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What Is Woodland Care? Examples of Permies minded ways to care for your land.

 
                    
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We hear the term woodland care, but if you are talking permaculture what does this term mean in that context?

I thinks most will agree that our woodlands are valuable beyond price.

BUT how do we care for them? When we hear the term most of us think of forestry & land management systems that currently exist.

When "permies" are doing woodland care how is it different from what we see in the current mainstream woodland management techniques?

Please list examples of "Permies minded" ways that you care for your land.
 
Fred Morgan
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Take a look at Dauerwald - or what is called Mixed canopy forestry. The idea is to manage a forest for both widlife as well as lumber. It works well if you don't clear cut. The reason is that there is more wildlife when there is younger parts of the forest.

As we know, the food we eat is a mix from mature trees all the way down to annuals. You open up the canopy enough to create a new sucession. It is a natural process - what works well is doing it in miniature.

This is what we are involved in - we are using fast growing plantation trees to create the environment to produce a permanent forest.  Some areas (about 30%) are wild, others in transition. We are harvesting wood now, which leaves space for some regeneration of the grasses, etc. We have sheep that live among the trees.

A lot of work for sure (we have about 40+ workers) but it is worth it. Oh, and we have roughly 880 acres.
 
                    
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Thanks Fred for contributing here,  880 acres! sounds like a lot of forest.

I'm new to this topic but I have a great love of the woodlands.

I would love to hear details about how you "open up the canopy enough to create a new succession" & what you mean by "doing it in miniature?"

Also you mentioned using fast growing plantation trees, I would like to hear more about what they are?

What part of the world are you in?



 
Fred Morgan
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Hi Dianne - yeah, 880 acres is a pretty decent chunk of land - though it is in different locations. Most of the pieces are 250 acres, which are still pretty good size.

First of all, we live in Costa Rica, so our trees won't be your trees if you are in the North - however that doesn't effect the idea of succession - the time periods are longer though.

You open the canopy by surgically removing trees.  Instead of just dropping a tree where ever it wishes to fall, you top it and then drop it in a manner to cause minimal damage to its neighbors. Probably easier with a tree that is 60 feet tall than some of ours up to 200 feet tall.  Removing a large tree that is past its prime - i.e. no longer producing food - opens up the canopy for the next generation of trees - often which are growing stunted underneath the canopy.

You can do the same with a tree that has died and you wish to leave for wood peckers by just dropping some limbs.

Doing it in miniature means, even with nearly 900 acres, it is a mini forest. But by working it, we can make it much more diverse in much less time. The estimate is that it takes 300 years, for example, it the tropics to bring back a mature forest - with our system we are figuring 50 to 75 years.

I would say most plantation trees are fast growing, pioneers. If your area supports pines, you could start with them - and when you start to thin the pines, plant the next generation forest - perhaps oak or something that takes a while to get established. Also, we like to grow a nitrogen fixing tree for our pioneers where possible, for us, that is Acacia Mangium.

 
                    
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Fred Morgan wrote:


You open the canopy by surgically removing trees.  Instead of just dropping a tree where ever it wishes to fall, you top it and then drop it in a manner to cause minimal damage to its neighbors. Probably easier with a tree that is 60 feet tall than some of ours up to 200 feet tall.  Removing a large tree that is past its prime - i.e. no longer producing food - opens up the canopy for the next generation of trees - often which are growing stunted underneath the canopy.

You can do the same with a tree that has died and you wish to leave for wood peckers by just dropping some limbs.

Doing it in miniature means, even with nearly 900 acres, it is a mini forest. But by working it, we can make it much more diverse in much less time. The estimate is that it takes 300 years, for example, it the tropics to bring back a mature forest - with our system we are figuring 50 to 75 years.

I would say most plantation trees are fast growing, pioneers. If your area supports pines, you could start with them - and when you start to thin the pines, plant the next generation forest - perhaps oak or something that takes a while to get established. Also, we like to grow a nitrogen fixing tree for our pioneers where possible, for us, that is Acacia Mangium.


