even if you didnt thin out the trees, eventually the forest would. certain trees would take off ahead of others, shading some which would create thin spindly growth, eventually falling over in a storm, burned in a forest fire, or some other problem trees encounter. your better off imo moving forward to the climax forest you want in the long run. just dont burn all those trees you cut down and make use of them, keep the material ON PROPERTY, do not let it leave and youll be good. build trellises, sheds, small cabins, walls, etc with the wood.
as long as you dont just cut trees that get in your way, rather than selectively take them out youll be good. leave trees you want ( food producing/useful trees )
Medicine: Chippewa used the wood at the heart of the branch in making a cough syrup, and in a medicine for kidney disorders.
Technology: he wood is very strong as the name implies and was used for the frames for dwellings, and from the crooks of branches, pothooks were made to suspend cooking vessels over fires.
Note: Also called Iron woodMedicine
not sure how to make the medicine, but it sounds as if the wood is good for building. if they can coppice well (research it) you could have a perpetual timber building supply. if not you still get wood to build with when and if you thin them out.
Hop hornbeam wood is hard and durable. It is used chiefly in the manufacture of tool handles, but also for fence posts and fuel. Hop hornbeam serves well as a landscape tree owing to its tolerance for very dry soils and shade, as well as its ability to live in a stressful urban environment. Native Americans used hop hornbeam to treat toothache and sore muscles, coughs, hemorrhages in the lungs, kidney disease, tuberculosis, and a host of other ailments.
I feel for you, we're in the exact same boat! We have 13 acres of forest that was logged 10 years ago and is crowded and full of spindly trees. But when it comes to actually cutting them..........it's very hard. We came here from Wyoming, where it takes YEARS of babying to even get a tree to grow. Hopefully it'll get easier as our woods get healthier.....
myself I'm trying to do similar things with mine, however, I have been cutting some trails through the property wide enough to mow with a riding mower (also handicap accessible).
I have been trying to steer my paths away from the larger and more forested areas into the clearings so I really don't have to remove any trees, there is an abundance of fallen trees and with the windstorms we have had this year, even more falling some overy my trails.
I'm also planting understory materials under my taller trees, there are even some fruit trees besides wild cherries here and there, like some apples that grew up from bait piles in the 80's.
I walked around the sunnier part of the woods with armloads of cuttings this past fall, and I'm not sure what of them will actually grow, but also have been throwing in seeds of wildflowers and plants..
I have put in a few nut trees on the south sunnier edge of the woods and some more fruit trees like apricots and appples..and wild plums, mulberries, etc..
my desire is to get people and animal food growing as we have no domestic animals on our property other than 2 cats, but we do have a lot of deer, turkey rabbits etc..that are wild and we may decide to harvest some of them in the future.
Brenda, that brings up another interesting question: are there any plants that grow in cool temperate climates that do well in shade (forest path) that you also don't need to mow? Or maybe mow only once a season?
The timber value of various species depends on local markets and the size of your woodlot. (It might be difficult to find a logger interested in a small woodlot.)
If sugar maple grows well in your area that's a good bet. Identify tall, straight individuals and favor those. If your trees average 3-8", however, it will be a long while before you can do much sugaring.
in my forest I have areas of blackberry, raspberry, grapes and strawberries, some wild mushrooms.
with your wild cherry trees, if they are that large, you might consider sellling some of the big ones for lumber, they can bring in quite a goodly cash amount..and then you could consider replacing them with a cherry tree that will provide edible cherries, like sweets and sours..as they obviously would be guilded in your area with the wild cherries present.
bird can be sold as "logs" for "fancy fireplace decor"..although they aren't the best firewood a lot of "rich" people love to have a pile of birch logs for decor
beech, if large enough also make a good panel wood...
I also agree that it is best to leave up as many of the trees as you can, but you can use some of the softwoods that won't be long lived as nurse trees for your food forest type trees.
you also could put in some other nut trees if the beech are growing well there, as nmost nuts will grow in similar situations..however some like walnuts are alleopathic
In the last two weeks I've cut somewhere between 7000 and 10,000 young trees. I used a really light limbing saw for this. The lightweight saw made for good production and it was safer as well since there was no big bar swinging around. Your chances of hitting a rock or other obstacle are reduced when a proper sized saw is used.
There are only two brands of any possible use that I've ever used. They are Husqvarna and Stihl. I live on Vancouver Island where most of the land is working forest. Most professional loggers use Husqvarna. Stihl is the brand most commonly seen in rental shops because they are very tough. You never see professionals monkeying with disposable saws. When I was young and stupid I bought a McCullough and Homelite. Both were a huge waste of money that cost me thousands of dollars worth of production. The McCullough was scrap metal the day it was manufactured.
I had trouble years back cutting trees, loved them all, but lettings in sunlight for planting, removing standing dead, removing some so that others will grow better and fire prevention has altered how I think about cutting, cleaning and clearing.
Now, before you know you are crowding, you should measure the growth of the trees. One way to do that is measure one year, and then the next year. But if you got lots of trees, just cut one down. What you are looking for is growth slowing down. The outer ring should appear larger than the inner rings, if it looks the same, or smaller, you got to thing. I recommend removing between 15 to 30 percent, better to err on the lower end, you can always remove more.
If you remove too much, it will cause branching, which is fine if you want it, and brush.
Now, my caveat, I am in the tropics.