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woodsrunner

Let's talk shop! Forestry has always been an interest of mine. I have the chance to purchase 17 acres in Randolph county that was previously planted in pines, and all the mature trees have been cut from the property approximately 6-8 years ago. Currently it is FULL of volunteer pines that are an average of 10' tall. The pines were sprayed last year, or year before to kill all other growth. I'm told it needs a thinning. It is surrounded by other planted pine/hardwood tracks, some of which are leased for hunting. Hunting all around this tract is very good, and it fronts a county road.
Hunting, shooting, and growing pines are all I would do with it. If I were to buy it, I'd like to farm these trees and grow them to be mature (plantation-esque:wink), and maybe build a little cabin on the very front of it one day. Since the pines weren't planted, can I expect them to produce and can I farm them like planted trees? Soil is above average to good but a little rocky.

Replies

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    It's difficult to answer your questions with total accuracy without seeing what's there growing now, and the condition the regeneration pines are in. I'm a little puzzled in your saying that it was sprayed a year or so ago to kill (apparently) the hardwood undergrowth that was bound to be present. What herbicide was used? How applied? The pine regeneration I assume is Loblolly Pine, but it could be Slash Pine also (though not probably) and the species makes a big difference in what you do to get the best growth. If you can find out the pine species, the soils type if possible (from the County Soils Series Index) what and how it was sprayed, maybe I can give you some broad answers without seeing it. I'll help you if I can.
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    I don't know what herbicide was used but it was a larger 50 acre tract that was sprayed by I believe helicopter (maybe plane) and yes, it was to kill the hardwood undergrowth (mainly sweet gum). This piece is carved out of the 50 acres. Yes, the pines are Loblolly. The USDA soil map shows it 93% Henderson gravelly sandy loam, 2 to 8 percent slopes, 4% Faceville sandy loam, 2 to 5% slopes, and 3% Red Bay loamy sand, 2 to 5% slopes.
    Hope this helps.
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Putting it at the top in case you overlooked.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    I'll be back with you later today.
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    Clear cut it and plant longleaf and sawtooth oak.
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
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    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    You have a Personal Message en route. let me know if it does not get there.....I'm pretty "electronically challenged", and I've had some computer problems recently.

    Sawtooth Oaks will produce some pretty good acorns, big and sweet, and Whitetails relish 'em!

    Bet you didn't know this.....! This Oak species (forget the Latin name, and too lazy to look it up) is a native of certain parts of Japan and some of the Japanese off-shore islands. A Marine brought the original acorns back with him from Okinawa, I think it was, when the War ended. He enrolled at the UGA Forestry School under the GI Bill, and planted the acorns on the south side of the Forestry School main building in about 1945-46. When I was there in school in the early 1960's, these trees had grown to 14-16 inches in diameter, and would drop so many **** acorns that you couldn't keep your feet under you walking through them! This is the source of every Sawtooth oak tree in the Southeastern USA as far as I know!
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 2,131 Captain
    dewyafish wrote: »
    Clear cut it and plant longleaf and sawtooth oak.

    For the record, I like Sawtooth oak, as they grow very fast and produce large acorns every year. Just be advised, as Woodsrunner already mentioned, they are not native and in some quarters, are considered an invasive species. In most of the Alabama management areas, they planted them a number of them, only to come back a number of years later to eradicate them. In context with the 15 acre parcel that will probably not be managed for timber production, Longleaf & Sawtooth wouldn't be a bad choice IMHO.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    hooknreds.....I forgot....Klinger is a forester also, and he's up there close to the area we're talking about! You might get him to expand on his opinions of the little tract also....he already has concurred with what I mentioned in the private message about managing for timber. You're getting sound advice that normally consulting foresters charge for. I'm retired, 7-8 years, so I'm glad to help free of charge. You might be able to get Klinger to put his feet on the ground up there to give you correct, sound advice on what to do.

    Klinger....I also suggested what you mentioned but didn't go into detail on wildlife management aspects. I simply mentioned that Loblolly will express dominance and come on out in time, and I cautioned about compound interest on long term investments on small acreage tracts. But I'm curious....what herbicide was sprayed over the tops to kill hardwoods and not hurt the Loblolly reproduction? Got a call in to Gordon Forster up in Athens to find out....been too long since I applied herbicides to know for sure. Arsenal, 2%-4% maybe?
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 2,131 Captain
    Woodsrunner, I too retired several years ago, but my two brothers & I still manage about a thousand acres of property we own. I would suspect the chemical site prep would be about 12-16 oz of generic Arsenal and about 3 quarts of Glysophate (Roundup) per acre. I would be glad to take a look at the property, and if any work needs to be performed that needs a professional forester, my nephew still runs our old company.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    Eli D. Fraser said plant it in longleaf.
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
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    .
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    .
    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    I'm certainly not opposed to planting Longleaf. The name of my consulting business was Longleaf Foresters LLC, and the last 13 years that I had the business on an active status, we planted between 1.25 and 1.3 million Longleaf a year. I can get in my truck here in northern Leon County and drive to Augusta, or Columbus, or Mobile, and I'll see tracts that we planted. Kinda funny in a way, but I usually won't remember the landowner's name, but can remember very specific things about the tract like gullys, rock outcrops, etc!

