Landowners join to get thinning project done
Collaboration can be more than just a "buzz word." The idea sent chainsaws buzzing in Hubbard this month. Gary Korsgaden, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Forest Stewardship Program and member of Hubbard United Methodist Church, determin...
Collaboration can be more than just a "buzz word." The idea sent chainsaws buzzing in Hubbard this month.
Gary Korsgaden, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Forest Stewardship Program and member of Hubbard United Methodist Church, determined a tree stand east of the church needed thinning.
The red pines were crowded, some were diseased and the stand contained some forked trees caused from harvesting Christmas trees.
Like many landowners with good intentions, it is difficult to find a logger interested in thinning small parcels. The cost of moving equipment to the site can take a big bite of any profit from selling the wood.
So the logical next step, Korsgaden decided, would be to talk to the neighboring landowners, Robert and Bonnie Johannessen.
Hubbard Township also gave approval to thin trees along an 80-foot road right-of-way.
Working with Brad Witkin, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forester, and Ross Manners and Manners Logging, all parties signed agreements on how the project would proceed.
Korsgaden, Robert Johannessen and Manners walked the plantation and determined the trees to be cut would be chosen as the cutter wanders through the stand. The faller would choose those that were forked, damaged or diseased with bark beetle.
Row cutting was not recommended as too many good trees (in these rows) that should be saved would be cut. "Wander thinning," Korsgaden explains, "would be aesthetically more appealing to the eye and in the end, look more like a natural forest setting."
The work could be done with spacing in the 12- to 16-foot range unless groups of diseased or forked tees happen to be together. Then spacing could go to 18 inches.
"As many of the forked trees would be removed as possible, but staying within the spacing requests," Korsgaden said.
On the preliminary site visit, the men also determined where the access road would be excavated and where slash would be piled and chopped or burned.
The day Manners finished cutting, he said he was pleased with the way the job went. He and his crew had cut a partial load of 8-foot bolts, higher valued wood that can be cut into lumber. Another truckload of smaller logs was neatly stacked below the church waiting to be hauled.
Korsgaden drew on his considerable experience to see the project to conclusion. As a private landowner, he has done red pine thinning on his own property and his land was showcased as an example of good forest stewardship in a statewide field day in 2003.
He also has worked with numerous private landowners for thinning on their properties, is a member of the Hubbard County Woodland Council and was a board member of the Minnesota Forestry Association from 2000-04.
The thinning project will promote the development and growth of the best trees available and has eliminated injured and diseased trees, Korsgaden said. Overall, he said, it is an example of practicing good stewardship.