American Beech Good or Bad for our Deer

Show Notes

In this podcast, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Tim Russell (Green Fire Forestry & Wildlife Services) discuss American beech and the benefit on the landscapes. Tim explains the general benefits of beech in the markets today. Can you have too many beech trees on your property, Tim explains.  Jon and Tim discuss our forest today and what has happened over the years that have made certain properties most inclined to have American beech and minimal diversity.

Tim discusses what to do when most of your property has been degraded and the remaining trees, like beech, remain. Tim discusses other tree varieties and those that stump sprout, providing value for our deer herd. Tim discusses beech bark disease, and how to identify it. Jon discusses the benefit of beech on the landscapes and how he has seen the use by deer and other mammals. Jon discusses the importance of beech, nut production and an increase in utilization by bears and in increase in bear populations accordingly.

Tim discusses what not to do when it comes to managing your forest, and what species he wants for economic purposes and for deer. Jon discusses the importance of having diversity and why he prefers to have beech on his property in pockets, managing for specific trees. Tim explains what trees to leave on the landscape and how he approaches beech trees that are tolerant of beech bark disease. Tim goes into detail on how to evaluate your forest and handle beech brush and what equipment he uses to remove beech. Tim discusses hack and squirt methods and what tree species he prefers to kill on the landscape. Tim explains when is the best time to cut diseased beech trees.

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Show Transcript

Jon Teater: I'm John Teeter, Whitetail Landscapes. This is Max Miser Hunt. Welcome back everybody. Hopefully everybody's doing well. I am relaxing today enjoying the rain that's outside and waiting for dryer days. I've got some client visits coming up, which I'm excited for. So those on my list, I'm looking forward to getting your property before hunting season.

Those that still need the reports, they're coming. I apologize for the delays, but these [00:01:00] things happen. I'm working on as many things as I can at this point. The other piece of this is I want everyone to get in your woods. These, last few months before our hunting season is really a critical time to, I.

Finish chores and do some of the things that we've talked about, throughout the summer. Don't put those things aside. Now's the time to get out there and stay motivated. Alright, I got Tim Russell back if everybody remembers. Tim's a forester. Good buddy of mine.

I'm happy to have him back here on the show. It's been a little bit for him and I, we're gonna talk about beach trees today. This is a conversation we've wanted to have for some time. And we're gonna just freestyle. I'm gonna ask Tim some questions and get his opinion on things and we'll go from there.

Hey, Tim, how you doing? I'm alright. Also

Tim Russell: enjoying the same rain after a very hot day yesterday. Yeah. Thanks for having me on,

Jon Teater: John. Yeah. Happy to have you back. And it's been a little bit for you and I to to talk. I'm actually looking forward, I hope that you and I get to go down to that. We got a little trip planned.

We're in September. We're gonna go [00:02:00] down and visit Steve Shirk and a few of my friends, Josh Stryker, who's on this podcast, a few other people. And Tim, I hope you go too 'cause I think it'd be nice to spend some time and I think I have a couple clients going as well, so I think that'll be a fun, fun little trip in September.

I plan on it,

Tim Russell: and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Jon Teater: Good. Good. All right, so I want to talk about beach trees with you. And I texted you the other day, and I forgot this was a topic and I know I, I think I identified this a while ago on the podcast and you were like, oh, I hate bee trees. I don't know what you had going on, but I think you're in the middle of some project, so maybe you can explain that.

Tim Russell: Yeah beach are a native hardwood tree that we have in most of the eastern United States. It is very low preferability for whitetailed deer. It's also not particularly desirable in a commercial sense, not a say. It's not a, it isn't a non-commercial tree. There's potentially a market for cordwood, and if you can get a decent log out of it, but even at its best, it doesn't [00:03:00] sell very well.

But because. It's not a particularly desirable tree commercially because it's not a particularly desirable tree to have in terms of deer management. And because of some di disease issues that we have with it that prevent it from producing a nice log and also a. Cause it to proliferate. Oftentimes we have a lot more beach in our woods than we would like to have, and that often means that to take care of our woods, we've gotta take out some of the beach and not just cut and remove, but also o often take additional measures to kill beach.

And that means using herbicides. And I think at the time you, you called me, I was. Some hacking squirt where I was just going through the woods, hacking all the beach trees and squirting glyphosate into the open wound. In that case when I went to school, I was in Silva culture class.

One of the phrases that came up somewhat often is a good beach is a dead beach. I certainly wouldn't wanna see it eradicated from the forest. It's a native tree.[00:04:00] When it's healthy enough to do it produces a nut. There are a lot of different wildlife that use the tree, but some of the properties I've worked on and many other people who spend a lot of time in the forest have seen this as well, especially in the Northeast where beach bark disease has festered for a much longer time.