Wow I'm learning a lot here thanks! could you define the term pioneers?

Humm, I know we have a few Oaks here in this part of  Montana but i do not think they are native, they do not seem to do very well, or at least the ones I notice seem unhappy.
I think perhaps it might be to hot in summer & too cold in winter & too dry all the time.


Thanks so much for sharing this is great stuff.

Oh PS: I just posted the coolest picture of a (low impact) Forest Hobbit house in the Alternative building thread you must check it out!
 
Brenda Groth
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the previous owner of our property had pulped off the land that we bought, removing most of the adult trees and leaving a horrible mess of the little baby tree forest that was left to us ..about 3 acres of baby trees with litter of tops and dead stuff laying so thick you couldn't walk through the forest. This forest was swampy, at the time, a lot of wet areas and so the baby trees grew up quickly, mostly wild cherrry, aspen and alder, but a few maple and oak  and ash trees as well.

In order to care for this new forest we have basically allowed it to regrow on its own, but now it is getting to the place where it needs some "care" from us, as well as some help.

On the southern (house) edge of the forest we have begun to plant trees of our choosing..placing 3 walnut trees about 25' south of the ever expanding forest, and then about 25 to 30 feet south of that i have planted in the last 2 years a baby food forest with 49 baby trees (see the thread "its a jungle out there" on the organic gardening post)..and then south of that is a small grove of new baby forest that is mostly ash trees.

As aspen and alders tend to die young, there are a lot of them now that are full size and dying or dead that need to be removed..a lot of them are littering the ground and some are standing dea. I do believe in leaving some both standing and lying down for the wildlife, however, some of them need to be cleared out, and better access needs to be gained to be able to USE this woods area . about 1/3 of the way back ito the woods is a clearing with very tall grass, this will need to be managed in some way, as the grass basically is only useful for a few grazers (white tail deer) ..and a lot of the alder and wild cherry are dying and need to be removed.

some areas of the woods is very wet and swampy and there are some groves of canadian hemlock deep into the woods as well.

My goals have been to walk through the woods as much as i'm able in the fall ..when it is dry enough, and flag the maples, ash, apples, and oak trees as i find them and any other "good trees"..and when we are able to, we would like to go through with the tractor and haul out some of the dead trees for firewood and hugel beds, and make road access back into our woods again, as we realy can't get through there on foot well, let alne a vehicle.
the tractor can haul out firewood, which we burn for heat for our house and our sons. Also we would like to manage the permanent trees that will be growing in the woods to get some better quality more useful trees growing, as we have with the nyut trees and maples, so the goal eventually is also to put in seedlings of new species to make the woods more usable. Basically I would like to bring in more fruit and nut bearing trees and shrubs into the interior of the woods, but right now the main planting has  been between the south side of the woods and the morth side of the ash grove..photos in the link i mentinoed above.
 
Fred Morgan
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Dianne Keast wrote:
Wow I'm learning a lot here thanks! could you define the term pioneers?

Humm, I know we have a few Oaks here in this part of  Montana but i do not think they are native, they do not seem to do very well, or at least the ones I notice seem unhappy.
I think perhaps it might be to hot in summer & too cold in winter & too dry all the time.


Thanks so much for sharing this is great stuff.

Oh PS: I just posted the coolest picture of a (low impact) Forest Hobbit house in the Alternative building thread you must check it out!


Sorry for being a bit getting back, I came down with the flu and had no interest in much for a while. Anyway, a pioneer tree is a very fast growing tree that wants lots of sun. Cottonwood would be an example. They often will sprout of volunteer. I am not recommending cottonwood - just using it as example. These trees will secure the land, provide protection for the soil underneath and among them you will eventually see the slower growing trees, like oak, hickory, etc.

I'll check out the forest hobbit house - sounds cool.

One of the things that I would recommend is observation instead of thinking you will learn this from books. Most books on forestry say very little about growing this way because the goal is a crop. This is more like working with nature - which means the first step is learning nature. Learn to identify trees by sight, if you can't already (easier up there - we have 1,000 different kinds of trees!). See where trees flourish and where they don't, and this varies by species as well. In other words, work with nature as a partner, instead of fighting against her.
 
