The stars are starting to align.
The hunting camp is on forty acres and will benefit from more active management.
A significant percent of the camp is marsh or swamp as shown in the light green above. The snapshot is approximately 20 of the 40 acres, the majority of the portion that is not shown is under cultivation.
The top green area is primarily marsh, that is, wet grassland. At one time it had a decent stand of ash on it but the Emerald Ash Borer decimated them.
The lower green area is primarily swamp, that is, wet forested area. The dominant species is "soft" maple and many of them are "wolf" trees. The soft maple is easily 90% of the standing wood mass.
A wolf tree is an old (some would say senile) tree that hogs the sunlight. It is typically one of the mother trees. It came early and is usually of terrible form. That is, pioneer species, multiple trunks, short trunk, forked trunk, big shaded footprint.....
For many people, cutting down wolf trees is an agonizing decision. People who buy hunting camps, for instance, love trees. We want to believe that Mother Nature knows best. We forget that Mother Nature is pedaling her ass on the street corner because others took advantage of her. She needs a hand up.
One action that makes harvesting wolf trees more palatable is if the wood can be salvaged, if only for firewood.
|Sixty years old, fifty horse power, six speeds, two wheel drive, $2000|
Once the wolf trees are cut down and sunlight is hitting the ground, then an assortment of non-maples can be introduced. Candidates include Bald Cypress, Pecan, Bur Oak, Bitternut Hickory, Tupelo, assorted willow species, Sycamore, Nanny berry, Aronia, Ribes, Black Alder, White Pine, Persimmon, Honey Locust....
Do any of you out there have opinions regarding gas vs. diesel? 2WD vs 4WD? Old vs. new? My first semi-informed opinion is that anything after 1960 is likely to have a functional 3-point hitch. Diesel is twice as fuel efficient but if you only run the tractor 40 hours a year gas might be easier to start.