    My point with Hooknred's tract is simply that at 17 acres it isn't big enough to think much about growing a commercial crop of timber, rather maybe he should think about improvements for wildlife and aesthetic purposes. Longleaf will definitely be a player for aesthetics as well as Sawtooth Oaks and other Native hardwoods. Wildlife and overall improvement of the tract.....with an open eye for what adjoins it that may come up for sale :wink

    EDIT: By the way.....I know Eley. Known him for about 135 years, (big grin) and he's a fine honest fellow....I've always liked him! He is much more of an industrial forester than I ever was, however. If I managed a tract with rare and/or endangered species on it, that was a big deal in my management recommendations and practices. In industrial forestry it all comes down to the bottom line, and endangered biota is simply in the way!
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,424 Admiral
    17 acres may be good enough for a "Christmas tree farm" and large enough to get an agricultural break on real estate taxes. Up here a tract has to be 5 acres or larger. Lot of Christmas tree farms and strawberry patches behind homes for the real estate tax breaks ............................... just sayin...
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 2,131 Captain
    17 acres may be good enough for a "Christmas tree farm" and large enough to get an agricultural break on real estate taxes. Up here a tract has to be 5 acres or larger. Lot of Christmas tree farms and strawberry patches behind homes for the real estate tax breaks ............................... just sayin...

    I agree that it's a large enough tract for some crops to be profitable, but for the typical Southeastern US region, It's very difficult to manage that tract for timber production. A house place with an assortment of unique hardwoods and some Long leaf acreage will look pretty good and will provide habitat for wildlife. Very difficult to find a buyer or producer to thin a tract of less than 20 acres, and even then you have to find an operation working close by to selectively thin. The final harvest on 17 acres isn't that difficult, as you might be talking about a $30,-$40,000 sale, but it ain't pretty if you live next door to it!

    I don;t recall what the tax treatments are in Georgia, but in Alabama, property can be taxed as current use or market value, and usually forest land is a much lower rate. If you ever build a house on it, you might want to separate the house lot from the rest of the property.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Woodsrunner/Klinger, thanks a tom for all the info. I love the forestry industry and sometimes I wish I would've gone that route. As far as the cabin, it was just a thought but I own a house 10-12 miles away so a cabin isn't a must. Klinger, would you mind expanding on what you mean by final harvest? How old and large do the trees need to be and are you saying they potentially will bring $30-40k?
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 2,131 Captain
    hooknreds wrote: »
    Woodsrunner/Klinger, thanks a tom for all the info. I love the forestry industry and sometimes I wish I would've gone that route. As far as the cabin, it was just a thought but I own a house 10-12 miles away so a cabin isn't a must. Klinger, would you mind expanding on what you mean by final harvest? How old and large do the trees need to be and are you saying they potentially will bring $30-40k?

    Typically a planted pine stand will be selectively thinned @ around 12-17 years of age (depending on species, site index, hardwood competition, etc). The goal is to remove the suppressed, forked, crooked, and diseased trees, leaving the best, straightest, fastest growing trees for future harvest. Then the stand can be thinned again using the same criteria once the stand closes canopy (usually every 4-6 years). By doing this, after the second thinning. most of the trees remaining will be sawtimber, which generally worth considerably more than pulpwood (sometimes 2-3 times more). Upon economical maturity, the stand will be ready for final harvest, which can be $2000/acre +/-. As an example, a few years ago we sold a 195 acre tract of 38 year old Slash pine with only 47 trees/ acre near Jakin Georgia for $557.000. A smaller tract won't usually bring that kind of price/acre, and that tract had fewer trees/ acre than we would have liked, and the stumpage was bringing historically high prices, but just to make the point. Just remember that the first couple of thinning's will determine the value of the final harvest. Historically, loggers will remove many of the larger trees in the first thinnings, reducing the quality of the stand and thereby the value. To obtain the best results, a professional forester with your best interest in mind should identify the trees to be removed and supervise the operation to assure it's being done according to the contract.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Klinger points out something that will go right over the heads of the vast majority of timberland owners.....having a professional consulting forester handle timber sales! (And virtually all other timber business.) I'm out of it now, retired etc, but over the years you would not believe what I've seen in the way of timberland owners being taken to the cleaners by some--notice I say some, and not all--in the logging business. Here's one for an example, and its probably the biggest one that I was associated with in my career.

    Retired widowed school teacher in a small South Georgia town had 42 acres of Slash pine 40+ years old, planted by her father-in-law. Former student just employeed by one of the most notorious low-life loggers in the area called the teacher telling her that pine borers were killing her trees (a lie) offered her about $37,000. clearcut. Called her back in 2 days telling her that he had made a mistake in figuring value, and increased his offer to about $42,000. (common trick). A neighbor encouraged her to contact me for an opinion. I looked and told her value would probably exceed $100,000. She turned it over to me to handle. I cruised and sold the tract by bid for in excess of $122,000. The bids were due by 10AM on a certain day. I called her very shortly after 10AM and gave her the results. It was a go deal! Later in the afternoon she had a heart attack, and had 2 more in the ambulance on the way to the hospital in Dothan. Was in the hospital 2+ weeks recovering before we could finalize the deal (Coastal Lumber Co., excellent company to do business with). Later she told me with tears in her eyes that "the little boy" who had made her the initial offer had been her student in high school and was "such a wonderful child"!

    When it comes to timber get a consulting forester to cover the bases for you! Same as you would investing your retirement deductions!
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Well we hunted too hard this weekend and I didn't get to make it up to the tract to get pics. I'll try again this weekend.
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 2,131 Captain
    hooknreds wrote: »
    Well we hunted too hard this weekend and I didn't get to make it up to the tract to get pics. I'll try again this weekend.

    If you'll PM me next time you make it over here, I'll be happy to meet you & give you my .02. It's only about 30 miles from my house to Cuthbert and it's time for a little road trip anyway!
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    There you go, hooknreds! Can't beat that! Be sure to take a notepad so you can jot down suggestions!
  • hooknredshooknreds Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Wow, thanks Klinger. I'll be in touch!! Thanks again Woodsrunner.
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