The Forestry and Forest Information Thread - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Franklin County
Posts: 24,796
Back To Top
The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

The question poised from a member in another thread;


I have a question.. What determines what type of regeneration/new growth will take place in a recent clear cut?

If the cut is predominately oak will oak seedlings come up?

Or will other type trees find there way there from droppings of birds and animals?



Hoping that from these questions we can have a detailed give and take on forestry practices past and present. Everything from the terms and definitions to plants and tree info 101.

My hope is that this is a revolving open and friendly give and take on all questions about habitat, forestry (regen, harvesting, methods), plant usage by wildlife, and general field craft than a battle over the deer program.


Back in 2006 we had a thread like this that was very popular and went on for the better part of a year. A lot of field guides were bought by HPA members that year...


Regen and habitat are at the heart of the deer program and actually part of almost any other species management. But talking about it is like opening another warehouse. There is tons of information out there and much of it loses so much in short answers. Just as many parts of the regen and habitat issues are not understood - or misunderstood by many people.



Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
Bluetick is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:30 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
Clearfield12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Pa
Posts: 3,620
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Quote:
RSB's response.................As Bluetick already pointed out there is not hard and set fast rules on what species or regeneration you are going to get in a timber cut. There are just so many variables that often canít be predicted.

But, with that said often Foresters will fence check the proposed cut area looking for advanced regeneration (that is new seedlings already started) in the mature forest area to be cut. That advanced regeneration is simply a new forest just waiting for enough sunlight to take off. Now that deer numbers are more in line with the existing habitat it is pretty common in the mixed oak forests to have sufficient advanced regeneration of oak sprouts before an area is cut. That is often a good sign for the Foresters but it also frequently doesnít work out as they expected even with good advanced oak regeneration at the site.

Once the area is cut and you get a blast of sunlight getting to the forest floor everything with a seed source present is going to start the competition to be among the surviving trees. Many tree and shrub species can have seeds that lay dormant in the soil for decades and then take off as soon as you get the soil disturbance that comes with most logging operations and other seed types have been laying there dormant for decades just waiting for the sunlight they needed to jump into growth.

So in many cases it kind of depends on what seed source is already present and whether they are of a species that can grow fast enough to out compete some of the more desirable for often slower growing species. Then you have the problem of some species that simply will not compete with the faster growing species. Or, you could have a situation where there are fast growing invasive species that have no or few natural predators growing nearby that end up seeding your new cut area by either airborne seeding or seeding by birds or animals carrying the seeds. You could even still have so many deer in the area, though perhaps not a lot of deer, that move into the newly cut area, and eat off the most preferred new browse species enough to result in a cut filled with invasive species or none preferred browse or timber species. In some cases though if the deer population is about correct they will actually help with the new cut by eating some of the highly preferred browse species that are fast growing and commonly called pioneer species, like the fire cherry, and makes more room for some of the slower growing mast producing tree species.

There are just way to many variables to have a set rule on what is going to regenerate but what is guaranteed is that you will get the best results for both the future of the forest and the wildlife, including deer, populations in the areas where deer and other keystone species have been maintained at the correct natural balance.

And, make no mistake about the fact that having a good deer population, though in the correct balance with the habitat and food supply, is also very beneficial to having a healthy forest for the future. Some deer browsing is a very good thing in new cuts because the deer often prefer to browse on some of the faster growing though short lived and non-commercial tree species that can out compete the slower growing though more preferred commercially valued and mast producing trees. It isnít that Foresters and other Resource Managers donít want deer on their lands, it is just that they need them to be in populations that are in the correct balance. Deer are and always will be a very important component toward having a healthy forest and future for ALL forest and wildlife species.

Dick Bodenhorn
Is a clearcut or a prescribed burn better overall?

Im sure certain seedlings would respond differently to each but I wonder which would have better lasting results or is a combination of the two best..
Clearfield12 is offline  
post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Franklin County
Posts: 24,796
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Depends on the site. if the leaf litter is heavy after a timber cut - a burn might be in order. Lots of work goes into them thought:

The mission of the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council is to promote the exchange of information, techniques, and experiences of the Pennsylvania prescribed fire community, and to promote public understanding of the importance and benefits of prescribed fire.

http://www.paprescribedfire.org/


However, if like most timber cuts, the forest floor is ripped up and generally resembles a poorly plowed field, the disturbance should be enough to allow the light to reach the forest floor and release the seed bank and promote fast growth to existing vegetation.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
Bluetick is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Franklin County
Posts: 24,796
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Title: Prescribed fire research in Pennsylvania

Author: Brose, Patrick

Year: 2009

Publication: In: Hutchinson, Todd F., ed. Proceedings of the 3rd fire in eastern oak forests conference; 2008 May 20-22; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-46. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 145-146.

