Current landowner purchases 249.11- acre property located in North Florida. Approximately 150 acres of North Florida property clear-cut. Landowner purchases additional property in North Florida. 30.1 acres of this additional property receives simultaneous clearcutting, cost shares, site preparations, and longleaf pine planting as described below.
Landowner meets on-site in North Florida with UF/Forestry Extension Agent. At this meeting, landowner and Forestry Agent discussed how best to manage the property for timber and wildlife. Original sandhill plant community ground cover still in fair condition. A description of this plant and animal community is described in the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) “Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida.” This publication can be found here. Landowner very interested in preserving this ground cover. Forestry Agent writes a management plan for the landowner (attached).
Cost shares with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) were applied for and approved.
Site preparations are begun to prepare the site – 135 acres in North Florida for planting of longleaf pine tublings.
April, North Florida site was chipped by a contractor (to be used as biofuels) to remove woody vegetation. No cost to landowner or payment received to landowner. Wood harvested was given to contractor in exchange for land clearing. This saved landowner over $100,000 in clearing costs.
August, herbicide was applied to North Florida site by a contractor to retard regrowth of competing vegetation.
October, North Florida site was chopped by a contractor to retard regrowth of competing vegetation. Also established firelines and burned piles at North Florida site. Piles were left from the chipping operation. Fireline plowing is done by the Florida Forest Service. Pile burning was done by the contractor.
November, prescribed burned North Florida site. Prescribed burning done by the contractor. See the picture below.
Note, firelines were refreshed prior to both burnings. This was done “in house” by a hand of the landowner.
January, North Florida site hand planted with longleaf pine tubings at a rate of 600 trees/acre.
December, North Florida site was prescribed burned. The burn went well but was spotty due to a lack of fuels in places.
The site checked in March of 2018. Great survival rate and growth on longleaf pine, see attached pictures. The ground cover appears in good condition.
Recommend to the landowner to continue to maintain firelines and continue to follow the Forestry Agent management plan. Dormant season prescribed burning may be possible before first thinning. Check with the forester.
Longleaf planted in January 2018. Pictures were taken March 2020. Longleaf survival is very consistent throughout stand. Ground cover (including wiregrass) appears in good condition. Gopher tortoises are active.
Consultant for site preparations at North Florida site (chipping, chopping, spraying of herbicide and replanting) was Big Bend Forestry Inc. Big Bend Forestry Inc. did all burning.
Submitted by Stan Rosenthal, Florida Wildlife Federation Forest Advocate and UF/IFAS Extension Forestry Agent Emeritus.
Chronology of my employment/title while working with landowner:
UF/IFAS Extension Forestry Agent till 2016
UF/IFAS Extension Forestry Agent Emeritus 2016 – present
Forester with Big Bend Forestry 2016 – 2019
Senior Forester with Natural Resource Planning Services 2019 – present