Turning Woods into Pasture
   

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Turning Woods into Pasture

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  • Barns near woods okay or not?
  • Turning woods into pasture

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    12-16-2013, 09:23 AM
  #1
Foal
Turning Woods into Pasture

We have just purchased 7 1/2 acres of land that is all trees. There is no parts cleared. I want to move mmy horse there in the near furture and was wondering how to get pasture. Is it okay to leave some trees? If so how much and what kinds? Is there anything I should watch out for?
Thank you!
Ps- Im from eastern Canada so we have the following trees (most popular)
Maple trees, pine trees, birch trees etc.
     
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    12-16-2013, 09:36 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
You would need to get enough trees cleared to allow decent grass to grow - its not going to grow in the shade especially in dry spells when those trees are sucking every drop of moisture from the ground
I would just leave a clump in one area where they can stand to keep put of the sun in the hot months and if possible some of the pine trees to give winter shelter
Red Maple is poisonous to horses so check what type you have growing there
You'll have to get the land seeded with good grass if its got nothing growing on it - and the stumps will need removing or they'll be a hazard to horses knocking their legs or tripping over them
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    12-16-2013, 09:40 AM
  #3
Weanling
Go online and get a list of harmful/poisonous plants, trees and vegetation in your area with regards to horses in particular..
Now go walk your entire property and carry a can of spray paint and paint those trees needing to come down, flag with tape the plants needing gone.

You want to leave some trees for sun, rain and wind protection for your horses. There is a happy balance of how many to take away or leave so you can grow grass.
Certain maples are as good as deadly to horses, same as oaks...there are others such as walnut...you need to be positive of what is on the land.

Remember the trees play a key role in soil erosion protection and holding that soil for the grass to grow in.
You also need to search for a water source that may be present at some times of the year such as rainy season and plan accordingly for that with fence line.

I would contact a logging company to come take down the trees. If they are hardwoods they are worth money for using in industry or just for burning to heat your home.
These companies though would have the equipment to take-down, cut and remove the trees and hopefully grind the stumps at least flat if not remove them.
Make sure you are allowed to clear the trees and what trees as certain things are not allowed in certain places.

Hope that gives you some thoughts to start your quest on information from..
Good luck and congratulations on your land purchase.

     
    12-16-2013, 09:46 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
You would need to get enough trees cleared to allow decent grass to grow - its not going to grow in the shade especially in dry spells when those trees are sucking every drop of moisture from the ground
I would just leave a clump in one area where they can stand to keep put of the sun in the hot months and if possible some of the pine trees to give winter shelter
Red Maple is poisonous to horses so check what type you have growing there
You'll have to get the land seeded with good grass if its got nothing growing on it - and the stumps will need removing or they'll be a hazard to horses knocking their legs or tripping over them
First off thank you very much for replying. I was going to do research on whats posionous and not. My cousin is going to school for plants trees, ground etc. He has a great knowledge of the forest and types of trees. I will have it point out all the types that I have researched to be harmfull. I don't think the dry spells will be a problem. Its hardly ever dry here and the land is positioned on a slight incline. There is also a river. Also about how long do you think it will take approx.
     
    12-16-2013, 10:12 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy    
Go online and get a list of harmful/poisonous plants, trees and vegetation in your area with regards to horses in particular..
Now go walk your entire property and carry a can of spray paint and paint those trees needing to come down, flag with tape the plants needing gone.

You want to leave some trees for sun, rain and wind protection for your horses. There is a happy balance of how many to take away or leave so you can grow grass.
Certain maples are as good as deadly to horses, same as oaks...there are others such as walnut...you need to be positive of what is on the land.

Remember the trees play a key role in soil erosion protection and holding that soil for the grass to grow in.
You also need to search for a water source that may be present at some times of the year such as rainy season and plan accordingly for that with fence line.

I would contact a logging company to come take down the trees. If they are hardwoods they are worth money for using in industry or just for burning to heat your home.
These companies though would have the equipment to take-down, cut and remove the trees and hopefully grind the stumps at least flat if not remove them.
Make sure you are allowed to clear the trees and what trees as certain things are not allowed in certain places.

Hope that gives you some thoughts to start your quest on information from..
Good luck and congratulations on your land purchase.
Thank you for replying! Like I said to the other poster, I am lucky enough to have a cousin that works in the industry who could confirm all the plants which I research to be posionous. Its is also on the river so I don't believe water will be an issue. There is more than one stream leading to it. Its positioned on a hill. My cousin has a clear knowledge of how to keep the land from eroding. My family is also very good with the tree and stump removel. There is lots of people and businessed around here that can help with that. Do you know approx. How long before my horse can move in?
     
    12-16-2013, 11:47 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
That would depend on how fertile the land is - you need to give the grass time to get established. Depending on how many horses you have you could divide it up and just use a small part of it while the rest grows and feed hay to them
     
    12-16-2013, 11:52 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
That would depend on how fertile the land is - you need to give the grass time to get established. Depending on how many horses you have you could divide it up and just use a small part of it while the rest grows and feed hay to them
Thank you very much youve been very helpful. There will only been two horses.
     
    12-16-2013, 12:16 PM
  #8
Started
This is how we did our pastures when we moved onto our place: Year One (in the fall) - prepped for seeding with discing and harrowing; Year Two (in the spring) - seeded for grass; Year Two (in the fall) - let the horses into one pasture.

Where we went wrong was in Year Three (in the spring). We should have made a sacrifice field (which we do now - a corral about 1 1/2 acres in size) and kept the horses in there for a couple of months that spring to let the grasses grow and establish themselves better. We didn't and the horses tramped and pillaged sections of the pasture which destroyed some of the grass.
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    12-17-2013, 05:33 PM
  #9
Foal
I have 7.5 acres as well, and its pretty much all trees, there is a mixture of pine, spruce, poplar, and birch trees. We cleared and fenced about an acre for now, and I have 2 horses on it, and it requires feeding hay year around. Next year we will hopefully fence off the rest of it, and maybe clear more. Once we start clearing more land, cleaning up the deadfall, mulching the stumps down, and seeding/fertilizing, and letting the grass get established it will be at least 2 years before we can turn the horses loose on it. We have decided to let the evergreens stay, but all the deciduous trees are going bye bye, due to the fact that they are so invasive and take no time to grow back and take over new pasture.

I don't think a logging company would come and take the trees out for you, 7.5 acres is a small piece of land, that the expense for them to take those trees, would not leave any profit in it for them.
     
    12-18-2013, 12:16 AM
  #10
Yearling
I would leave as many trees as possible, with some open areas as well. Keep in mind that you can always remove trees if you deem it necessary, but you can't put a mature tree back in a short period of time Are you looking to make all 7.5 acres into pastureland? Or are you planning on some sort of development- barn, house, arena, etc. If you're going to develop the land into anything other than pasture, then I'd start getting an idea of what you want to do and plan on leaving the rest as woods/pasture.

After you've roped off any "development" areas, I'd plan on clearing a fairly large area towards the front of the pasture for grazing, with several patches of shade trees around the open areas. If it were me, I'd try to keep a fair amount of the wooded area as well. Consider fencing off the tamed pasture area if you don't want the hassle of keeping toxic plants out of the woods where your horses are. Put a gate between the two areas, so you can keep them contained or let them out. It'll also allow for easy access to the back if you want to maintain a few winding trails through the woods.
Northernstar likes this.
     

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