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TSI on a Sunny Winter Day

Posted on February 24th, 2013

This Saturday I headed to Old Man’s Timber with some hesitation.  As usual, I was really excited to see the 6″ blanket of new snow that arrived on Thursday evening.  Although I didn’t think the snowfall would significantly slow my timber stand work, only time and a little effort would tell.  I have been working toward the north and moving into a stand with larger Red Oak and Shagbark Hickory.  I was excited to work in this area, knowing that the timber stand improvement would really benefit these long-lived individuals.  As you can see from the first photo, the stand had a strong Iron Wood presence in the understory, along with elm in the mid story.

Large Red Oak Before TSI

Large Red Oak Before TSI

 

As usual, I selected an area for my burn pile, that was centered in a area that I hoped to complete during about 5 hours of cutting and clearing.  Given the heat intensity of the burn piles I have tried to limit the number of piles, as they will be sterile and will not be able to support the beautiful woodland fauna for a couple of years.  I began the TSI work by taking out most of the small (less than 3″) trees and continued until I had removed many of the larger elms that were growing up into the crowns of the dominate Red Oaks.  Although, I cleared a lot of trees in this area, I did leave several elms that were not crowding the Red Oak or Shagbark Hickories.  I also plan to use prescribed fire in this area this spring to help invigorate native woodland wildflowers and control invasive species.

Stand after Cutting and Clearing

Stand after Cutting and Clearing

 

The photo below shows the tree canopy that has been opened up to allow this dominate Red Oak room to grow, as well as, for several other younger Red Oaks in the stand to expand their crowns.  I am really excited to see the response of the ecosystem in this area as a result of the weed tree removal, opening of the canopy and the upcoming prescribed burn.  I will have more to post about this particular area as spring arrives.

Crop Tree Release

Crop Tree Release

 

The dominate Red Oak in this stand measured between 28″ – 30″ with my Biltmore stick.  Using the growth factor method (Age = Diameter x Growth Factor), using a growth factor of 4 for Red Oak, this tree is estimated to be around 120 years old.  Most of the other oaks in this stand ranged from 15″ – 18″, but I was also very happy to find a couple that were less than 6″, providing some size/age diversity.  Biltmore sticks are a simple and quick tool to measure the diameter at breast height (DBH), and quite dependable after a bit of practice.  I received mine complimentary of a Master Woodland Managers Course offered by the ISU Extension and Iowa DNR this past fall.  This course was absolutely outstanding, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in managing woodlands, whether for lumber production or ecosystem enhancement.  The next course will be in Chickasaw County, Iowa, held August-September, 2013.

Measuring DBH using Biltmore Stick

Measuring DBH using Biltmore Stick

 

Yet another really nice day at the timber, the weather was perfect and the snow didn’t slow our work.  Once again, thanks to Ali and Chad for joining me at Old Man’s Timber.

2 Responses

  1. Brad Freidhof says:

    Larry, I really enjoyed the most recent posting in the Old Man’s Timber blog. It was a great portrait of timber stand improvement work. Thanks for sharing.

    Brad

  2. Larry Weber says:

    Thanks Brad, as you know timber stand improvement work is long, tiring and dirty. Sharing with others, is one of the small pleasures. I am excited to see the benefits to the timber over the next several years!

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