Abstract: Prescribed fire in Pennsylvania is a relatively new forestry practice because of the State's adverse experience with highly destructive wildfires in the early 1900s. The recent introduction of prescribed fire raises a myriad of questions regarding its correct and safe use. This poster briefly describes the prescribed fire research projects of the Forestry Sciences Lab located at Irvine, PA.


http://nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/7301

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
Bluetick is offline  
post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 09:27 AM
Frequent Contributor
 
btm137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Huntingdon, PA-4D,4A
Posts: 689
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, factors in what kind of regeneration you get after a timber harvest is what kind of regen you had before the cut even began. If someone clear-cuts an oak stand with no oak regeneration, there certainly won't be much oak regeneration after the cut, except for a few stump sprouts (which generally get hammered by the deer).

In a recent clear-cut, RX fire is a good tool to control competition, but again, no oak before the burn, not much after.

Am RX burn in an oak stand that has been LIGHTLY thinned, now you may have something. The seed producers are still present, and the fire is prepping the understory for better germinating conditions... It may take two or three fires to get these results, but it is possible.

Managing for certain tree species takes time in planning. If you just cut it and see what happens, you are taking a risk of getting less than desirable results.

There is no "X" in my bow!!
btm137 is offline  
post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 02:14 PM
Part of the Community
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Pa
Posts: 245
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

I totally agree with btm's comments. I was involved with many of the large salvage clearcuts on state forest lands in the 70's and 80's following gypsy moth defolations resulting in heavy oak mortality.

Most of the oak stands were lacking in oak regeneration but there weren't too many options - either salvage the oak or let it rot. This was pretty much a cut it and see what happens approach. Many of these salvage sales resulted in a less desireable species mix of red maple, black birch and black gum. Some have a fair amount of oak and I have even seen a few where oak saplings appear to be more abundant after the birch began to thin itself out and die after 15-20 years. These salvage areas are now 30+or- years old poletimber with little present value to deer but will hold up much better to future gypsy moth devastations because of the lower oak %.

Man of these salvage clearcuts were huge, hundreds of acres up to 800 acres in size. At that time there was no limit on the size of clearcuts but I think today, depending on the area, can't exceed 70 or 100 acres. Of coures the deer herd was larger then but it seemed like sometimes several of these huge cuts in close proximity would overwhelm the deer herd and allow some oak to get established especially when the deer had agricultural areas as an alternative food source and didn't have to survive entirely on all the newly available browse.
red oak is offline  
post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 02:20 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centre County
Posts: 4,221
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

I think they can make the salvage cuts as big as they want, both the DCNR and PGC. We have lots of new big ones here in western Centre Co.
There are some massive clearcuts in the Quehanna from the 1980's that are 99% red maple and birch. I wish the DCNR would go in and cut some of it for pulp. I know it is not worth any $$$. But, it would be good for the forest and the critters. I guess the DCNR is managing it for red maple saw logs in a couple decades.

Support Habitat Conservation.
TusseyMtMan is offline  
post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 07:47 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
Killin'time's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SC Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,316
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by btm137
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, factors in what kind of regeneration you get after a timber harvest is what kind of regen you had before the cut even began. If someone clear-cuts an oak stand with no oak regeneration, there certainly won't be much oak regeneration after the cut, except for a few stump sprouts (which generally get hammered by the deer).

In a recent clear-cut, RX fire is a good tool to control competition, but again, no oak before the burn, not much after.

Am RX burn in an oak stand that has been LIGHTLY thinned, now you may have something. The seed producers are still present, and the fire is prepping the understory for better germinating conditions... It may take two or three fires to get these results, but it is possible.

Managing for certain tree species takes time in planning. If you just cut it and see what happens, you are taking a risk of getting less than desirable results.
x2

"I've never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself..."
Killin'time is offline  
post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
Sage
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Franklin County
Posts: 24,796
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by TusseyMtMan
I think they can make the salvage cuts as big as they want, both the DCNR and PGC. We have lots of new big ones here in western Centre Co.
There are some massive clearcuts in the Quehanna from the 1980's that are 99% red maple and birch. I wish the DCNR would go in and cut some of it for pulp. I know it is not worth any $$$. But, it would be good for the forest and the critters. I guess the DCNR is managing it for red maple saw logs in a couple decades.

Say they do. What comes back?

If the oak isn't there or a viable seed source you get what you cut out coming right back.


This is the reason so many cuts are done select letting mast producing trees to get the regen before the final cut.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
Bluetick is offline  
post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 09:18 AM
Frequent Contributor
 
btm137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Huntingdon, PA-4D,4A
Posts: 689
Back To Top
Re: The Forestry and Forest Information Thread

Bluetick,

You are right, cutting birch and red maple will probably result in more birch and red maple. However, I do know what Tussey means by huge salvage areas from the 80's with a monoculture of birch/red maple poles on all of it. From a habitat standpoint, regenerating the stand to get some early successional habitat is by far the best thing a manager can do for wildlife. I am not saying level 800 acres at once, but 50-75 acres at a time to try to create some sort of stand structure across the landscape.

There is no "X" in my bow!!
btm137 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome