I have a some large poplars I want to take down in a recently abandoned I'm working on. Can they be useful? I am planning to compost them.

Comment by Ben Harris on January 9, 2020 at 8:59am
See if a mobile sawmill wants to get them. Poplar is good for bookshelves and such things. The ramial wood (branches 2" or less in diameter) has a lower percentage of carbon (and therefore higher percentage of other nutrients/compounds) so it's more ideal for compost.
Comment by Joe Connelly on January 9, 2020 at 2:05pm
I work for a guy who does mill work, and I was talking with him about these trees after we finished up today. He said they are actually quaking aspen, and only used for paper pulp. Folks around here often call them poplar. Carbon is what I'm looking for. I went through and girdled most of them so I can get some forages established this year before I chip them next fall. Might leave some for habitat.
Comment by Ben Harris on January 9, 2020 at 8:13pm

I'm a fan of felled trees on topographical contour (let 'em rot/compost in place as they catch rain/soil during storms) and not spending the time/money on chipping. Too many tree and power line companies around me deliver chips for free. Rotting logs are awesome habitat for microfauna (not that wood chip piles aren't).

Comment by Joe Connelly on January 11, 2020 at 11:34am

Thanks for responding. I like that idea, and I'm leaving a lot of the slash to rot, and some mid size stuff, plus all the dead wood that was already there, but it's important to the land owner that he be able brush hog it if I leave and he cant find a grazier. Which he probably couldn't. A lot of the land he was brush hogging with a bucket loader right to the ground to push the brush off, so the field is all lumpy, and in some spots its down to subsoil and filling up the stream. His management has allowed Indiangrass to establish in some spots. Which is a huge asset in MA where native tall grass prairie species have been grazed out of the pastures which are now dominated by cool season grasses. Our summers are only getting hotter. I hope to have the soil covered by the end of the 2020 growing season.


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