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Size of a Sustainable Woodlot?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by timfromohio, Aug 11, 2009.

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  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Storage will let you take full advantage of all the softwood on your land. You'll never worry about an overnight fire and never buy wood again.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And your wife said you have a hard head too! lol
  3. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Hey Backwoods Savage - where in Michigan are you? We are heading up near Traverse City for a vacation - looks like a very pretty area (not Traverse City - the surrounding countryside).
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    If you are into sampling local microbrews, I highly recommend the two that are right in downtown Traverse City.
  5. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    SolarAndWood - sock it to me!!! I do enjoy microbrews and would not at all mind your recommendations. We plan on driving through Traverse City to head up to Old Mission for a day - might have to hit one of those microbreweries on the way home. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Being in Syracuse I'll bet you're close to some good breweries - they are probably too large to be microbreweries, but I usually pick up the summer variety packs from Saranac and JW Dundee. Aren't they in your neck of the woods?
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I forgot what the names of them are, but they are right on the main drag past the four corners if you are coming from the East along the lake. Big old stone building on the right as I recall. Food is good as well.

    Saranac is just down the road in the old Matt's brewery in Utica. Dundee is from the old Genny brewery in Rochester. Middle Ages and Empire are here in Syracuse. My wife is a big Ithaca Apricot Wheat fan. I go more the IPA route.
  7. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    How about the Mackinaw Brewing Company and/or RightBrain Brewery? I found those listed online.

    Perhaps I should have added an addendum to my post - minimum size of a woodlot for sustainability coupled with minimum acceptable proximity to suitable brewery for post harvesting libations ...

    Up here in NEOhio we the the Great Lakes Brewery which I've never been to - had the beer many times as its readily available locally. Just never made the trip up there to the brewery itself.
  8. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Both were good...the place I was thinking of is

    www.northpeak.net
  9. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    SolarAndWood - thanks for the link. We will definetly stop there - menu looks a bit better than Mackinaw Brewing Co. and it looks as though there is an Irish Pub associated with NorthPeak. All this talk is making me thirsty ....

    I'm assuming that the Ithaca Apricot Wheat comes out of a brewer in Ithaca - the finger lakes is one region I've never been to but would love to go. It looks beautiful and a good brewery in the area would add yet another reason to visit. Maybe that will be our trip next summer.
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    You guessed it and it looks like you can get it in Ohio now...

    http://www.ithacabeer.com/news.html?newsID=163

    Ithaca is beautiful in the summer...boating, biking, hiking, music
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tim, we are a long ways from Traverse City. We are 35 miles SW of Saginaw or 55 miles N and a little east of Lansing.

    The TC area is beautiful indeed. Sadly the cherry festival is over with but that still won't hurt them. It is one of those areas where you can drive around much of it and just enjoy the beauty. Be sure to take a drive up in the little finger (M-37) and also be sure to take in the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes west of TC. The drive up to Northport is also good as is the area around Maple City and Cedar. Just try to imagine what this area looks like in September and October. Fantastic does not do it justice. Beautiful doesn't even describe it. All the maple trees in color with hills and valleys.... I could go on and on about the area but won't. Just enjoy it. Take lots of pictures. Pray for good weather.
  12. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Small world, I'm at my parents' place at Crystal Lake this week for my sister's wedding, just drove through TC this evening. (Crystal is about 30 miles west of TC.) The festival may be over but it looks like there are still cherries available. Blueberries also, and peaches should be ripe soon I think.

    It is a really nice area, I spent all my childhood summers here. You can canoe the Platte or the Betsie rivers, or boat almost anywhere. Do the dune climb and the scenic drive at Sleeping Bear, both offer awesome views. Try to find your way to the Lake Michigan shore for a sunset. And for the more adventurous, you can take a boat from Leland to the Manitou Islands for camping or a day hike.
  13. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Backwoods Savage and DiscoInferno - thanks for the suggestions. We will be staying around Bellaire and are planning to drive up M-37 to see Old Mission and also a drive over the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The pictures I've seen of the area look beautiful and I'm certain that they don't do justice to what the area really looks like in person. Several people have asked why we're going to Michigan for vacation (half of them are Ohio State fans - we're not originally from Ohio and I don't watch football, so don't care one way or another with the whole OSU/Michigan rivalry although I do write "go Michigan" around work on the dry erase boards when no one is looking when I get sick of hearing about OSU...) but the area looks great. Calm, not crowded, good scenery, etc. My kind of place!
  14. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Here in southern New England, two cords per acre is what the oldtimers figured when determining woodlot size. Bear in mind that I said here in southern New England.
  15. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    I think 10 acres is probably a good number.

    But- there are a lot of variables-

    What is the mix of ages of trees, and when was it last harvested for wood etc. Obviously, if you have 50plus acres it replenishes faster than an individual will cut and burn it.

