Eastern timber tracts

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
Mar 6, 2005
Northern Ohio
A lot has been said about the PNW and the big trees etc .Not much has said about the eastern hardwoods .

The followings pics are in central Ohio. I have tromped accross this area since I was a boy .Fine qualty hardwoods have been harvested from these slopes since the 1850's . The only place I might add I ever tripped a tree on a slope because we have none in my area .

To grow ferns,the forest area has to be just right to support them as far as maturity.They grow by the zillions in this area .

The substrata is sandstone,huge depsits of it .Many sandstone markers and fence corner posts are still to be found in this area .
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Forgot the pics,duh .


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The sandstone for these markers was all quarried from an area less than 1/2 acre .Some are real old,1800's


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A few more .The first pic is a stump cut in 1936,the second in 1984 .

The last is that often told story of the old car in the barn,this story is real .;)


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Cool Al :)

hey, do the loggers in the east use the springboard setup like the west coasters do (did?). I have seen the crazy pics that mr Beranek has in his book and I like spotting the old stumps with the springboard mounts chopped in them around here. Most of this area of the province was logged over in the early 1900's. Almost all the trees here are second growth now, much faster growing than the stuff up in Squishers area cuz we get lots more rain and milder (longer) growing seasons.
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I doubt they ever used springboards in the east. It is very rare to get even a 4 footer in an oak which would be the largest species .

More times than not the veneer or "peelers " are around 24 to 36 inchs ,which is where the money is . In the area pictured those trees are about 80-90 feet to the top and 50 or so to the first limb .Grown in natural confinement they usually grow straight as an arrow .

I didn't feel like walking back through the boon docks to get pictures at the back portion of the first set of pictures .About a half mile back in that tract has not been cut since 1936 .

I don't remember exactly how much timber there is but the tillable on the farm is over 800 acres of bottom ground .I think the timber is at least twice that .One woods alone is over 280 acres . This is my aunt and uncles place we had a family reunion at this weekend .The pics were taken this morning .


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The main thing that makes the west side stuff so noteworthy i think is the steep ground and mountainous terrain at which the monster trees are cut...

However nothing can be compared to those huge old hardwoods out there in the east... even on flat ground they are ominous...

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Awesome Al. I can't believe how old the stump is.
White oak is almost impervious to water .It does rot in time though . I have seen split rail fence that was over 100 years old .

That little log storage building in the one picture is about 100 years old I've been told .

It's all gone now but I salvaged good firewood in the late 1970's from cull logs that were fell during that 1936 cut .The outside 4 inchs would rot but the center was still wet and hard as a rock .

In this picture the stump,which is on my property where I live was flopped in the early 70's .Still solid as a rock .The tree was a hundred footer red oak .


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The skill set for reading lean and limb weight that I need to work with conifers seems simple in comparison to the complexity of figuring the same info for those wide-crowned hardwoods.
Nice pic's, Al

Only in the last few years have I had the opportunity to walk through some of the the hardwood forests of the central and east coast. Beautiful, and vigorous growing like our second growth forest here.

Wish I could see some old growth there, but not as of yet.

Though I took note that the diversity of species in your second growth is as complex as ours. Including non-natives,,, that I only became aware of because they were pointed out to me.

I feel lucky to have walked through your hardwood forest environment to see, smell, and feel the life there. A very fine moment in my life.
Since I am being discussed in third person by two giants in the business..I am Dave Schuster,Altissimus tree,West Dover VT.My dog eared copy of fundamentels has saved the job if not my life many times!Gerry and Butch ,I am awfully happy to be recognized by the greats!
They definitely used spring boards when they logged WNC. The forests were nothing but HUGE chestnut trees when the Vanderbilts logged everything. I'll find some photos.
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I've never seen the west coast big timber .They say that historically in the westward expansion the game changed from eastern logging .

It was common place for a pair of good axemen to drop a 4 foot oak in part of a day .However when confronted with a Douglas fir or big redwood 4 times that size on a steep slope they were kind of in a quandry what to do with the things .

The danged things broke in a million pieces if they were felled wrong .Once they did get one on the ground,what to do with it,too big for the circular saws of the time to saw . Thus were born the high climber and bandsaw .