Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thinning a Small Stand of Trees to Establish Silvopasture

Jeff Hendrix and his wife Kristi have a beef cattle farm near Double Springs.  Earlier in the summer, Jeff attended an Extension sponsored tour of Mr. John Sudduth's farm and was impressed with the silvopastures that produce both forage and pine timber.  Based on that visit he decided to thin a three-acre stand of trees in his pasture by removing most of the hardwoods and many of the pines.  Trees were selected to be left based on their spacing and structure.  Crooked, leaning, and forked pines were removed.  The "leave" trees were marked with orange paint in a way that would make them visible to the machine operator from any direction.  Jeff worked with a logger that would harvest the unmarked trees and pile most of the slash in the pasture.  Now that harvesting operations are complete, he plans to plant grass on the interior of the stand this fall.  While the thinning operation did not generate much income, it will improve the growth of the trees and the appearance of the pasture.

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