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Planted Pine Forest

 
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Hey yall,
I was hoping for some suggestions as to how to improve my planted white pine forest. The forest was planted about 30 years ago by my grandfather upon his retirement from farming. His used his equipment to do the planting. So basically from one end of the fields to the other are long straight rows of white pine trees all growing out of 5-6 inch deep trenches from what ever machine he used to plant. There are cedar trees intermingled along the edges and a few other varieties here and there mostly around the old rock piles and in between fields. There are 30 acres and I would love to start implementing some things to help boost the forest. What grows well with pine? Anything that really helps pine? I have been working on taking the lower dead branches off every second row of trees but am a far cry from being done even the first field. Any and all ideas welcome.
 
gardener
Posts: 823
Location: south central VA 7B
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Hey Rob,
A few questions:
Where are you located (obviously the south ) and zones, water etc. would be helpful to know.
thanks
Marianne
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Call in a local forester who can best advise on thinning and economic production of saw logs. Monocultures of conifers can become acutely starved of nitrogen. Any nitrogen producer that can survive the conditions, is bound to help with the eventual wood yield. Immediately after thinning, try a few varieties in the empty spaces. They may only live a few years, before being shaded out, and then die. As the trees grow, continue thinning. Fill empty spots with hardwood or food plants.

When the forest is eventually harvested, don't plant a pine monoculture.
 
pollinator
Posts: 858
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Dale, lol! ;)
 
Rob Lougas
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"A few questions: 
Where are you located (obviously the south ) and zones, water etc. would be helpful to know. 
thanks 
Marianne"
Hey Marianne,
I am in southern ontario. I am fairly certain its a zone 5b. As for water there is a small river that runs along the east edge of the property. There are 3 10 acre fields the first 2 are sloped to the south east and the 3rd is relatively level but downhill of the first 2. All of the furrows that the trees are planted in run down the hills and not across them unfortunately. I have been clearing out the dead trees (I used a pile of them to build a pretty cool hugel its in the hugel fourms my buddy Simon posted it a while back) and pruning the lower dead branches on the living trees.
 
Rob Lougas
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Dale,
Sound advice lol, I definitely do not plan on planting another pine mono crop. I Like the idea of planting some nitrogen fixers. The pine is planted pretty densely so I guess maybe my best bet is to choose some good locations around the property and actually clear out a few of the living trees to punch enough of a hole in the canopy that something would be able to survive. I will try my luck with some black locust in the spring. They seem to do well in my area.
 
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