In twenty years I have harvested and sawn about 600,000 bf of low-grade salvage logs. I now have a beautiful aspen log home, three solar cycle kilns, sawmill shed, numerous other building projects and have sold my extra wood to customers all over the world.
Our current inventory is approaching 1,300,000 bf of good quality standing timber on 200 acres worth well over a half million dollars on the stumpage market, and many times that as flooring! Indeed, Full Vigor Forestry grows timber and generates some major income!
One large tree per acre is our potential annual harvest, about 80,000 board feet of sawtimber from our 200 acre forest. That could produce about 2 acres of hardwood flooring installed with a retail value of about $750,000. Now that our forest to finished flooring business is running smoothly, 200 acres is too much for me to manage well - even with a partner. 50 acres would actually be just right to keep us busy and well fed.
An annual harvest that can access all areas of the forest will produce much higher volume and income than a larger harvest every 15-20 years. I don't ever lose the scattered good trees that die or blow down each year, and my disease control is much better if I can harvest trees each year. Appropriate sized equipment is necessary to perform this logging.
Secret To Success - Arthroscopic Logging
A visitor to Timbergreen Farm made an interesting comparison after watching us haul out a batch of logs from the forest. Bill Whitmore, a retired orthopedic surgeon, stated: "Seeing this logging is very exciting and immediately reminds me of Arthroscopic Surgery!" When asked to clarify his revelation, Bill explained. "Arthroscopy is a technique used to evaluate and treat many joint conditions. The advantages of this technique are many and include; use of a small incision, more accurate diagnosis, less painful, less costly, and recovery time is short. You are using selective cutting (small incisions) as opposed to high grade (large incisions) harvesting. Recovery time for your woods is fast as it is with Arthroscopy patients. By limiting the destruction of incidental trees the cost to the timber is less and the profit from continued growth is appreciated."
A timber harvest should always improve the forest and increase the annual growth. A timber harvest should never damage the forest in any significant way or reduce the annual growth. This forest is our future; we must truly protect and nurture it. Really! No excuses!
Secret To Success - Roads and Trails
To manage our woods and do annual harvesting, an extensive system of roads and trails is constantly being developed and improved. We have about 8 miles of trails on our land now, and most trees are within 100 feet of a trail. The most fun of all is renting a bulldozer and building roads through these hills! Now, our heavy machines never leave the trail to protect our forest soils and growing stock. Even with the ground frozen, our regeneration is too valuable to allow any big machines to drive around through the forest.