawn mower with a bagger and clear paths in and among the thinned pines.
 
jimmy gallop
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http://www.strawbale.com/making-a-hand-baler/


just an example.
 
bob day
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pretty neat little tool, i'll keep it in mind, thanks for the link
 
Cj Sloane
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Silvopasture.
Pretty common in the south. You can even get NRCS grants to help. Not common in New England where they are very resistant to silvopasture.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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