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Cedar tree removal

TTisue

PMA Member
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I really dislike cedar trees. I’ve got a bunch of them on my farm and I’d like to get rid of the majority of them at this point. Not all as I do like them as wind barriers but other than that I want them gone. Curious as to thoughts on getting rid of these? I’ve seen timber burns work well which I’m fine with but should I cut all the cedars down this year and let dry out and then burn next year? Cedars obviously take forever to break down when left on the ground.

What’s been the pluses and minuses for you guys who have attacked these cedar patches?

I’ve got a lot of mature cedars patches that I’d like to get rid of completely and let something else regrow there. Getting equipment there would not be an easy task for a lot of the farm unfortunately.

Open to ideas guys. Thanks
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I really dislike cedar trees. I’ve got a bunch of them on my farm and I’d like to get rid of the majority of them at this point. Not all as I do like them as wind barriers but other than that I want them gone. Curious as to thoughts on getting rid of these? I’ve seen timber burns work well which I’m fine with but should I cut all the cedars down this year and let dry out and then burn next year? Cedars obviously take forever to break down when left on the ground.

What’s been the pluses and minuses for you guys who have attacked these cedar patches?

I’ve got a lot of mature cedars patches that I’d like to get rid of completely and let something else regrow there. Getting equipment there would not be an easy task for a lot of the farm unfortunately.

Open to ideas guys. Thanks
I am fighting the EXACT same issue. What I am doing is felling the large trees and leaving in place and will run a fire through them next spring. On the smaller trees I am flush cutting them and removing them and piling them either for screens or to burn. Some of them I cut and let them lay and ran a fire through them in some of my native grass areas with hopes that quail might use them as habitat.
Cedars are horrible when they are not taken care of. I am actually working with my local NRCS on a brush management program where they will pay me to remove them, win win situation there
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I really dislike cedar trees. I’ve got a bunch of them on my farm and I’d like to get rid of the majority of them at this point. Not all as I do like them as wind barriers but other than that I want them gone. Curious as to thoughts on getting rid of these? I’ve seen timber burns work well which I’m fine with but should I cut all the cedars down this year and let dry out and then burn next year? Cedars obviously take forever to break down when left on the ground.

What’s been the pluses and minuses for you guys who have attacked these cedar patches?

I’ve got a lot of mature cedars patches that I’d like to get rid of completely and let something else regrow there. Getting equipment there would not be an easy task for a lot of the farm unfortunately.

Open to ideas guys. Thanks

Here is a picture from last weekend where I was cutting some cedars. You can see it's an impenetrable wall of dead branches at the bottom , and stone dead ground with nothing growing underneath, which means no fuel for fire until the trees are dead. Tree patches like this are ruining soil through erosion and lack of microbial activity.
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All I can do in this situation is cut as many as I can and plan to burn in a year. The trees are so entangled with eachother is hard to get them to fall. Once you get an opening cleared and burnt, you have a spot to try and drop future trees. Fair warning, a cedar tree fire can get wild. Those needles burn extremely hot, they will kill other trees around them.
I used a forestry mulcher to get everything i could a few years back but most of this area is too steep to remove mechanically. Also, if you don't have even terrain to back drag over the mulcher will leave behind a huge mess that nothing grows through for many years.
Unfortunately the only way to easily take care of cedars is with fire while they are still young. Once they take over, it's slow back breaking work.
 

Bassattackr

Well-Known Member
Join the club!

I have about 2-3 acres for the predominant area so we are using chainsaws / human power. A larger area and access may dictate using heavy equipment. Our goals are bedding, cover and plot screening for deer, turkey, rabbits and quail. It is a hillside just off our main field.

