Improving your woodland for timber production
Let in the light
Radio interview source: Larry Krotz, member, Walnut Council
We have a lot of rogue walnut trees that sprout up in our grove. Usually we remove them, but we decided to let one live this year. It's growing in a good spot near an open area and will look quite nice.
Deciding what trees stay and which ones go is often a big decision for people in timber production who depend on their trees for income. Larry Krotz with the Walnut Council says trees such as oak, pecan, and walnut need full sunlight to develop.
"You're going to have to clear-cut a section to allow the sunlight," Krotz says. "And I know clear-cutting is supposedly bad, but if you want oak and walnut you have to have one to five acres to keep that full sunlight hitting the forest floor to generate these little trees to get them starting to grow."
Keep the lower branches pruned and support the trunks so they'll grow straight. This helps produce defect-free wood for harvest. But, never prune off more than half the total height of the tree. Also, don't remove live branches bigger than 2 inches in diameter. Larger wounds close slowly, and this eventually results in a defect.
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