                    
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Thanks Brenda for sharing, you seem to have a wonderful little forest growing there. 

Hi Fred, I'm glad to hear you are better now, thanks for the eco-forestry lessons they are very interesting & I enjoy reading them & picturing the trees in my mind.

Any time you have something to share I'm sure I'll learn from it!
 
Brenda Groth
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we have 3 main pioneer trees on our property here in Michigan, they are aspen, white ash and alder.

the aspen grow from one common root, in other words, the parent tree sends out root runners that sprout new trees and if a tree gets felled, the roots will grow dozens of baby  trees very quickly..

these trees will run out of the forest into the sunny edges..as they get about 30 to 40 ' tall very quickly they will provide protect in their mulch and shade for hardwood tree and other seedlings to sprout and grow, thus they are pioneering an area and "nursing" the baby trees..they are short lived and will die quickly when crowded or damaged.

the next is alder...alder grows in the high water areas of our property, and will pioneer out in open wet fields..also a lot of evergreens will do that as well with the cones being spread around if there is a mother tree around, our open field west of us is being pioneerd with white and red pines, hemlocks, alder and a few other species..when we moved here there was only one or two pines and a couple of alders in a  5 acre section..now it is dotted with dozens and dozens of each.

then there is the white ash..it pioneers areas quickly from the keys that fall and drift on the wind..the baby trees are generally a couple feet tall the first year..maybe 10 feet tall the second year and will quickly grow to 20 feet tall in a few years..and then soon send out their own keys.

they also support undergrowth of other tree and shrub species.

some other pioneer trees are maples here, as their keys also are drifting about like the ash, but they don't grow nearly as quickly and may be more easily browsed down by animals.

 
                    
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Wow, this thread is very cool, I'm learning so much interesting stuff! Thanks everyone! I can't wait to hear more.
 
Brenda Groth
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i have a separate thread on this, but thought I would mention here, that I have begun to remove the dead and dying branches off of some of our evergreens along a wildlife corridor on our property to make it easier for the deer to get from our back woods to the swampy woods across the road from us. They like to sleep and lounge around under our canadian hemlock trees but i have seen them struggle in the past to get through some areas where the branches were deadish and also where the bottom branches were held down with deep snow..and i had made a note to cut those up to a level that would be low enough to still provide cover and shelter, but high enough so that the smaller deer could walk easily under the trees and still reach up to nibble on the evegreen growth.

yesterday i went out and cut the bottom 4' of branches off of 5 of the trees, mostly canadian hemlock and white pines..which tend to lose their bottom branches if they are grown very tightly together..

i have about 6 or 7 yet to work on and then we'll see in the winter how the deer go about using this area..we can see the two areas from our rear and our front windows of the house..in the winter when leaves are off of the deciduous trees, so we can watch how they interact in these areas..very often they will lay down during the day when it is light out..right here we can see and talk with them..they aren't afraid of us..and we have names for the two that spend the most time here, mama and bambi..a little button buck.
 
                    
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We have only a small area of forest, 6 acres now. It's mainly ponderosa pine with some firs, aspen and gambrel (scrub) oak. When purchased four years ago nothing had been done for over 50 years. No thinning, no harvesting, no clean up, no fires. It was a mess. This is a high altitude (8800 feet) low precipitation forest in NM. Average annual rainfall is less than 20 inches, more like 16. The ground is mostly south facing slopes with a more or less flat ridge top where we have built our cabin and outbuildings.

We cleared much of the fallen branches and trees, leaving some for critters and water breaks on the slopes.

We have thinned out most of the broomstick trees to reduce competition for the limited water resources.

We also have made effort to remove many of the lower dead branches from the pines, both for ease of the elk and deer to move through and to remove ladder fuels and lower fire risk.

We have burned off the built up pine needle duff in selected areas and have noted a huge increase in grass cover.

