Green Horizons Newsletter - AgEBB

Green Horizons

Volume 14, Number 2
Spring 2010

Cedar Management Study Underway in SW Missouri
Frances Main, Missouri Department of Conservation

“What do you mean I have more money in my cedar than in my oaks?” That is a common response when a landowner has asked for help with a mixed oak sale and I come across a beautiful stand of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana). As a forester in southwest Missouri, I can see the economic value of those high-density, self-pruned, no-taper cedar stands as well as the loggers who covet them. The question has always been how to harvest that stand while perpetuating its characteristics so the landowner will have a future sale from the same tall, straight stand of cedar he started with.

David Gwaze, silviculturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, has joined me in the quest to answer that question. A study has been designed to investigate the impacts of forest management on redcedar regeneration.

To help determine how much of the stand needs to be harvested at any one time to ensure recruitment of similar high quality trees, the study will use three silvicultural treatments: 1) clear cut (half the area will be replanted and half left to regenerate naturally; 2) thinning down to a moderate basal area retention; and 3) thinning to a light basal area retention. Of course, the ever present “control plot” also will be in the study.

If you are going to manage your woodlands properly, you need to know where the property lines are. Why? If you are going to have a timber sale, the forester has to know where the property line is so no trees are marked and cut on the neighbor’s property. Missouri State Statutes have a triple damage section concerning trespass. Therefore, as a consulting forester, if I mark for sale trees on your neighbor’s land and they are sold, I am liable for triple damages. If a landowner does not know or have marked or fenced his property lines, I stay away 100 or more feet from where he thinks the line is, or I just will not take the risk and turn down the sale job. The same holds true for a Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) crew who will kill undesirable trees and vines to release and let grow the valuable desirable crop trees. If the woodland owner puts in access roads, waterlines, skid trails, log yarding area, for example, he should/must know where the property lines are.

Each plot measures 0.2 acres (a circular plot with a 52.7-foot radius) and all treatments are replicated five times making the entire study site about 5 acres. Dormant season data has been collected, and post-treatment data (survival, density, height and diameter) will be collected in years 1, 3, 5, and then every 5th year for 15 years.

We look forward to more insight into the sustainable management of relatively pure stands of eastern redcedar.

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