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Thread: Woodlot Management

  1. #1

    Woodlot Management

    I realize some of you farm suburban lands where space is of the essence, but I just had this great idea for your consideration. I'd just gone out to get a pot full of pine mulch for drainage, full of fire ants DUH, thinking about pine trees. If you have a small band of land around the edge of your property, say 12 feet wide should be plenty large enough, and you get some PINE SEEDLINGS, these are often free or at cost from the state ag dept. nursery, you could plant them on 6 foot centers I believe would be good enough to give yourself an endless supply of pine mulch and pine bark for your nursery operation. I would have to check with a silvaculture site to see what the minimum distance between trees would be, actually if you plant them closely together, the lumber making part will be straighter and taller, which would not apply here because you would want to cut them down when they reached 5 or 6 inch caliper and run them through your chipper. But in the meantime, about two years later you could seed in the second crop right behind the first, in between the first trees, and have a great sustainable agriculture mulch factory going there, for only the labor costs involved.

    Our chips come from Arkansas, not sure why, as we have so many of our own pine trees right here, they seem to go for pulp wood and chipper plants for that worthless (to me) building material, particle board as in "build your structure from confetti and wait for the rain!"

    In addition to making a beautiful wind break and bird habitat, the pine tree has nutrients and shelter for all types of wildlife, you would never have to buy pine bark or mulch of that type again.

    This is based on observation, I'm not sure what variety I have here, probably Southern white pine or loblolly, but it self seeds in my flower beds, and I missed a couple of years getting them all out and I had major 8 foot tall or higher trees to cut down. Almost had to go to a chainsaw, they absolutely grow like weeds and make unbelieveable amounts of biomass. Since I have an endless supply of lopper fodder, I use the branches as mulch in my vegetable garden and to provide squirrel camouflage and crawl upons for crops like cucumber and purple hull peas to keep them off of the ground in a "no work" manner. At some point in time, they also will mulch in place and pine straw has so many uses in the garden. Soil conditioner, surfacing for paths, etc.

    Speaking of taproots, you can just grab the tops of seedlings and pull them straight up out of the ground after a good rain IF you get them before they are about 1 foot tall and transplant them or throw them (in my case) on the compost pile. The woes of abundance! After that, those taproots go practically to China.

    Let me know what you think. There are not many useful trees where you can get a 12-foot crop in 2 or 3 years! And they are shamelessly beautiful as you all know.
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Hey, Margarite!

    I don't know about the pine they grow up north, but the southern pine varieties are prolific. They grow everywhere, and they grow FAST!

    Here are some that were growing in the well of my husband's boat 1.5 years ago...

    There was no soil in the well, just wet pine needles!

    The picture was taken in early July, 2001, and I remember that tiny pine trees were growing everywhere. For some reason, it was a bumper year for them.

    I should have planted a bed of these jewels then, huh?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
    I was a complete failure trying to grow some from seed. Then noticed three real nice pines growing in the gutter on the garage.

    Jim Lang

  4. #4

    Nature Knows Best!

    It's best to just transplant the seedlings if you can. They must not be very persnickety because I've seen reforestation of clear cut areas that look like war zones then two years later you have a nice stand of perfectly placed pine trees. I think they place them with a bulldozer or something.

    I loved your stories; I hauled around a 1 foot tall pine in the well of my spare tire for about a year until I had a flat, when I transplanted it into a pot, it promptly died on me. It was growing in the bed of my pickup truck when Tullos towed it down to his place to work on it, and about six months in his garage yard. He'd always ask about "his pine."
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden

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