We have many old dead and dieing aspens. We have removed most of them and young aspen are popping up all over. We've been selectively thinning them to avoid overcrowding. That is nearly a full time job.

This spring we added more water breaks on the slopes and ravines. Mostly we used trees that were either down or trees that we thinned. Sometimes they were dug in slightly to eliminate gaps under them. We've had some real downpours in late July and early August. Most of this work paid off in reduced erosion and in actually having temporary ponding in a couple spots.

We've also added zig-zag paths along with the water breaks.  In places we have made steps to try to make it easier to access the slopes and slow the run off down the slope.

 
Brenda Groth
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mountain don, it sounded like you were writing in my diary there..you have and are doing just exactly the same things we are doing this past few weeks..go figure..?

when we had enlarged our and our neighbors ponds we got alot of pond bottom muck and it ended up piled in the front area of our woods..last summer..

well it had effectively cut us off from our woods, which i didn't like

so i asked our son to move some of the pile out of the way so i could get through the woods to the back 5 acres..leaving one large pile for a target range for gun shooting..which he did.

well the first week he worked on it he levelled out one of the pond muck areas ..pushing down dead aspen and wild cherry trees and brush and burying it under the pond muck soil..talk about fertile !!

the next week he cleared another area of brush and dead trees and pushed them over pushing some of the trees and brush up into piles in our alder swamp edges..and cleared a path to the clay bank on the north side of our pond.

well this past week he took the tractor and pushed down a LOT of the clay bank and buried some more of the area that was levelled, with the clay/sand mix and levelled out alot of the banki that was so difficult to maneuver.

this past week i had to cut out some overgown jujnipers (supposedly creeping, but they got huge, as big around as my arm) i got 2 pick up loads of juniper branches, and we hauled those back and put them in the pile along the alder swamp, where the others had been pushed.

we are considering taking some of the larger trees (bigger than broomsticks) and cutting them into log lengths and putting them kinda to form a zig zag type fence along where the brush was pushed up into the alder swamp and putting somefruiting shrubs and vines along this fence for the critters.

i had said in another thread that i was glad to open up the woods for the critters..well the week after we opened up the woods we started having visits  from black bear again..here is a link to some photos from a couple of weeks ago

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=25501&id=1846485863&l=6cdc75ac1b.

Much more deer acess the deer love the knocked down samplings....so it did do what we hoped for, it opened it up to the wildlife..i found a pile of bear scat with wild cherry berries in it on our back deck two mornings in a row..so i know that they appreciated the open access..i don't mind the bear..they aren't much of a nuisance, however, one did eat a pumpkin from my garden overnight.





 
Mekka Pakanohida
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Dianne Keast wrote:
We hear the term woodland care, but if you are talking permaculture what does this term mean in that context?

I thinks most will agree that our woodlands are valuable beyond price.

BUT how do we care for them? When we hear the term most of us think of forestry & land management systems that currently exist.

When "permies" are doing woodland care how is it different from what we see in the current mainstream woodland management techniques?

Please list examples of "Permies minded" ways that you care for your land.



Well, here goes.  IMO, I have gone off the literal deep end.  I read the permaculture designer's manual, One Straw Revolution, and other books and I kept finding myself agreeing with Masanobu Fukooka. 

This is what I have going currently, since my zone0 through 2 is on top of a hill over looking a river and lake, and zones 3 through 5 are rough terrain I have opted for letting nature do what it wants.

The orchard of 15 or so fruit trees has vines in them, perennial fruits bushes between them and more being added as I can.  As an example, one of my cherry trees as wisteria growing in it and reaches the height of the canopy. 

I did scallop in some swales to capture extra rainwater, but being on a hillside I need to be extremely careful with water management because I can cause a landslide, which is another reason why I am for the most part adhering to Masanobu Fukooka's 5 principles of keeping an orchard.  No cultivation, no pruning, no chemicals of any kind, not even compost.