You can get out there and find that upwards of 90% of your stems are beach, particularly after multiple iterations of logging, particularly where deer densities are high and the deer are. Other species and leaving behind the beach. And then also particularly where we have this beach mark disease

Jon Teater: complex.

Yeah, and I think there's some nuances to this as well, and there's a new disease and that I've become more familiar is a beach leaf disease. And we'll probably hit that at the end, but let's talk about the stands and a little bit of the S culture aspect of it. Generally speaking, at least in our wood, lots, at least most people, we're trying to, develop a diverse.

Over story and understory. That's generally the goal. Some will be for economic value, some for wildlife value, [00:05:00] and this particular tree we identified as not necessarily an economic resource per se. And then, in that same sense, there is a wildlife value to it. You did identify that, the species themselves are not usually edible.

Now, in some stands and areas that I go, I get to see beach pretty much very prevalent in some areas, especially, I guess these. Young clonal areas or we'll say seedlings or saplings in some particular zones. And in those areas they are browsed pretty heavily and that is a indicator of poor nutritional content or availability as well as likely not a diverse set of plants, particularly in the woody stage, so that young woody stage.

So that's one consideration. So Tim, I guess my question for you is when you walk into these stands that have been abused, so I can think about times when I've been out in Western New York where they harvested a lot of cherry and all equipment was running around logging equipment and they're hitting, running over these shallow rooted plants.

[00:06:00] And next thing we got sprouts all over the place, root suckers. And in those cases you get have, we call beach brush and these, dense stands of beach that aren't being managed whatsoever. Some have, the beach bark disease that we just referenced a second ago. And now you've got an infestation of beach, so to speak.

Do you deal with that quite a bit? Has that been something you've been, seeing on the landscape quite commonly?

Tim Russell: It is something I see on the landscape commonly. It is something that I deal with quite a bit, and in some cases it actually, can leave you with relatively few options because oftentimes I.

It's difficult to pitch to a landowner that, hey, what's best for your woods is gonna come at a cost and might not be carried by the revenue from a timber sale. And in some cases it might be where, the revenue from a timber sale might be more than what it's gonna cost to treat the beach and have that desired outcome.

But some of these properties that are really heavy. To beach. You come back and say, Hey, we could do some beach treatments, but [00:07:00] there's not gonna be a whole, a whole lot of timber value out there to be able to pay for that. That can be, that can become a challenge.

Jon Teater: Certainly. Yeah. I got a question for you. So beach typically regenerate in, in two ways, right? Root suckers, right? That's one way. And the other way is, producing a nut, and we talked a little bit about wildlife. But in this case, at least in your experience, have you seen a lot of beach nuts on the landscape?


Tim Russell: It depends. It depends where. So a few things. One, we talked about the beach bark disease and how badly afflicted the trees can become. And maybe we'll get into that in a little bit more detail and explain how that disease works. But I'd let you know in some cases where you have a beach tree that appears to have a crown laden with nuts.

It's badly afflicted by beach bark disease. You might actually have a tree that has hollow husks that doesn't actually have a nut inside it for wildlife, giving the appearance that you're growing the food when you're not. What's interesting [00:08:00] is one way, and this isn't always something but one way you can tell a root sucker that's sprouted back is as you alluded to, If you're walking around and seeing something the size of a little seedling near the ground and it's got a beach nut on it, and it's, if it was a seedling, you'd think, Hey, that's probably not big enough and old enough to have the plant hormones or the energy to put out a nut.

That's one sign that, hey, this is sprouting back from from a larger tree. That's something really important to understand about beach because there are, when we work with Softwoods, we don't usually expect to get a lot of sprouts back like we do with hardwoods. Then there are some hardwoods that you'll get.

Stump sprouts. That stump sprout very well, like black, cherry, red, maple. They might stump sprout, but you don't tend to get as many. Root sprouts as you do when you're working with beach, some hardwoods don't really get that many stump sprouts. So like sometimes you'll see sugar maple getting stump sprouts, but they don't do it as much as some other species do.

But with beach, you can get these root sprouts and stump sprouts as well, but also these root sprouts that crop up everywhere. [00:09:00] And it is a natural response of the tree to disturbance. Or, if a tree is dying, the main stem is damaged, it might send up those suckers. The issue with beach and we often tie it to beach park disease and correctly.

The issues we've seen with beach predated having beach park disease as a problem. And it was noticed early on that after logging operations, like you pointed out, 'cause those shallow roots get scarred, you get a lot of sprouts coming back. And the other important characteristic to keep in mind in working with beach is that it is extremely tolerant of shade.

We talk about the iCal characteristics of a tree or how it behaves in a forested setting, how it responds to competition, that sort of thing. We often talk about shape tolerance of a species, whether it's something we're trying to grow or something that we're trying to kill. Trees which are less tolerant of shade, tend to have the advantage of growing much more rapidly.

