So in less than 3 weeks, we’ve managed to sustainably harvest our property’s standing timber. We feel very pleased with the entire process. It was many months in the planning and was somewhat stressful, but the end result was a healthier forest, new roads and mobility across the land and some profit. We will follow some of our timber to the mill and see the various products that our land will produce. Some of the trees will be turned into furniture, tool handles and baseball bats. Some will be made into construction materials for cabinets and solid doors. Some ot it will be turned into pulp for paper and firewood.
In all, we culled a few hundred mature trees which will yield about 38,000 board feet of finished wood products. The largest percentage of this was white ash, which we cut more heavily because of the emerald ash borer.
Now our share of the work begins. Our new roads are basically bare earth, as the skidders swept them clear by dragging the trees to the landings. There are many stretches that will need to be seeded to prevent erosion. There are stray rocks and large branches that will need to be put to the side. We use our roads for atvs, snowmobiles and occasionally horses, so hitting a rock hidden by undergrowth or snow at speed, is not good!
Despite all the effort, our woods do not look much different than before the harvest. We did not do any clear cutting, so the forest canopy is intact and it is hard to tell that so many trees were taken. Which is the result we wanted.