    I have about 5 acres of woods that was pasture and treeline 60 years ago and has naturally overgrown wih a mixture of pine and various hardwoods.

    I think about 3 cords a year is doable form my land if one is smart about it.

    My lot is hilly and some of the wood is just too much work to get to and move.

    Remember, getting the wood out of the woods is very hard work, even if you have the right equipment.
  16. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    That's the killer for me too. I've got steep hills and deep ravines that really make me do a cost benefit analysis
    when deciding what wood to go for. I hate to see some of the fallen wood rot, but I'm not going to kill myself to
    get it out with a wheelbarrow.
  17. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I learned my lesson with that this year. Got a storm downed oak off CL and almost turned it down but thought it would be fun to burn some oak instead of always burning elm.

    Big mistake! To get it up the ravine it was in, I ended up buying a kid's plastic sled and bringing up a half round at a time. Hopefully, the hardest work I will ever do for free wood. :shut:
  18. waynek

    waynek Member

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    What is the correct size of a sustainable woodlot? My answer is...one size does not fit all. In fact what my grandfather and father thought was a sufficient size wood lot does not apply today. I am the fifth generation to utilize the Southern Wisconsin woodlot which is a mesic mixed hardwood/softwood 20 acre forest. This particular piece of real estate was a pre-european settlement Oak savanna then sprouted into brush understory madeup of prickly ash, hickory, bur and white oak when the fires stopped. This understory was grubbed out and cleared for pasture. Even though the acreage was pastured there was oak and hickory re-generation and over time evolved into a respectable woodlot.

    In the beginning this acreage did not supply enough firewood to supply the cooking and heating needs of the farmstead, therefore My ancestor purchased 80 acres of heavily wooded Wisconsin River bottom. Overtime the woodlot provided not only firewood requirements but fence posts as well. Later, the woodlot provided a cash crop...sawlogs of white and red oak and walnut. This cash crop used to pay the property taxes. Overtime other wood species populated the woodlot...black cherry, hawthorn, red and rock elm, black, green and white ash...etc. When the Dutch Elm disease entered the valley the amount of available firewood increased two-fold.

    A few years back we decided not to pasture the woodlot anymore and manage it as Oak Woodland (fuel and sawlogs). Oak wilt entered the valley and we began losing some trees thereby firewood opportunities went up again. In addition, the sawlog market for oak and walnut went in the tank, therefore the oak is more valuable for firewood than sawlogs. What logs we can not use for our specific fuel needs is now sold to a neighborhood firewood business. The woodlot is now paying the property taxes again.

    The European Ash Borer has not entered the valley yet, therefore there is no increase in the amount of dead trees for firewood.
    Invasive species such as wild garlic mustard are on the landscape and the word is it can effect the root system of some tree species. In addition, to this condition the local deer herd is inhibiting the regeneration of certain tree species, in my case the oaks. All this makes it uncertain as to the amount of fuel produced in the future at this woodlot and goes to my point about one size does not fit all. There is an ebb and flow of fuel production in this woodlot and I am certain others can attest to theirs. There are too many factors (light, soil, disease, climate, etc.) effecting the ability of a woodlot to produce fuel to put a specific acre number to it.
    jackpine
  19. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    You guys got us back on track (away from beer talk) and back to some issues I had not considered. I was not taking into account the effect that disease might have on a lot. Further, since I scrounge the wood I get is usually readily accessible - I had not thought of terrain and the associated difficulty of getting at the wood and then getting it back out. Excellent points to consider. As another side point - Jackpine, I admire the fact that you're the 5th generation using the same land. That's rare nowadays.
  20. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Thank you, Tim from Ohio...our family has been in this southern Wisconsin valley since 1844. One branch of the family left in 1890s. The story goes...they got tired of farming three sides of the farm.
    Jackpine
  21. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    great & interesting story jackpine. Does your family still own the 100 total acres?
  22. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    That's great Jackpine! I don't meet too many other people that have worked the same land for that long. 5th generation here too.
  23. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I would like to keep the thread going on woodlot size, but other sub-topics keep popping up that are very interesting ... Jackpine and quads - how has the mix of what you guys do with the land changed over the generations? What do you farm now?
  24. waynek

    waynek Member

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    The 80 acres of Wisconsin River bottom land was sold to the State of Wisconsin several years ago when the state developed the Lower Wisconsin Riverway - a 92 mile stretch of the river. When I say sold...I really mean a forced sale. This 80 was not part of the original homestead, which was 110 acres rather it was located 1 1/2 miles away.

    The 20 acre woodlot I refer to in this thread is part of the original 110 acres.

    Thank you and best regards,
    Jackpine
  25. waynek

    waynek Member

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    It is always gratifying to learn there are other 5th generation land owners out there.
    Thank you and best regards,
    Jackpine
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