1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Old Growth Trees

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jj3500, Nov 10, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jj3500

    jj3500 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Loc:
    Orange County, N.Y. Southeast corner.
    I watch these videos of these mammoth trees being cut down. I can only guess they are hundreds of years old. I've seen the Giant Sequioa trees in person. They are truly a spectacle. But these other old growth trees. Does anyone know why these loggers are taking them down too? Are they just totally eraticating an area when they clear but there are instances the video show this one logger cutting down this huge tree in the center of the forest. If he is actually clearing them out then there should be openings on all other sides.

    Just curious...anyone know?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. snowtime

    snowtime Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    523
    Loc:
    northern BC
    You probably only see the tree because they just moved into that area and the cameraman is standing inthe skid trail or road. Believe me they have a way to get the tree out. Can not tell whats going on because I can not see it. They are either doing selective logging or clear cutting. Clear cuts are set by the local forestry rules I do not know whats the rulein that area. Not much to go on here hope that helps.
  3. jj3500

    jj3500 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Loc:
    Orange County, N.Y. Southeast corner.
    thanks for info. I was just curious. For me, I have a sense of guilt, if you may. When I've cut down 100 plus year old trees. These are 100% healthy trees that I'm removing from the earth. It takes nature that long to nurture this giant(most cases a large oak or maple). then its down on the ground in a matter of minutes. I'm sure a lot of you will have your views but...
  4. MGC67

    MGC67 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    i have some 4ft in diameter maples on my property that are starting to drop limbs, my guilt for cutting no longer is relevant with regards for my familys safety. they also have very recononizable dead limbs

    hanging from various areas of the tree. i know you stated that the giant 100 year old tree's are healthy, my wife would rather me leave the maples because they are "majestic".
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,964
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    A 100 year old Doug Fir, depending on the stand it's in, probably isn't old growth in western WA. And it is on the very edge of what can be managed without heavy equipment. 90% of fir that old is exported, but sometimes the wood cutters get a crack at a big, old log. 18" rounds cut from a 100 year old fir are almost more than one man can safely move. Also, don't even bother with a sub-30" bar. Most of us don't have the equipment and expertise to deal with true PNW old growth.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,530
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Our neighbors paid for a 190 yr old doug fir to be taken down on our property line. They were worried about it falling on their house in a storm. A tree guy convinced them it was diseased at the top. It turned out that the tree was perfectly healthy. I felt like crap for letting that old soldier be taken down.
  7. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Loc:
    S.W. Michigan
    Here in Michigan I am confident that most people have never seen old growth forest. At one time, this whole area was covered in unbroken hardwood forest. It was said a squirrel could travel from lake Erie to lake Michigan and never touch the ground.Our forests were considered a bane to farmers immigrating from back east and were mostly just cut and burned to clear the ground for crops. Later our forests were cut and shipped to Chicago to rebuild after its great fire. Later it was used to make fine furniture. Now out of all those acres, there are 3 tracts left. one 40 acre tract of old growth white pine (hartwick pines near Grayling Mi.) one 80 acre tract of hardwoods (Russ forest/Newtons woods) and one 30 acre tract of old growth Beech. It is sad and and a testament to the greed that was the 1800's logging boom that out of the millions of acres that were here, we have so little left.And with so little left one windstorm can wipe out the only example as happened recently near me where 20 acres were toppled in Newtons woods in a Micro burst. Some of the Walnut trees were over 40" DBH and 170+ feet tall. I would like to see legislation passed that would set aside a 5% tract of state forest in all states to be Old growth. It would take many years for most states because there is none left and will take 200-300 years but unless we start now Future generations will never get to experience the awe that is walking through real old growth forest.
  8. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    Being an old-home owner I can tell you that I understand and respect old-growth wood. Let my old-growth pine doors or windows or trim sit outside in the weather for 10 years next to a piece of pine from menards and you'll see what I mean. I bet that guy that chopped down that "old soldier" made a good profit on it, AND he had the nerve to charge people to let him have it. Freaking ridiculous, that's what it is. Can't offer any advice except to plant a new one in its memory and hopefully it'll be there in another 200 years. Just in case, plant two.
  9. fattyfat1

    fattyfat1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    SW WASHINGTON
    It's very hard to find primevil forest in the PNW. there are tiny pockets here and there, but for the most part it's gone. near where i live, there is some in MT RAINIER nat. park, gifford pinchot, nat forest, there's some along the south side of mt st HELENS, small pockets along the peninsula near quinault, olympic nat park. I'm sure theres more but you got to hunt for it. most people think second or third growth is actually old growth, because our trees get so big.
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,443
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    I'm trying to manage my little 2 acres of heaven to restore some more rare native species that were prevalent when the area was settled, as well as to leave some rotting logs and larger trees. There are some ways to "jump start" an old-growth type habitat, but in the end it will take lifetimes.
  11. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,520
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    100+ year old trees are by no means healthy just as a 100+ year old person isn't healthy. There are exceptions in some growing conditions and some are less susceptible to disease.
    Wind shake is common in old large crown or tall trees and this can subject a tree to rot from the inside out.I'm willing to bet that 60%+ of these old growth trees become waste or chips after running through the mill due to shake or internal rot. In most cases from a forest management standpoint it's better to remove the old growth canopy and allow new growth.
  12. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    The only place I know i've seen old growth wood is from old barn wood.

