cut the big trees, save the small ones in understory?
I've been looking at land (mostly in the 5-20 acre range) in eastern and southeastern Ohio recently. I saw a nice piece of land the other day that is totally wooded. If I ever were to decide to buy land like that, I probably would want to clear a decent amount of it so I could grow other things within it.
Most people would clear all the understory, and leave some of the larger trees.
What if, instead, you wanted to cut the large trees (say, for lumber), and leave part of the understory to be released?
The land in question is between Newark and Zanesville, Ohio - the overstory is has some openings, but also quite a few nice, straight, timber quality oaks and hickories on the land. The understory has some nice sugar maple and white oak throughout, 1-3" caliper in many cases, that look healthy enough (no leaves yet, but healthy looking buds/bark, so I'm assuming) but are just waiting for "release" to really take off.
What would be the best way to harvest the marketable lumber, clear out all the non-valuable overstory and all the "brush" but leave those selected small trees in such a way that they're in minimal danger of being crushed by their falling parents, as well as minimizing root damage from equipment?
The idea here is, for me, I don't want dense woods, but an open woodland of small trees that I could then plant REAL understory plants in now (like dogwoods, redbuds, azalea, hosta, etc) to grow up with the oaks and maples that will eventually get quite large.
Are there lumber companies that can do this? I've heard of some "mulcher" type machines that basically grind everything to the ground and leave a wood chip "mulch" behind, that's supposed to be less destructive than old-school methods...anyone got ideas?
This is only a brainstorm so far.