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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Plants > Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees

Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees If it grows in the soil, this is the forum.

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2010, 09:14 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Default Creating pasture from woods?

What all is involved here?

I am looking at some land in Alabama. I would rather have established, or mildly overgrown pasture, but may wind up buying a wooded piece of property.

What is the easiest and most cost efficient way to turn woods into pasture. I would possibly trade timber for bulldozer work. Preserving the topsoil is a concern and also being able to work the pasture: mow, seed, fertilize, etc. I would do the fencing myself.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:22 PM
Cuznguido Cuznguido is offline
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Bulldozer is the fastest way but operator is key. Everybody that has a bulldozer is not necessarily a good operator. A good one can get rid of the brush and stumps with minimal loss of topsoil. I would recommend that you find one with a rootrake on the blade. It is like giant teeth that will rip out the roots and stumps and leave most of the topsoil. Well worth the little extra cost.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:14 AM
cartershan Female cartershan is offline
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Default pasture

Hello, we live in north west alabama (Florence/Killen) and a couple of years ago we cleared 2 wooded lots and turned it into a garden. We hired a guy that DH knew to take out the trees, stumps and level the land and he did an excellent job. If you are near us I could PM the guys name and number to you. He is very experienced and did careful work. He also was really reasonable. I was amazed at how he could take up HUGE stumps/roots and shake the soil off. He will haul everything away for you or pile it for you to sell/burn or whatever. Good luck! Shannon
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:50 AM
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Native87 Male Native87 is offline
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I am doing the same thing Rick. I am cutting the trees for firewood and leaving the stumps above ground. I plan on finding a dozer operator after I get the wood cut and then go from there.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:40 AM
DM DM is offline
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I have a dozer, but there's no question that a decent sized hydraulic excavator with a "thumb" is the quickest way to remove stumps, and time is money!

A good excavator operator will know how to use the thumb, and those stumps will be out much faster than with a dozer. Also he can burry the stumps below frost line, or pile them for you MUCH faster/easier than a dozer can.

DM
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:32 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Thanks for the insights.

What would be the relative value of say Southern Pine suitable for some lumber and some pulpwood versus the time of a Dozer/operator? (if there is even enough information to get a rough idea)
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:09 PM
DM DM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Thanks for the insights.

What would be the relative value of say Southern Pine suitable for some lumber and some pulpwood versus the time of a Dozer/operator? (if there is even enough information to get a rough idea)
Log prices go all over the board, and i have no idea what heavy equipment charges are in your area...

Wouldn't it be a good idea to cut the logs out yourself, and have a bandmill come in and saw them into lumber for YOU to build your buildings with? Those logs are worth a LOT more to you, than they would be to a logger...

DM
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:03 PM
cinok Male cinok is offline
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It is alot easier and cleaner to pull stumps with an excavator. Depending on the size of the stump and dozer it can make a mess. I prefer to knock down the whole tree with the dozer using the weight of the tree to lay itself down.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:55 PM
elkaholic elkaholic is offline
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I don't know what your timeline is, but as far as getting the best price...natural disaster is your friend. The price of lumber always increases after hurricane season IF a few hurricanes do some damage to the plantations planted by the timber companies. I would suggest having a forester come out and survey the standing timber. If you are close to Auburn University you can contact the forestry dept and see what you can work out - may even do it for minimal cost if they can use it as a teaching experience for the students.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:13 AM
cartershan Female cartershan is offline
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Default timber

Hi, we also have property along the Tallapoosa River in southeast Alabama, and portions of that land will be cut this year. I will check with DH in the morning about the price per ton. They are beginning to cut now, and we have held off cutting for the past year because prices weren't good. I know we had some pulpwood removed 2 years ago off other acerage, but I just don't recall what the numbers were. I'll check with him in the morning and try to post before 7:00 a.m. Shannon
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:19 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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Thank you all for the advice.

DM, how long do you season your wood (Pine)? I would probably cut it into 6x6, 4x4, and 2x4 pieces, with an eye towards timber framing.

I am assuming you air dry it, or do you have a kiln? If I end up with a sizable tract of woods, I may invest in one of those band saw mills.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:37 AM
DM DM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Thank you all for the advice.

DM, how long do you season your wood (Pine)? I would probably cut it into 6x6, 4x4, and 2x4 pieces, with an eye towards timber framing.

I am assuming you air dry it, or do you have a kiln? If I end up with a sizable tract of woods, I may invest in one of those band saw mills.

Thanks,
Rick
I do air dry all the lumber that comes off my mill, but most folks i see, timber frame with green wood... It's just so much better/easier, to cut the joints with green timbers and they then let the frame dry in place.

2x4's will usally get down to around 20% in a month or two, and i even build with "them" right off the mill...

DM
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:50 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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back to the original question about going to pasture - your final decision rests with what you are going to use it for - stumps need to come out if you're planning on a commercial meat or dairy operation - however, if you're only talking about foraging a few goats or cows and don't anticipate taking hay or seasonally improving the pasture with machines, a lot of folks have no problem planting grass seed right among the stumps -

it's the "different strokes" thing -
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