Controlled Burning

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JPH
 
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Controlled Burning

Postby JPH » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:12 am

I have been talking to a conservationist about things I can do to help enhance the habitat on my little property. My place is an island of almost exclusively oak and hickory timber with one small clover plot fringed by tall grass. The area surrounding mine is a mix of ag. crops, pasture and CRP. I am always looking for ways to make my place diverse and attractive to wildlife. Unfortunately I always have to qualify my questions with the fact that I am very limited in my budget and equipment.

My conservationist did not even hesitate. "Controlled burn", was his simple answer. He explained that it is one of the best ways to open the landscape to natural new growth. Since my property was an oak savanna prior to European settlement and he said that with persistent controlled burning over a series of years, you can actually restore this type of landscape.

I decided to give it a try this weekend. Working alone, I was able to burn off about a half acre of grass and 1.5 acres of timber in one morning. In all the little projects I have tried, I have never been able to transform such a large area in so little time, with so little effort. I am really excited about watching things regenerate this spring and am even more excited about what kind of benefit this will have in the fall. If it goes well, I will expand my burn project next year.

NOTE: I am a professional firefighter and I have plenty of experience in dealing with these things, and even I have had some close calls with grass/brush fires. DO NOT attempt to do a burn before you have done your homework.

msbadger
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby msbadger » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:24 am

Good luck....we use to watch ppl do these burns all the time growing up but NOT NOW...you can't even get the fire dept. to come in as a learning experiance to do one... and this year the DEC has or is talking about not even allowing burning barrels ...We had a local guy that would do this every year and the police would come and arrest him..it was a big tadoo...then after one such incident he ended his life...sad...but those burns always made for nice grass fields

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JPH
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby JPH » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:59 am

Not sure how to address some of that. Apparently NY is a little uptight in this regard. I fully understand why the FD would not be willing to commit its staffing and equipment to controlled burning.

Here in the Midwest, it is a pretty well accepted facet of rural life. Occasionally counties will issue "burn bans" during times of drought, but otherwise landowners can burn outside of city limits.

That is not to say that it should be taken lightly. You need to plan things out in advance, clear fire breaks, have plenty of water/tools on hand and stay on top of the thing. 

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Goose
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby Goose » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:11 pm

Sounds like  good idea for ya! Did it damage any of the trees?
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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JPH
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby JPH » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:24 pm

ORIGINAL: Goose

Sounds like  good idea for ya! Did it damage any of the trees?


Not at all! Everything looks good.

It is my understanding that because of their bark, oaks can withstand wildfires. This is why they were so prominent in the Midwest. Wildfires were very common pre-settlement, and oaks where one of the few species that could withstand them.

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JPH
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby JPH » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:41 pm

Here are a few pics my conservationist friend sent me of some of his work and the results. Pretty cool looking piece of timber. It's kind of a natural food plot with timber growing up out of it.
 

Image

Image

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fasteddie
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby fasteddie » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:02 pm

It is my understanding that the Native Americans did this hundreds of years ago ...........
Semper Fi !

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Goose
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby Goose » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:43 pm

It is my understanding that because of their bark, oaks can withstand wildfires. This is why they were so prominent in the Midwest. Wildfires were very common pre-settlement, and oaks where one of the few species that could withstand them.
[/quote]
 
 
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Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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OHhunter
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby OHhunter » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:34 am

Just a little something else about wildfires, several evergreen species need fire to reginerate, the cones must reach a certian temp before they will release their seeds.
Brad

HUNT HARD, SHOOT STRAIGHT, CLEAN KILL APOLOGIZE TO NO ONE

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Controlled Burning

Postby buckhunter21 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:45 pm

I've also heard quite a bit of good things about 'controlled burns,' but have never done it myself.  Can you describe how you did it?  i.e. So it didn't get out of control, etc.
QDM!

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