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Drier weather

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Wow, do we (read: I) ever need a stretch of drier weather. All this ice, sleet, snow and rain has the ground seriously waterlogged. Had to shut down the winter timbering on my personal property until the soil dries out a bit. Log skidders were sinking in the mud.
 

RS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
1,457
Location
Smithville
Our loggers pulled out back in November because of the wet weather.

My dad always called the saturated soil this time of year as being rotten. I always hated feeding the cows hay growing up when it was like this…nothing but a muddy soupy mess.
 

Popcorn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
479
Location
Cookeville, TN Cadiz, KY and random other places
I have not been able to make any planned prescribed burns. Normally get those done in Feb. Logging is postponed for a few days and dozer work is piling up. Time to order seed and fish food. Will be feeding fish in a few weeks, two feeders under water yesterday.......
Lots of water way repair after this past rain in western, KY.
 

JCDEERMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,179
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
Our logger has been on hold and hasn't made much progress. His equipment has been sitting on our property, but too wet to do anything. Our ridge top roads were hell to even try not to slide off of them. We went down this weekend and was hoping to get a lot of work done. Couldn't do any hack & squirt, couldn't spray fresh cut stumps, couldn't burn or make fire lines :rolleyes:. About the only thing I was able to do was prune 36 fruit trees and do some trapping. Caught 2 more coons and a skunk.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Our logger has been on hold and hasn't made much progress. His equipment has been sitting on our property, but too wet to do anything. Our ridge top roads were hell to even try not to slide off of them. We went down this weekend and was hoping to get a lot of work done. Couldn't do any hack & squirt, couldn't spray fresh cut stumps, couldn't burn or make fire lines :rolleyes:. About the only thing I was able to do was prune 36 fruit trees and do some trapping. Caught 2 more coons and a skunk.
Before the heavy rain came in Saturday, we got 2,000 pine seedlings in the ground. Still have 1,000 to go. Unfortunately, the loggers haven't been able to pull the logs off some of the areas I want to plant. Guess I'm going to find out just how long pine seedlings can stay viable in a climate-controlled cooler. I've received widely varying opinions on that.

Longer range models suggest no serious rain until a week from Friday, so I'm hoping nearly two weeks of drier weather will help.

And by the way, our concrete-hard chert ridge-top roads absolutely went to pieces once the soggy weather started in early February. And they held up so well during January...
 

JCDEERMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,179
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
Before the heavy rain came in Saturday, we got 2,000 pine seedlings in the ground. Still have 1,000 to go. Unfortunately, the loggers haven't been able to pull the logs off some of the areas I want to plant. Guess I'm going to find out just how long pine seedlings can stay viable in a climate-controlled cooler. I've received widely varying opinions on that.

Longer range models suggest no serious rain until a week from Friday, so I'm hoping nearly two weeks of drier weather will help.

And by the way, our concrete-hard chert ridge-top roads absolutely went to pieces once the soggy weather started in early February. And they held up so well during January...
Glad to hear about the long range forecast! I'm hoping we don't lose too much soil on our ridge tops as soon as they're logged - that's my biggest fear (but know there will be some loss). We need all we can up there for planting food plots.

I have contemplated planting pines for several years, but when evaluating what our neighbors have and what we have, I talked myself out of it. We are bordered by several hundred acres of pines on 3 sides and I decided to give them something different - hardwoods, food plots and oak savannah type habitat on a burn rotation. Would you still recommend some pines?
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Depends on what age the surrounding pines are. Pine plantations begin to lose their "attractiveness" to deer once they hit about 15 years of age. Of course, much depends on the planting density and any maintenance done on those pines (thinning, spraying, etc.).

Have a neighbor that clear-cut his 28 acres of hardwoods and planted the whole property in pine seedlings. From the time those pines were 4-5 years old until almost 20 years old they were the hottest thing going in a nearly exclusive hardwood environment. As a hunter, you wanted to be pretty close to that property line! However, after 20 years of age, the deer stopped being drawn to them. Now that adjoining property appears to be less of a draw than my adjoining hardwoods.

I've got some small patches of pines I planted just over 20 years ago. Although those patches are no longer the draw they once were, deer still walk the habitat edge created by the change in species from hardwood to pine.
 
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BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Honestly, can't wait for the pines we planted to mature to "attractive" stage. We planted them very strategically to produce predictable deer movement patterns - patterns that can easily be hunted.
 

