Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
Birches, poplars and sugar maples are safe for horses. Mine will actually peel a bit of bark in the spring when the sap starts running. They don't seem to bother the rest of the year.
The dried leaves and branches of the cherries and red maple are poisonous in any great amount. You don't have to freak if a few blow over the fence but if you have them and there isn't enough grass or hay they will eat them. I had a friend loose her horse to red maple not too long ago. Knowing how she feeds I'm betting the horse didn't have hay for a few hours and the red maple leaves were blowing down in an autumn rain. It's kind of one of the reasons I do feed hay around the clock when the grass isn't growing. They don't bother if there is something better.
Poplar trees want to take over the world. They spread by sucker roots and seed. If you don't stump the land they will just keep coming and some will come anyway.
I've got nearly 20 acres fenced for the horses. We did have a local logger come in and take trees for pulp. He was working down the road so there wasn't any real cost for moving the equipment. He wouldn't have come for so little if he hadn't already been here. It's been about 3 yrs and the birches and poplars are back and over my head in the places where the horses don't graze regularly. The few spots that got stumped are still clear. I think just under 8 acres was heavily wooded, about 4 acres was kind of field reverting to woods. I can just barely keep the trees back myself by hand. It wants to revert back. I spend a lot of time in the summer running saplings over with the lawn mower and hand cutting the ones that have gotten too big.
If another logger should show up nearby I'll let him have what has grown up for the taking again. Nobody would pay for the little bit of wood that is here. Last time I marked off the "cool" or useful trees I didn't want cut with surveyors tape and let the loggers do their thing. Worked pretty well. They only got one oak I wanted but I think that was a communication breakdown between the help.
I sit on a river too. Lot of laws and rules about logging near water so read up. Mine also has a tendency to flash flood. You can see the history of winter flooding by the ice gouges on trees along the bank. Know what the water does and don't under estimate it. Water is powerful.
How fast it will be ready depends on how fast you cut, stump, rake and seed. Then you are going to have to depend on the weather to cooperate.