For those of you who were at the Silvopasture Conference in Latham in January you may remember that Ross Hackerson and I talked about a planned silvopasture project at his farm in Huntington, MA and also the difficulties in getting the project underway.  I am happy to say that the project finally got underway 2 weeks ago after being in the planning stages for some time. 

The plan is to utilize mechanized logging equipment [Valmet harvester and forwarder] to carry out the harvest.  Slash/tops will be concentrated in 'slash roads' spaced every 100'. 

This is an idea of what his forest looks like in that area.  We will be working on somewhere between 25 and 40 acres. 

This is the harvester taking down the trees to be 'processed' [limbs cut off and cut to merchantable lengths in the slash roads.

This is a photo of one of the 'fresh' slash roads.  Not a lot of material left in it.  The hemlock is being utilized for sawlogs and pulp.  Taking the pulp out down to 4" in diameter helps in keep a lot of material out of the slash roads.  The forwarder will follow the harvester down these slash roads and pick up the forest products and carry them out to the landing area

This is what the area looks like a week or so after starting. Most of the slash is in the slash roads where we wanted it.  The slash is getting packed down by the harvester.

The hardwood trees left are mostly black birch and red oak with some scattered hard maple.  Hemlock wooly adelgid is in the area so we are removing all of the hemlock. 

Lots of bare ground and lots of sun. 

Ross is planning on planting the strips between slash roads in the fall.

So far we are pleased with the results.  More photos to come as the project develops.

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Ross is going to need more animals to keep on top of all that fresh ground!  Great pics - thanks!

You know Ross and his energy level.  There is plenty of expansion of his herds planned.

Great pics, thanks for sharing.

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