If one was to plant some trees for use with woodworking later in life, what
timeframe would i be looking at then?
Ofcourse it depends on the type of tree, and for what application. When is
the best time to harvest a tree in general?
The time to dry/prepare the tree should be included, which can take.. up to
I sure hope you are very young. I planted some trees 20 years ago. A maple
was about 5 feet tall when it went into the ground. It probably has another
20 years to yield a few boards worth cutting from it. An oak that was
planted when the house was built in 1978 would probably give me enough wood
to build a dog house.
Depends on the growing condition too.
The squirrels stole black walnuts that we had gathered and planted a few,
I was surely in school by then so let's place a lower age bound of 8
meaning 1966 or so, cut the tree down just after my dad died in 1993.
So, at a guess the tree was 27 years old and there was a good eight foot
log probably 16-18 inches through at the small in. Plus another -skinner-
log off the top of that.
The tree was growing between our garage and the neighbors (not to
mention under a large maple) so it went up pretty straight to start off.
Having to reach for light helps.
I would think you could grow your own good wood in 25-30 years.
Pine, named after a "Wrecker" by the name of Jim McNamara who seemed to use pine
Buffalo, NY - USA
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If you are content with small pieces (the thickness of a finger) you
can have them grown in one year from the seed. Best time to harvest is
between Christmass und new year (or any other time in the dead of
winter), when there is the minimum of sap in the wood, some people
even thing that tha phase of the moon should be considered.
Nope, huggers aside, you have to cut a tree that's there. Neat thing is,
before the one you cut down was so big, there used to be twenty in the same
space. Let it go, and you can get ten small ones in your lifetime for other
use, and the next generation can get lumber.
Or you can "protect" it until it dies and "preserve" the forest and nobody
Depends on the tree species, soil and care in growing. Like
herbicides, fertilizer to get them going, pruning, etc. Looking at
30-40 years for cherry if lucky; walnut longer. Plus you have to pay
taxes, buy insurance, worry about drought, disease, fire, etc.. I can
give you all the pine, popular, cypress saw logs you want at 10 years;
they will be soft because they grew so fast. But it can be done
because I have done it.
In the middle of the winter, Why? Sap is at it's lowest point; bark
won't slip so easily.
I've been cutting quite a few trees lately, clearing some woods for a new
house. All of the wood will be going *back* into the house - some as
cabinets and furniture, some as braces and beams for the timber frame, and
the rest will go into the outdoor woodburning furnace. Even the tops will
Anyway - I've been counting rings as I cut. The largest cherry I harvested
yielded one log 26" dia by 8 ft, one log 22" dia x 14 ft, two logs 16" dia x
8 ft. The tree was about 60 years old. A hard maple, only 14" at the base,
was the same age. One ash tree was nearly the same size as the cherry and
was only 37 years old.
So, if you want to use it yourself, and you're young, plant poplar, pine,
maybe ash, and other fast growing species. if you want your kids or
grandkids to benefit - plant everything else. My dad has a stand of hard
maple, the largest of which would barely yield a 14" saw log, and they have
never seemed to get any larger since I was a little kid (I'm 33). I'd
suspect that by the time I retire, I might be able to cut some for lumber.
In the meantime, I am cultivating a 10 acre stand of eastern white pine,
which is going to yield enough timber for my house and a shop building just
from what has matured since 1974, when it was last harvested. Every year,
I'll cut two or three of the largest trees for the following year's lumber.
Depends on your local conditions and the tree. Most hardwoods will be
50-70 years old before providing useful timber. Look at pines or
eucalypts for fast growth. Here in NZ we harvest Pinus Radiata after
25 years or so, I think it's known as Monterey or Sugar Pine in the
USA. I also have some Eucalypt Nitens and E. Fastiga that's about 10
years old that would be usable for timber.
Different trees grow at different rates. Some maples grow quite fast.
My father has a maple in his front yard that was planted in the mid
80's. It's about 30 feet high now and and the trunk is about 10"
across at the base. It is growing slower as it gets larger so it is
probably at least 10 years away from yielding any usable lumber and
even then it would probably only yield a few planks.
Last weekend I was camping and there was a tree in the campsite that
had fallen. The park rangers had cut the trunk even about 3' off the
ground. The cross section was about 18" across, not sure what type of
tree it was but pretty sure it wasn't an oak or maple. Anyway, my
nephew and I decided to count the rings to determine the age. It was
about 80 years old, give or take about 5 years. Even at that age it
wouldn't have yielded too many planks.
So I guess it depends on how old you are and how long you live. But
go ahead and plant it anyway. Better yet, plant one for your kids. I
planted two trees when my daughter was born (or rather they grew on
their own in my yard and I transplanted them somewhere safe). They
are now in a remote part of a state park where years from now I can
show my daughter "her trees."
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