So with this in mind.. our plan is: Fell in place. Let dry 1-2 years. Run fire thru the area.
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
Here is a picture from last weekend where I was cutting some cedars. You can see it's an impenetrable wall of dead branches at the bottom , and stone dead ground with nothing growing underneath, which means no fuel for fire until the trees are dead. Tree patches like this are ruining soil through erosion and lack of microbial activity.
View attachment 122210View attachment 122211
All I can do in this situation is cut as many as I can and plan to burn in a year. The trees are so entangled with eachother is hard to get them to fall. Once you get an opening cleared and burnt, you have a spot to try and drop future trees. Fair warning, a cedar tree fire can get wild. Those needles burn extremely hot, they will kill other trees around them.
I used a forestry mulcher to get everything i could a few years back but most of this area is too steep to remove mechanically. Also, if you don't have even terrain to back drag over the mulcher will leave behind a huge mess that nothing grows through for many years.
Unfortunately the only way to easily take care of cedars is with fire while they are still young. Once they take over, it's slow back breaking work.
This is what mine looks like...but I have about 18 acres of it....its not a fun job at all....
 

LoessHillsArcher

PMA Member
I'm starting to join you all in this theory - I've planted cedars in the past and when they're in the middle age range they're find, but they quickly get too thick. Unfortunately it happens fast and over a huge area very quickly
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
2 people one with a push pole other with chainsaw to cut flush to the ground tou can clear/thin them out pretty quick

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 

Bassattackr

Well-Known Member
I'm generally a fan of cedars, they add to the diversity as far as I'm concerned. When they're young, they are a great tree.

They quickly become a problem however due to their growth rate, water consumption and the ability to snuff out all other (beneficial) growth around them. So, down they go..
 

TTisue

PMA Member
I'm starting to join you all in this theory - I've planted cedars in the past and when they're in the middle age range they're find, but they quickly get too thick. Unfortunately it happens fast and over a huge area very quickly
I'm starting to join you all in this theory - I've planted cedars in the past and when they're in the middle age range they're find, but they quickly get too thick. Unfortunately it happens fast and over a huge area very quickly
Yeah, I’ve known this for a long time but still put up with them. I hardly ever find sheds in patches of them. They seem to kill all the good habitat underneath them and besides wind and thermal cover they don’t have much use. My plan because of the wind and thermal cover is to try to keep the ones on the upwind sides of where I want the deer and that’s it. Maybe some young ones around that are manageable but never let the big ones go again
 

TTisue

PMA Member
2 people one with a push pole other with chainsaw to cut flush to the ground tou can clear/thin them out pretty quick

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
Question is what do you do with them once they are on the ground. Take forever to decay
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Here’s what im starting with…..
I do not want them all gone. I want them thinned.
In hillrunner’s example- those old ones with no low growth & lack thermal cover …. need to go! Small ones (say 10’ & under) I want them for thermal cover & will thin a bit each year. Want to keep a good amount of 4-10’ trees. They actually pop out easy with a tractor & chain if u wanna do on the cheap. Seen it done with truck as well

In reality- a chainsaw & maybe pulling them out is very doable.
Another option…. Tree puller for skid steer - they pull out really easy!!!!

This eats cedars.
(I also move them with a spade to where I use them as screens)…. Bottom was right when I moved these along road & fence. Now they are a 12-15’ tall screen.

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Jwest

Member
I’ll share what I have started. After research and some great advice from here on this board. The dark blue is existing 4 wheeler trails, red circles are pockets I cut in the cedar thickets, light blue are trails I cut leading to and from the pockets. I am planning on doing a few more pockets and trails to the east. I am planning on leaving the piles for now for small game (enjoy rabbit hunting). Idea is to let the sun actually hit the floor and hopefully grows into something more desirable. If it doesn’t, might kill off and try to plant some type of grass. I do have another .5 acre that I might clear cut and burn, but not sure when I will get to that section. Open to any suggestions!

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One of the pockets.
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Another pocket. Picture was late in the evening, so not getting that much sun that time of day.

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example of a trail I cut through them
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Was so thick in there I had to cut my way in.
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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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