Clearing woods for pasture

RexB

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Hi all,

My questions may not be applicable for this forum but wasn't sure where to go. Here goes nothing.
I have 10-20 acres of woods that I want cleared for pasture/hay fields. When companies are used for this do they normally take the stumps out and smooth the soil or is that an unusual situation? I hoped to use a company to do this (in eastern TN) sometime next year. What other things do I need to consider?

Thanks for all your suggestions/recommendations and thoughts
 

rocky1

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No... Logging companies do not typically do stump removal, all they do as a rule is cut timber, and leave a mess. Stump removal and clean up of limbs and debris is generally your expense after the fact, so you may want to set money aside for that when you get paid for the timber. If you're going to pasture it, you could pile and burn the limbs and debris and seed grass around the stumps, allowing them to rot out over time, if you're planning to level the field and hay it, that's obviously a different situation.

Cost of stump removal is totally dependent upon who you find for a contractor, how big their equipment is, how big the stumps are, and how long the timber has been cut. The longer the timber has been cut, the more advanced decomposition of the stumps, and the easier they are to remove. Get references and get an estimate; smaller equipment may be cheaper by the hour, but on bigger stumps may cost you considerably more in the long run.

One other thing you may want to think about is how you want to be paid for the timber. If presented with options, take the one that says you will be paid by the ton at the mill. If they're cruising the timber, and offering you a standing price, they're going to estimate a little short to cover their interest. If you take the price per ton at the mill, you are paid on what's hauled in. Just had 20 acres of heavily thinned pines cut, parts of which went for poles, saw logs, chip and saw, and pulpwood. Estimating the stand would have been nearly impossible. Logger that cut them said he was truly surprised, he'd figured 19 - 20 loads at best, we wound up with 26. I was truly impressed, estimated 10 - 12 thousand dollars, wound up with nearly 20.

Oh yes... I held off on cutting until late spring, when the sap was well into rising, to hedge my cut on weight at the mill.
 

CWS

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Depending on the size of the trees someone with a big dozer may be able to a good job. God help you if it is a wetland or looks like one.
 

Mike1950

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and if it is anything like here- do not do it in late summer or fall- ground gets very hard...
 

Mr. Peet

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There are land clearing companies all over. Pasture as an end usually means less return, so many of these companies may be out of reach. There are plenty of companies that log, then pull stumps. Some haul them away, others use tub grinders and chip stumps and tops pending market. Do you have a chip market? What recommendations did your county forester have? Or your dnr service forester? They tell you a lot, E&S plans and so forth. Most of the farmers I deal with, both beef and dairy, that clear cut, sell the timber, the pulp, and tops. What doesn't sell, gets chipped in place if burning is not an option. Sometimes the chipping in place makes great soil erosion control. You pasture the new lot for 5 years. The cows will hammer regrowth the first 3 years and usually kill it, the next 2 years the roots start rotting. Then you can start popping stumps. There are a few exceptions. You need to address those noxious to bovine weeds right away. There are many options. Go with the free ones through the county and state first.
 

RexB

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your suggestions and thoughts!

I have not checked with the county forester yet. I am able to close off the proposed new pasture so the grass has a good start. Some of the stumps, hardwoods, might be of use to local gun makers as stocks or maybe even on this website. I also hoped check with the local Ag office and buy bulk trees and plant them around the entire property, maybe red cedar, mahogany, or other hardwoods that have good shade. Also considered buying a excavator to help on the stumps or large rocks.

Again thanks for your knowledge and advice.
 

vegas urban lumber

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what part of eastern Tennessee are you in. my father lives on norris lake close to sharps chapel. Northeast of knoxville. my brother may be interested in paying you for rights to cutting some of the hardwoods. unless you have a logger/buyer already
 

sprucegum

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I have no idea what the wood chip market is like in TN but around here there is a market for fuel chips. Some go to wood burning power plants, some get processed into wood fuel pellets for home heating. If there is a market find a operator that does whole tree harvest that way everything is pulled out of the woods and ends up as saw logs or chips. Chips are low value usually returning only $10-15/ semi trailer load but it is better than paying to get rid of them. It is possible to get enough value out of the logs and chips to pay for pulling the stumps but unlikely. Best to have a forester look at the wood before it is cut to get an idea of the value. 2014-10-15 12.23.29-14.jpg 2014-10-15 17.13.04.jpg 2014-10-15 17.13.04-3.jpg 2014-10-21 16.17.31-1.jpg
 

Mark.

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Like one before me said, I don't know what the market is in Your area. We have a few local wood producers that does chip all tops & limbs for wood burning power plants. That still leaves You with the stumps. Depending on the size of your timber if what I am fixing to say next will be an opposition or not. Also if your land is very rocky or not. I have had one producer that came in & was willing to cut the trees as low as possible & with a saw head cutter I was able to keep my portion of land bush hogged till the stumps rotted. That took 4 years. Depends if time is on your side
 
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