Rural Missouri - June 2012 - (Page 16)

Sustainable New timber management practices are maximizing profits for landowners “Our goal was to test the economic feasibility of crop tree management combined with best management practices that protect soil and water quality,” he says. Crop tree management improves forests by harhe pungent odor of fresh sawdust and the vesting poor trees first, so that resources are conloud whine of a sawblade centrated on high-quality trees, leaving forests plowing through hardwood poised to produce an even more valuable tree are among the memories crop in 15 to 20 years. “The focus is on 11-year-old Matt Nussbaum might what you’re leaving in the forest rather someday remember from sawing logs than what you’re taking out,” says Peter. with his father this past winter. Loggers working on private land in Mark Nussbaum, Matt’s father, says Burfordville • southern Missouri often harvest only such activities are family fun, but they also trees greater than a certain diameter teach his children about the benefits and with the intention of leaving smaller pleasure of owning and managing a forest. trees to grow. Unfortunately, the small The work the Nussbaums have been trees often are as old as the big ones, and in some doing on their 610-acre farm near Burfordville is one cases, they are past the point when extra sunlight of many examples of how private landowners are would stimulate growth. using new management practices to make a profit Taking the best and leaving the rest is known while improving the forest’s conditions. as “high grading,” but this practice has left many “I want to keep it in the family,” says Mark. He forests overstocked with knows that some heirs sell out to avoid tax burdens stunted, low-value trees. and other farm ownership expenses. Instead, he Fixing this problem has seeks “a plan for future generations.” been tough because Nussbaum’s strategy to provide long-term, steady many landowners have income is through crop trees. He is managing his long held the belief that timber to produce high-quality grade and veneer costs for “forest stand oak logs. “My goal is for the timber to be as good or improvement” are probetter when I come back for the next harvest,” the hibitively expensive. Black River Electric Cooperative member adds. Such improvements Nussbaum is among a group of landowners, loginvolve cutting culls and ging companies, a handful of foresters and an ecolothinning small-diameter gist who participated in a recent scientific study of trees to make room for timber harvests in southeastern Missouri. The results more marketable crop offer hope to landowners who wish to make profits trees to grow. now while preserving their best trees for the future. Peter Becker’s study is Reynolds County forest ecologist Peter Becker of dispelling conventional Bunker led the research team. by Denise Vaughn photos by Kyle Spradley wisdom, finding that forest stand improvement can actually make money — if it is done in conjunction with a traditional saw log harvest. This is because “smallwood” — trees that are either too small or too poor in quality to have commercial value as saw logs — can be marketed. These trees, nearly valueless in the past, can be sold as pulp for paper production, as blocks for pallet manufacture, or they can be chipped for fuel. But some loggers see these smallwood markets as low-paying, taking too much time and effort. Ron Tuttle knows better. For a half-dozen years, the Eminence-based Tuttle Brothers Logging crew has been taking advantage of such markets. As 35-year veteran loggers and Missouri’s 2007 “Loggers of the Year,” the Tuttle brothers have found that by selectively harvesting smallwood at the same time they’re already in the woods to harvest the larger, more lucrative saw logs, they can make decent money on the small trees while helping the landowner thin out culls. The landowner is paid Matt Nussbaum plants red oak acorns at his family’s farm. The Nussbaums grow several nut-bearing trees not only for the crop but also for future profits from timber harvests. 16 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2012

Rural Missouri - June 2012
Table of Contents
The power of purple
The little town that could
Out of the Way Eats
Missouri snapshots contest
Sustainable forestry
Stocked with adventure
Hearth and Home
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - June 2012