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Apples, peaches, Pecans OH MY! Options
DanR
#1 Posted : Sunday, June 15, 2003 2:46:33 PM
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Andy:

It is an old saying, you plant pecan trees for your grandchildren. Go with the fruit trees, the smallest growing you can find, they produce faster. As for clearing the land yourself, it is very hard work. Cutting the trees is the easy part, getting rid of the roots is the hard part. You will need a bulldozer at least. Selling the wood yourself is the best idea. Selling everything you can by yourself will make you more than selling through a middle man. Also, be prepared to put most, if not all, the money back into your homestead. An old county agent around here used to close his program with the following line, "He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to raise the clod, he trust in God." May God be with you in this effort.
andydufresne
#2 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 3:12:44 PM
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Thanks Dan.

Now, why must I worry about the roots? I intend to replant with trees anyway, I am not going to be building on the area. WOuldn''t it be just fine to let them decompose on their own?

I am expecting to do this a little at a time. I would hope to have a couple of acres of producing trees in 5 years. I will be 50 and that seems like a fine time to get out of the rat race and onto the farm.
Apemanevo
#3 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 3:50:23 PM
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It could actually be to your advantage to let the roots decompose on their own. As long as soil nutrients are in balance, the decomposing wood shouldn''t rob too much nitrogen from the soil.

Decomposing wood will actually act like a "swale" underground, grabbing water, soaking it up and releasing it slowly. The new trees will send roots into the decomposing wood to tap the water. Logs, large roots etc. will rapidly become sponges (as long as you do not have to keep dealing with shoots sprouting from the roots, DK if hickory will do this, don''t think oak does)

Underplant with clover...

You might want to check out a book called Gaia''s Garden by Toby Hemenway. It is a Permaculture book for the homeowner.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1890132527/qid=1055775006/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-3243884-8327922?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

williamsson
#4 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 4:10:18 PM
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fyi, you could buy 2-yo semi-dwarf fruit trees that become fruit bearing in as little as 1-2 years; note also, while nut trees will only reach maturity in 20-30 years, I read recently a mature black walnut was sold for something like $90,000; seems luxury car companies like Mercedes use black walnut for all the interior trim! Could put your grandkids through college!
andydufresne
#5 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 4:12:28 PM
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Thanks for that. I always thought the only reason to remove the stumps and roots was to be able to plow the ground or prevent sinking later on as they rotted.

I will check out that book..I already have $50 worth in the cart at Amazon. The more I check into all this the more work it appears to be and somehow the more excited I get.

I think that I will fence in the areas as they are planted, us clover as a ground cover and let guineas loose into the area to control insects and snakes.

mikeg
#6 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 4:13:01 PM
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I have been clearing a power line for a couple of years, there were some very large stumps left by the power company and a lot of down trees. I cut up the down trees for fire wood and piled the small limbs on the stumps and burned them. The stumps are still there and I mow around them, some day they will rot out. If you are cutting the trees your self cut them flat and flush with the ground so you can mow over them. Run a disk thru the area after you get it clear and sow it in clover to graze or something that will be easy to mow. I have been buying trees from the state for several years and have been very sucessfull with them. I have just started sprouting pecan seeds myself from the paper shells from down south to go with the native pecans I got from the state. I use a small plastic bucket filled with sand and pecans purchased fresh from Georgia, blend together and moisten the mix. Place the container in the refrigerator for 3 months to replicate winter and then check the moisture add if nessary and set in a warmer location not in direct sunlight for a month. The seeds will germinate and shells will split and send out a shoot, plant them in pots at this time and set them in the ground. Keep them maintained like this till they are about 6 to 8 inches tall (don''t let them get taller than the pot depth) then transplant them out where you intend for them to be. I have done this for two years now and have 50 trees going this way.
As far as the hickory goes find out what size they would like the wood and negotiate a price delivered. I would select cut the trees for him all over you property and then the next year plant replacement trees from the state. Regular fire wood will have a going rate in your area find out what that is and see if you can get a big buyer say like a camp ground or condo that allows units to burn real wood or a convenience store that sells it. In your part of the country most every body that lives there that needs fire wood is in the same situation as you and they don''t need it or will want you to give it to them. With 5 acres you really need to replant after you cut or it will be depleted and depending on how good you are it may any way unless you can get a deal with a loging company to limb out there saw logs.
An acre of frute trees is a lot of trees if you plant them at recomended spacing but you can run a few pigs or a lot of chickens in that orchard if you fence it. As far as the stumps I''d say leave them in the orchard and obviously get them out of any groung you intend to to put into row crops or garden.
DanR
#7 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 6:09:24 PM
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Andy:

Sorry, I thought you were going to clear the land for some use other than growing trees. However, there is a hybrid poplar that will grow to firewoof size in just five years. It can be planted to produce 16 cords to the acre, if I remember correctly. For them you would have to clear the land of all stumps. The good thing is that they grow back from the stump and can be cut then every four years. Dwarf trees are the best for quick fruit production. Let us know when you have your plan down so we can learn from it.
andydufresne
#8 Posted : Monday, June 16, 2003 6:54:03 PM
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I may clear some off for more of a garden area.