However, when I got here the orchard was in very tired and hurting shape.  The previous owners neglected the fruit trees that were placed by their previous owner.  Those did get trimmed this summer and the branches were chopped and dropped & left in a scallop row shape in order to retain water by the fruit trees as they decompose and return nutrients back into the area that it came up in.

Oh, one thing I have done, still working on, but it is starting to work.  I have deer, many.  If I hunted I wouldn't need to buy meat kind of problem.  So, I took trimmings left from when I dropped some trees in this area.  I made a huge swale out of them right next to blackberry.  I started training the blackberry onto this swale for several reasons.

1 - Deer hate crossing blackberries, and this will become a natrual fence to keep them out that doubles for food production. 

2 - Wildlife habitat.  CA Quail, & other small animals (seen possums, skunks, lizards, etc) have taken up residence under the brush pile thus improving the overall biodiversity.

3 - Food.  Yes, everyone in the Pacific NW has an overabundance of berries.  I am no exception with huckleberries, thimbleberry, salmonberry, blueberry, strawberries, currants (black and red) and more.  However, this will make a stand of berries that not only feed me, but also my animal friends here on the property. 
 
Brenda Groth
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a very interesting visual picture of your property..thanks for sharing
 
                    
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from skimming through I can see what I am about to say is already well defined.
But I manage a "sustainable" farm, one more so on the path to sustainability, weening off linear field production, tilled soils, yadayada.

How I manage the forest in my free time is by walking around and half hacking 3 feet off the ground, 4 red alders. by tying them all together in the center, it creates an elevated brush ball that I have seen nearly every animal(mainly birds) freak out and run away from as I stomp up to.

The 55 acres of woodland that is above the farm acres is northern sloped hillside, so I have a nice wetland that has been funneled near the land I am farming, so I have dug a ditch going from W to E that collects it all and puts it into my holding pond, then the over spill is in progress but will eventually go through all my permacultured diverse orchards back into the creek that runs through the property, providing back it's part to the salmon, and keeping water away from the fucking rednecks neighbors that are suing us for land with hazelnuts near their driveway lawn.

The area I am in to used to be covered with choke cherries and crab apples before people, and because the original owner of the land stripped it before selling it to the now owner, there are access trains going every which way through the woods, and the part that is now dry from the diversion of the down hill water source is going to be utilized as a crabapple/graphed orchard that will server for cider/vinegar production for the good stuff that grows down below. also active as habitat for all sorts of critters with the bushes, hedge edges, and ultimately diversity that will ensue behind me.  I also try and bring my compost buckets as high up (now near the soil water flow) as I can into the forest to decompose, hopefully giving nutrients all down hill.

So to me woodland maintainance consists of, not walking off paths as much as you can, collecting piles of stuff based on animals I want to be around, putting in as many flowering native plants as I can.  spreading out as many of the patches of the local plants that I can.  staying out of the wet lands except on paths. and only harvesting trees that falls down, even though i feel guilty taking what should stay put and provide, but I need heat to make it through to do all that other work, so eggs get broke in this omelet.

Plus an idea i have been playing with is trying to make as many flat spots as possible.  now for me that consists of cedar stakes, and V or U (the V point aimed downhill) shaped walls out of cedar sticks into the hillside that will hold up dirt above and prevent erosion for 5-10 years as long as the cedar holds up, and filling them with as much mulch as I can and cottonwood stump material in the base of ti as a sponge.  a little beyond nature, but a lot of plants sprout up around those structures, if put along the sides of erosion paths, or water ways, it will wick from the source and hold for a while.


Alders are #1 when it comes to building forest around here.  since everything was logged there are a lot of abused roads now filled with alders eating mineral soil.  in the sustainable mindset of input and output, i take from the wood's first stage of reforestation with responsible harvesting (thinning) and provide alder mulch to my soils which keeps them up, keeping me up.

