Girth Gain in Canopy Trees?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by BillyB, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. BillyB

    BillyB ArboristSite Member

    Jul 13, 2017
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    Small Woods NE of St. Paul, MN
    My property was an oak savanna that became a woodland ultimately comprised of a large proportion of buckthorn and boxelders weed trees which I've recently removed. The older trees were large spreading oaks. There are also quite a few woodland grown oaks as well as black cherry, ash, and elm, that have often reached the canopy but with more slender trunks and minimal lower branches. Culling the weed trees has created more space and let a lot more light in.

    My question is, now with more space and light, should I expect these thinner, and in some cases scrawny trees (especially but not only the black cherry) to fill out even though they are already canopy height or, if that were the objective, would I need a new crop?
  2. Fishin' Rod

    Fishin' Rod ArboristSite Lurker

    Dec 19, 2016
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    Central Kansas
    Yes, they will now begin adding trunk girth. Trees require energy to build the active xylem that makes up the wood of the trunk. Your trees now have significantly more leaves to gather energy for photosynthesis.

    Are you trying to grow the black cherry for timber sales? If so, read up on growing black walnuts for timber production. There is abundant literature on the internet and the same principles for the walnuts would hold true for your situation.

    Hint - starting with straight, scrawny trees with no lower branches is the way the most valuable veneer woods are created. On the other hand, the final steps of the project will probably fall to your children.

    Best of luck.
    Saiso likes this.

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