Anyone know how many trees of a particular fruit I need to have enough to be able to make some money.


I am sure I want to do this. Just not sure how to do it all.

I think I will start with the property on the north and east side of the land and clear and plant it. The property is in a J shape. MOST Of it on the LONG art of the J. The east and north are the bottom and short part of the J. Almost all of it is sloping.

I think that I am inclined to get 3 kinds of apples some pears, 3 kinds of peaches and some Lapins cherry trees along with a 100 native pecan trees and some grafted pecans. The native Arkansas pecan tree makes a very good but hardshelled pecan that is smaller than most grafted varieties. I well grow the grafted kind for selling at a farmers market or over the Internet or to local stores.

I think I can do the same with the fruits. I am also growing stuff I like so I know at least ONE person who will eat it.

With the guineas running around in the area I might also be able to seel chicks. [:D]
andydufresne
#9 Posted : Thursday, June 19, 2003 2:28:24 PM
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I LEARNED SOMETHING THIS MORNING!

The average price for pecans NET was 6o cents to a dollar the last few years. An acre of pecan trees will produce 600-1000 pounds of pecans. THAT Is not enough money to sustain a small pecan farm. I will still plant some pecans but not for money. I will be going with frut it seems.

Thanks all.
mikeg
#10 Posted : Friday, June 20, 2003 4:24:55 PM
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I guess that is why you see those 100 to 200 acre pecan groves and why they sell them shelled and candied for that on the far value added work.
andydufresne
#11 Posted : Friday, June 20, 2003 5:13:35 PM
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That''s my guess. USDA which is NEVER wrong...[:p] Recommends no less than 80-90 acres. If you could produce what they say you will every year and sell it all every year even on the low end you could still make a living. 5 acres won''t do that.
andydufresne
#12 Posted : Saturday, June 21, 2003 7:10:34 AM
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WELL I have done it. Made a minor (depending on how the business goes the next couple of weeks it could be major) commitment.

I ordered about $200 worth of books tools and seedlings.

I have decided to go with drip irrigation and next month I will buy the chain saw start cutting. Next January I start planting.
I am going to do it about an acre at a time. The way I figure it I should be able to have money producing trees by the time I cut off the last acre of firewood.

I WILL try to select cut all the hickory early on since I have already found a promised buyer. If all this works out I''ll be able to live off my land and the Internet in 5 years.

I am planning to build a root cellar and a passive solar heater for the "extra" mobile home I have this summer and fall. THEN I move my business office to the other mobile home.

I have done a "work trade" for some logo design and have that done. I have a name that will evoke the South and old times. When I have it all down pat I''ll let you know what it is and why.

I still have to nail down a couple of domain names and get the website set up. Get the BBQ sauce I am going to sell made and so on.

I ordered 10 REDWOOD seedlings tonight. I think I''ll call the farm my new business name and tag on REDWOOD FARMS. Would be unique for Arkansas.


"I am so excited I can barely hold a thought in my head. It''s the kind of excitement that only a free man can feel at the start of journey whose destination is uncertain"- Red (Morgan Freeman) Shawshank Redemption.

andydufresne
#13 Posted : Saturday, June 21, 2003 7:10:34 AM
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Here's my situation. I have 5 acres. In Arkansas. Currently it is mostly coverd with oak and hickory.

Part ONE
My states Forrestry Commission is not very positive about making any money by selling the trees.

SO, what I'd like to know is if any of you have experience in selling wood. EVEN if I find a small logging company would I be better off cutting the trees and selling them myself. (A meat smoker near here has said he'd buy all the hickory I could get for him).

What is involved in selling the firewood once I get it cut and what do I absolutely need to have to start? I figure to but a chainsaw but rent a log splitter and perhaps buy one at a later time.

ASSUMING that one way or the other I get the trees all off...


PART TWO

I would like to replant with some precan and fruit trees. The local forrestry commission sells seedlings for a native pecan that grows extremely well here. It is harder shelled and smaller but is more highlt valuted by candy companies etc. The seedlings left alone will produce in 20 years. Given water and fertilizer they will produce quicker but how much I don't know. The advantage of these is they cost $25 for a hundred. Black walnut is abou the same. I understand also for pecan trees you need a couple of varieties so I can buy some larger trees that will produce sooner and some of the small ones as well.
I think if I cut the trees myself I will do it one acre or so at a time. Give me some idea of what kind of fruit and nut trees I can get that will start providing some income in 4-5 years. What's quickest and best and the like.

ONE MORE THING. I am working on marketing, primarily through the Internet, a barbecue sause. I think that a good companion for that will be hickory chips that I can make from the pieces of hickory tree that are not big enough for selling to the meat smoker.


I am a complete novice at this so any information will be helpful.




Thanks


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