Another tiny tiny thing I like to do that I do as a bad social habbit, but makes me feel like I am being productive even when just standing around in the woods.  I pull off alder limbs t hat have died back, and fiddle with them in my hands until they are smaller pieces falling to the ground. that way my ADD keeps the left hemisphere of my brain busy working while i can think with the right. and the smaller peices will break down quicker, specially now that they are on the ground and not airing out anymore on the baby alders.  very minimal impact but since i do it on paths,they'll go to the sides with heavier foot traffic and create richer path edges for maybe more soil possibilities for path side productions, ultimatly efficiently making food available.  in some crazy dream land that i just visited.

and to cap it off, the true reality to the woodlands I exist on is not selling it off.  Because DNI has logged the fuck out of everything near me, scowl at filled log trucks nearly every day zipping down the gravel path, kicking up dust onto our solar system that then drags down.  like I said I work on 55 acres of woodlands/8acres farm and it's so country out here that there really is no development above our creek, i don't drink the water just because we are so low elevation.
The thing is though, rainier stated that their future is no longer wood harvest, timber.  Rainier, along with other logging companies are going into development.  So I personally am not involved because I am to young and not in tuned with that world of politics yet, but join your local water shed group, and fight the ensuing battle that is water rights. because rainier is trying to make exempt wells that can do 5000 gallons a day to allow for development in the hills for rich people to feel like they can make up for all those years at the office by breathing some fresh air out the crack of their kitchen's window with that needed view.

woodcare is truly just in every action you make, are you crushing something now? or have you just piled material to an edge that will sprout some shade dwelling plant that hosts some insect that will pray on smaller things and get eaten by something else, exc, exc, exc, then to you, then back, exc, exc, exc, beyond to thebottom of the ocean where salmon will get something that ate the thing that at the thing that will give it energy to swim that nutrient back up to where something will nab it and put it onto the soil back again to, exc, exc, exc, repeat.

So that's my banter hope there's something in there you can stick your fork into.
 
Brenda Groth
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love this thread.

OK I was wondering, for those of you like me that have tons of alders..what do you use your alder wood for? same with aspen as I also have a ton of those..any real good ideas.

I just got my copy of fungii perfecti  and I'm thinking now about how i can use my woods to harvest one of my favorite foods ..mushrooms.

I'm thinking on getting at least one of the "multiples combo kits" that they sell with lots of different edible mushrooms in one kit..to get a start on some..we do have 3 kinds or more of edible mushroooms that grow here that we are aware of, lots of things we aren't sure if they are edible or not, so a good field guide would be a good investment too..have field guides but they don't have mushrooms in them.

we have an old horse barn on our property where we could store innoculated logs until we are ready to put them out in the rain..

also, this past few weeks I have taken cuttinigs, seeds, pods, rose hips, etc from elsewhere on the property and walked around on my woodland paths and began putting them here and there where I would like to diversivy the area and bring infruit or flower or herb..and with a lickand a promise that some will grow. The plan for later this week is to take some cuttings off of my blueberries and make a few plantings of them along my woodland paths as well..and i have cut a few paths to access the blackberry and raspberry plants that i discovered in one area..as well
 
                                    
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Thanks Brenda for sharing, you seem to have a wonderful little forest growing there.

Hi Fred, I'm glad to hear you are better now, thanks for the eco-forestry lessons they are very interesting & I enjoy reading them & picturing the trees in my mind.

Any time you have something to share I'm sure I'll learn from it!
 
Fred Morgan
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Thanks all - I got really busy for a while (relatives visiting, etc.) but I am back.

One development that is very interesting is that in our older plantations how many volunteer natives are coming up. I thought we would have to go in and plant, but it looks like nature is beating us to it. 

So much so, we are having to thin some out.

One thing that really helps is knowing what a seedling looks like - and transplanting wildlings (volunteers) works very well if you catch them at the first true leaf, in fact, they are better than nursery raised - and we do have our own nursery.

 
                              
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Fred,
I find what you are doing to be fascinating.  Do you mind if I ask how much money you have invested into replanting your forests? 
 
Fred Morgan
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Jeremy wrote:
Fred,
I find what you are doing to be fascinating.  Do you mind if I ask how much money you have invested into replanting your forests? 


