We have about 20+ acres of woods we can use as a silvopasture, but we're not sure how to start it. The woods are a mess, and we're not sure if we should "clear cut" and start over, or?? We have a lot of Northern White Pines which I know are good for lumber, along with some Birch, Oak, Maple and not sure. I had a forester look, and recommended giving it 5 years, but we don't know if we can look at the over grown mess for 5 years. Anyone else start off with woods rather than pasture?

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Joe-

What do you mean by a 'mess'?   When was the last time it was cut?  Did the forester recommend giving it 5 years for a harvest or to start converting to a silvopasture?

Jeff

It's has a lot of overgrown underbrush, Widow makers, standing dead,(some of which is rotted) and piles of old cut trees from who knows how long ago. We alao have a lot of stinging nettle, honey suckle everywhere.

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woooooey!

A year or two of goats or sheep to help thin the underbrush? Then a season of pigs to disturb the ground for seeding (don't over-winter them... send 'em to the butcher instead)? Obviously you'd need to come through with your chainsaw/brushhog/weed eater before and after the animals, but the right animals can do a lot of the work for you, even though it looks like that right now.

You can try burning those old cut piles (biochar?), or mulch them and soak them every month or so to accelerate their rotting. Pigs will tear those piles apart if they're soft enough.

Thanks for the info, I was debating on the order of the animals. I also got in touch with my local NRCS office, and they're going to help me with a plan. 

Benjamin Harris said:

woooooey!

A year or two of goats or sheep to help thin the underbrush? Then a season of pigs to disturb the ground for seeding (don't over-winter them... send 'em to the butcher instead)? Obviously you'd need to come through with your chainsaw/brushhog/weed eater before and after the animals, but the right animals can do a lot of the work for you, even though it looks like that right now.

You can try burning those old cut piles (biochar?), or mulch them and soak them every month or so to accelerate their rotting. Pigs will tear those piles apart if they're soft enough.

definitely listen to them, and not me!

I listen to everyone, and file their information accordingly. I've talked to many people about developing a silvopasture, and of all the people, someone from Caterpillar warned me to be careful of the root systems when I'm taking out trees. Something I didn't really think of, and don't recall anyone else mentioning the root systems. And that was something he remembered his professor talking about in one of their ag classes. So I will always listen to others, I just might not use their advice.

Benjamin Harris said:

definitely listen to them, and not me!

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