    As a rule of thumb, what constitutes old growth?. I've dumped some very very old dead white oak but I don't know if that is considered old growth.
  13. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    Fair enough. Blanket statements never work, so your point is well made. I remember the day that we cut down a tree at my parents. It was probably 15ft around, but you could have put a tree that was 10 feet around inside of it because of the rot and decay. eventually lightning, wind, and a couple of unbalanced huge branches started tearing it apart and it had to go. I can only imagine how old something that huge had to be. I can't remember now what kind of tree that was; I'll have to ask dad if he remembers.
  14. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    The deep end
    Old oaks are dying here in droves- I lost two in the past two years. I don't know the strict definition of old growth but these were 4 and 5 foot diameter trees that I counted over 100 rings in.
    My county agent swears that oak wilt is not common in Kentucky yet but I find online information to the contrary. My tree guy is booked solid keeping up with them.
  15. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    100 year old can't be the mark...there are tons of 100+ year old trees around here that i'm pretty sure are not considered old growth. Maybe the son of an old growth tree...hmmm.
  16. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,964
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Over here on the Olympic Penninsula there's lots of OG trees but very few large stands of OG. On the plus side, very old second growth and youngish OG are virtually indistinguishable (don't tell the hippies).
  17. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,071
    Loc:
    Silicon Valley
    Guilty over a 100 year old tree? Do you feel even more guilty every time you start your car and burn gasloline that came from oil that took millions of years to develop?

    You have to draw the line. If you drop and 100 year old tree and it gets put to use (timber, firewood, furniture, etc.), then great.
  18. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    Oaks can easily reach 200+ years (I have one huge red oak approaching this age on my 85 acres). I also have a 4' diameter black walnut reight behind my house. I have noticed that it doesn't produce the nuts that younger trees do, but it sure is impressive. Some dead limbs on it, but how can I possibly cut down a tree that was probably established when my house was being built in the 1870's? Of course, none of it is "old growth". I may be out of my mind, but when this tree falls, it deserves to fall where it wants.

    These forests sustained themselves and their human inhabitants for tens of thousands of years. Only when Europeans arrived was "management" necessary.

    Of course, now we have to deal with exotic invasives such as autumn olive, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, ailanthus, etc. All of these threaten the diversity of the forest, and do require some amount of management.

    In Ohio, we lost almost all of our old growth (except Dysart Woods). A coal company wanted to mine under the forest, potentially disrupting groundwater flows, and there was huge legal battle. Look up news on it to see how our courts favor the short-term extraction of coal over the existance of one of the last old-growth eastern hardwood forests...
  19. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    yes, i do. BUT, Your point about it (the tree) being a renewable resource is understood. The key is to replace, and to avoid removal simply for removal's sake. Renewable resource doesn't mean squat if you don't replace the tree you took down! In fact, in order for it to be a renewable resource in the literal sense, you'd need to be growing the same amount of wood you are burning every year. I bet that not many of us do that, but the point is there.
  20. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,964
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    You are aware that the "natives" (who killed and drove off whoever was here before them but did it so thoroughly that there's no one left to cry for them) used land management practices extensively. Practices such as burning and selective harvesting where common throughout N America before us Europeans showed up and started putting the land to good use.
  21. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,520
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    I gaurantee every time I cut down a mature 16" DBH tree I am replanting 100+ trees. It's called natural regeneration.
  22. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    Old growth is NOT renewable...unless you're taking renewable in the 500+ year sense.

    The cool thing we have going for us is that our forests are still expanding, despite our use of the wood. Guess that could change with the next great depression 8-/
  23. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    that's not replanting, it's providing optimal growing conditions for other trees. same point you made earlier; thanks for the reminder that direct planting isn't necessarily required. I'm not so convinced that others here (myself included) always examine the entire circumstances of a tree they cut down. Maybe I'm the minority when I say this, but on my timber I usually just take a sickish tree down, a dead tree, or something that's falling over (i don't burn the amount that y'all do), and I don't pay attention to it's surroundings 99% of the time, but my firewood doesn't impact canopy much at all usually, maybe I help out a sappling here and there by removing a dying old tree, but probably not that much. probably just help the underbrush, lol.
  24. valleyflyfisher

    valleyflyfisher New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, B.C.
    Here are a couple of old growth trees that I had the privilege of falling.

    A 12' Western Red Cedar, felled in the fall of 1980 on the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC. That is a Stihl 090 with a 60' bar, we would typically only bring out the 60" bar for easy access trees with room to maneuver around its base.
    [​IMG]

    Here is another large tree I fell on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the early 90's. This tree was easily 500 years old.
    [​IMG]

    Some of the second growth we are now dealing with is in the 80-90 year range and typically will be around 3-4' in diameter.
  25. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    The deep end
    Just... WOW!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page