It is a large number, you can figure to grow plantation trees in the tropics, on very good soil, you are talking 25 dollars a tree. We used to grow for others  too. They get the harvest of the plantation trees and the land ends up in an ecological reserve, keeping it forest, though a managed one. You can grow trees a lot cheaper, after all nature does it all the time without help. But, we are growing wood for the first phase, not just trees.

We have nearly 900 acres, and probably 65% was planted as forest. 816 trees per 2.5 acres. You can do the math, but it was a lot of money. Probably somewhere over 4 million dollars in all - actually a bit more since we put close to 700K of our own money into it as well.
 
                              
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Fred, I didn't really have much of a frame of reference for the cost and manpower needed for such an undertaking, and so I appreciate you sharing.  Now I'm curious how it would compare to my own area if someone did something similar.  Hmm.  I see some further research in my future.
 
Tate Smith
Posts: 52
Location: Cheyenne, WY
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forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees
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After reading through this awesome thread a few things came to mind that were not mentioned or vaguely touched on. First, in my opinion, pine trees can be very destructive to productivity. Falling pine needles leach acid into the soil underneath the duff layer. The best way to identify this is by digging into the "organic" layer underneath the duff layer, if it is gray soil, it is being leached with acid. The best way to counter act this is exactly what the Costa Rican farm is doing, opening up the canopy and introducing grasses as best as possible. Furthermore, when clearing trees, fall them in a way to hold water in a swale. The soil in pine forests have very little holding capacity as far was water goes (probably the main reason its pine). Leave the tree lay and you will see significantly higher grass production in and around the log, it acts in the same principle as a road, putting all the water that falls on the log right at the base of it doubling, tripling, quadrupling the moisture pending on thickness of log. Second, clear cutting can be EXTREMELY useful when trying to increase productivity for grazing ungulates. The problem with large scale clear cutting is not the wildlife impact (actually it is a benefit). Wide scale clear cutting induces loss of stabilization in the soil and will lead to erosion. When clear cutting, create edge. Long snakeing cut patterns will be best for wildlife, cut with topography and create movement corridors. Ungulates, specifically elk use pine forests for cover and will typically graze in the open young growth post cut. Although sometimes the fallen lumber seems an inconvenience, elk can step over it easily and will prevent erosion until new growth can develop root systems (in conjunction with that, DO NOT remove stumps unless absolutely necessary, as removed stumps on slopes will probably lead to erosion).  Ok, to finish the lecture pine tree aspen interaction. If you want to maintain your aspen stands (which I would) you want to keep the encroaching pine at bay. They compete with aspen stands by the above mentioned acid complex. So, to keep a happy medium of grazing room and ungulate cover maintain those boundaries as you would any other orchard (trimming and so forth). I think these are some really critical pieces of the puzzle for the intermountain west high country folks.

Thanks
-Tate
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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I care for an island in Finland. I thin out conifers and aspen. With the parts that I don't use for heating I build swales on slopes. Plant life loves it! I also planted several berry bushes like currants and planted cherry trees and hedges for birds. I create brush piles as wild life habitat. I often dig trenches fill them with brush and roll out the rocks as swales on places I want to plant trees and bushes. I also gather native plants with roots to go to seed on the island for more biodiversity. I also introduced some beneficial insects like sow bugs as decomposer. I use the coppicing method on trees that stand it like beech and willow.
 
Tony Elswick
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I am in Central/Northern Florida and getting out of law school next year, the plan is to start an food forest and I have never worked in one but I am going off my studies...

you seem to know a lot about this so I was wondering if you had any suggestions for this area?
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Where would I start? I might be searching for land that has been high graded. This means the best of the logs have been removed, leaving what is called wolflings. Then, I would spend a lot of time being able to identify useful trees that are already growing. Nature will do a lot of work for you, if you stop fighting against her.

I always wait to see what the tree is, before removing it. Birds are bringing in new seeds all the time.

Learn to be a shepherd of the forest, and that means you will understand the trees.
 
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