Clearing forest / selling timber - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-24-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
But I don't believe the maples are marketable, and I like them, so if there were any there, I'd ask the lumber company to just leave them.
Please be very careful about maple trees and exactly what species it is...
**Red Maple tree leaves are deadly to horses...
Worst time is when they wilt and fall or if branches come down from wind/storm...just a few can cause dire illness.
**Eastern Black Walnut complications happening can end in death potentially.
E.Black walnut can have rotation of the coffin bone occur and drop through the sole in which case euthanasia is a must...this is so fast in happening, symptoms can start within minutes of horse contact.
Not every horse recovers, many do not!!

**Oak... In large amounts, the leaves and acorns are poisonous to horses due to the toxin tannic acid and they cause kidney damage and gastroenteritis.
**Cherry & Plum trees... Leaves are dense and can compact in the horse’s digestive system and cause compaction colic. Leaves may also come from plant species that are poisonous to the horse.

There are more plants harmful to horses, don't forget our dogs and cats...
Lists for each of those are easily found online or through your veterinarians.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-24-2019, 06:00 PM
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Stumps are a pain. And not only will they leave stumps, but they will also leave branches and other debris. It is a huge mess to clean up, so you may want to do what others have suggested and have a company do it all just for the wood. Not sure you'll have luck finding a company willing to do that, but you can try. It varies a lot from region to region, and of course it depends largely on the species and maturity of the wood (I own an 185 acre woodlot). When lumber companies are done clear-cutting, you can't even walk over the areas they've cut because there is so much debris left. It will not rot in any kind of decent time frame either.

The other thing you'll need to think about is erosion and run-off as a result of clearing the property. There will no longer be anything holding the soil in place. In fact, when you remove stumps, you'll find there are a lot of holes left. You'll likely need to bring in fill.

I have been eyeballing a tiny piece of our home property to put in a proper riding ring, but it would have to be cleared, cleaned up, and filled in, and frankly, even just for enough space to put in a riding arena, it's too expensive for me. The trees in there are mostly junk (a little cedar with a lot of poplar) and not old enough to be worth cutting. It may be different there, just make sure you have some solid financial numbers before purchasing the land (in other words, get a company out there for an estimate, and plan on bringing in layers of fill after they're done).

Even leaving some trees in there is possible, but will require a lot of work. You'll want to limb them flush with the trunk so horses can't poke themselves with the branches, and you'll have to check fencing practically daily because trees and branches will interfere and fall on the fence line. I have a handful of trees I've intentionally kept in my pastures, but overall, I prefer to use clear land. Trees are a PITA near fencelines if you ask me.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-24-2019, 08:13 PM
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I do this quite a bit and I am going to need to have another 40 or so acres cleared here in the next few years. What I do is have it cleared and then I have the local sawmill make it into rough cut lumber for me for barns, sheds, and corrals. The logs I don't have made up for myself into lumber I sell to the local sawmill. Trucking fees are what kill your profits so if you have a way to load and haul to the sawmill yourself a few logs at a time it can actually pencil out better. Definitely specify in the contract that all stumps have to be ripped out and burned, ground graded and slash piled and burned otherwise you will have a royal mess. Don't let them get away with not removing stumps and piling and burning slash. You don't usually make money doing this but it makes building your barns and corrals a LOT cheaper and makes clearing your land cheaper depending on the quality of the timber. Make sure you have a timber cruiser or somebody like that asses your potential buy to make sure it is lumber worthy. If it can only be cut for pulp it isn't worth buying probably.

Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own. - Bruce Lee
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-24-2019, 08:16 PM
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Also when you specify stump removal in the contract make sure they have something like a D-8 or a large excavator to do removal with, NOT a stump grinder. Stump grinding is super expensive and takes forever. A D-8 or a large excavator can rip them up like they aren't there and then they can pile it with their other equipment like bunch cutters or loaders etc. and then burn them.

Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own. - Bruce Lee
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-25-2019, 10:10 AM
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One other thing, if you clear the land and the stumps you will have to seed the ground for pasture. This should be left to establish rather than have hooves cutting it up.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-27-2019, 09:46 PM
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First would be to have someone that can assess the property for the value of the lumber. Most see trees and see dollar signs when the reality is much different when it comes to worth and useable lumber. Second would be to remove stumps instead of grinding. Grinding with larger trees often results in much of the stump still in the ground that will rot eventually and leave dangerous stump holes. The cost of grinding deep enough to insure no future stump holes is often cost prohibitive.
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