DoubleRidge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
2,965
Location
Middle Tennessee
Depends on what age the surrounding pines are. Pine plantations begin to lose their "attractiveness" to deer once they hit about 15 years of age. Of course, much depends on the planting density and any maintenance done on those pines (thinning, spraying, etc.).

Have a neighbor that clear-cut his 28 acres of hardwoods and planted the whole property in pine seedlings. From the time those pines were 4-5 years old until almost 20 years old they were the hottest thing going in a nearly exclusive hardwood environment. As a hunter, you wanted to be pretty close to that property line! However, after 20 years of age, the deer stopped being drawn to them. Now that adjoining property appears to be less of a draw than my adjoining hardwoods.

I've got some small patches of pines I planted just over 20 years ago. Although those patches are no longer the draw they once were, deer still walk the habitat edge created by the change in species from hardwood to pine.

Two words that come to mind while reading these comments are "edge" and "diversity"....sounds like a great plan.
 

JCDEERMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,179
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
These pines are on a rotational harvest and are about 15 - 18 years old. It is public land that is leased out. I know what you mean in regards to hunting the edges of those pines! My plan was to also plant them strategically for getting a better pattern on them and where we can hunt/enter/exit without disturbing them. I'm guessing they will be cutting them in the next few years. Hopefully we will have our cover in the right stage at that time. Going to finish this current project first. I tend to try and juggle too much at once :rolleyes:
 

Popcorn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
479
Location
Cookeville, TN Cadiz, KY and random other places
Depends on what age the surrounding pines are. Pine plantations begin to lose their "attractiveness" to deer once they hit about 15 years of age. Of course, much depends on the planting density and any maintenance done on those pines (thinning, spraying, etc.).

Have a neighbor that clear-cut his 28 acres of hardwoods and planted the whole property in pine seedlings. From the time those pines were 4-5 years old until almost 20 years old they were the hottest thing going in a nearly exclusive hardwood environment. As a hunter, you wanted to be pretty close to that property line! However, after 20 years of age, the deer stopped being drawn to them. Now that adjoining property appears to be less of a draw than my adjoining hardwoods.

I've got some small patches of pines I planted just over 20 years ago. Although those patches are no longer the draw they once were, deer still walk the habitat edge created by the change in species from hardwood to pine.
One of my winter tasks has been thinning pine stands that are too small for pulp wood and too tall and dominant to be good habitat. These are 15 to 18 years old. If you can walk into a pine stand and see 50 to 100 yards back thru it it is terrible habitat! No food, No cover, No game. I have been taking 50% by taking 2 rows, leaving 2 rows. Stands I have done this to in the past have exploded in native and natural forbs, grasses and weeds. Tremendous bird habitat as well as ground deer are at home in. This also will expedite the growth of the remaining pines. My goal is to eventually eliminate all but a few random pines and replace them with natural thickets and warm season grasses.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
One of my winter tasks has been thinning pine stands that are too small for pulp wood and too tall and dominant to be good habitat. These are 15 to 18 years old. If you can walk into a pine stand and see 50 to 100 yards back thru it it is terrible habitat! No food, No cover, No game. I have been taking 50% by taking 2 rows, leaving 2 rows. Stands I have done this to in the past have exploded in native and natural forbs, grasses and weeds. Tremendous bird habitat as well as ground deer are at home in. This also will expedite the growth of the remaining pines. My goal is to eventually eliminate all but a few random pines and replace them with natural thickets and warm season grasses.
Great stuff Popcorn! In the Deep South pine plantations of MS and AL, what you are doing is called 3rd or 5th row thinning (removing every third or fifth row, respectively). It is an extremely common practice that increases growth of the remaining pines (gives them breathing/growing room) while also producing excellent wildlife habitat where sun can reach the ground in the thinned rows. The removed rows can even be used for long narrow food plots. Ag equipment companies down there sell a type of disk designed especially for this task, with a wide, tall gap between the left and right sets of disks, so the stumps from the removed row of trees passes down the middle of the disk.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Well, my loggers are back at work with the drier weather. They still have a couple hundred logs to pull, but they're making progress. Got another 500 pines in the ground over the weekend.
 

JCDEERMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,179
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
You are sure making a lot of progress. One of our new areas for a food plot was cut and hauled off the end of last week. Hoping he's back at it today. Looks like we should have another full dry week with some rain towards the end of the week. Should make a lot more progress.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Looks like fairly substantial rains this weekend and mid-week next week. Forecast about 2 inches of rain total from the 2 events.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,306
Location
Nashville, TN
Just a small percentage of what still has to be loaded.
 

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