And then [00:10:00] trees which are more tolerant of shade tend to grow more slowly, but then they can tolerate that competition a little bit better. So you might walk into the woods. And being an even age stand and see a sapling in the understory that didn't really get into an upper canopy position, and you find a maple tree like that and it's doing just fine, but the cherry stem next to it is just dead because cherry, although it grows faster, is very intolerant of shade.

And it's just on the other end of the spectrum where they can persist in some very dark

Jon Teater: conditions for a long time. Yeah, and I think a lot of times when those cherries, trees were taken out in the nineties, all of a sudden you get this opportunity for these understory shade talent trees to take over.

And I've also heard people refer to beach as native. Invasive in the sense, like we talked about earlier, the suckering that occurs, the root suckering that occurs. One thing I'll mention in Beech trees is they're probably one of the best trees to hinge. Cut. Their structure and the ability to stand is really awesome, and that's unrelated to this [00:11:00] conversation.

But it is important to building structure in the landscape and these trees that are dying, the disease trees, they provide great snags. Also when a tree falls over, right? It's ability to replenish the ecological state of it basically will be deadwood on the ground. Great place for salamanders and vertebras, those type of things.

So they could be a cavity tree. And again, woodpeckers, a lot of different animals tend to benefit from, these species. So it's not to think. Oh, and I'll bring up another, actually, let's get to that in a second. I don't wanna talk about bears yet, but there's one thing I wanna mention about bears, at least my experience has been this, but I just wanna say the only statistic I looked at for this conversation was only one to 2% of the trees.

I. That are on the landscape, at least this is a statistic, are resistant of the beach bark disease. So that's such a small percentage and I can tell you I've seen a lot of smooth bark beach that have the caning, but in small volumes. And there'll be these really isolated [00:12:00] trees in areas that have been underserved by logging.

And I've found, at least in the properties that I've walked over the years, just several of those pockets, I've found other areas that are, very I'll say depleted because of the beach park disease and it affects the trees in different ways. So I wanna know, if you're in the wood lot and you're walking around, you're gonna say, okay.

And we should get to the value of beach. 'cause I don't wanna degrade beach so much that we want to kill 'em all. Some of these areas where I have seen production, I have seen a great response by deer and we'll explain why, but I kinda wanna know from your standpoint, you're looking in the wood lot and you're saying, okay, I've got beach trees.

We identify them. Typically they hold their leaves late. They're a late dropping leaf, right? So that, that tends to I guess cover the the ground layer at some point. But these trees themselves, if they have this disease, Tim, what are we looking for?

Tim Russell: So I. The disease we're talking about here.

Beach bark disease is an insect fungus disease complex. So [00:13:00] the, you're looking for evidence both of the beach scale insect and also potentially structures from the fungus neo nectria fungus, which causes the cankers on the tree. So this fungus is, Basically ubiquitous in the environment. It's everywhere.

And until a scale insect arrives on the beach tree, it doesn't actually harm the fungus does not harm the beach tree in any way. Why this is I couldn't tell you. As far as I know, it's not understood, but once that beach tree, or sorry, that beach scale insect arrives on a beach tree and takes its mouth part and puts it into the bark of the tree.

That tree becomes very susceptible to infection from the fungus. So the first thing you might see, In the early stages of the arrival of this beach scale insect is once they put their mouth part in, they plant themselves there and they'll excrete like a waxy substance that looks like a little tuft of white stuff.

And you've probably seen this before. You see a cankered tree, you come near, you look and [00:14:00] there's these little white specks all over the tree. And that is coming from the insect. And then as the fungus develops, as you alluded to, you get diffuse. So sometimes you get a canker fungus that it'll look like a target on the tree where it's a big open wound on the tree that the tree's trying to compartmentalize.

And that's what you're seeing with almost like annual rings as the tree tries to grow over that, that damaged part from the fungus. And that can certainly damage the tree and damage the timber value of the tree. But often the tree lives, 'cause you're looking at a single large canker in those cases. But with beach bark disease, you get lots of little caners all the way around the stem and that basically girdles the tree.

And then another symptom that you might see when you have a tree that's got the caners on it, you can tell the disease is established. If you look really close, you might see these tiny little red dots that are spherical. Little basically fruiting bodies or reproductive structures from the fungus.

And you have to be pretty darn [00:15:00] close to seeing 'em because they are tiny. You could still see 'em with the naked eye if you've got sharp vision. But those are the main symptoms you might notice. Or if you're coming from far, far back and you haven't really seen any of the trees up close, sometimes just the fact that.

You're driving down the highway, you're looking into the woods, and you could tell that the beach brush is super dense. That might not have resulted from the disease, but it's often an indicator that's at play there. As you pointed out, beach like to hold onto their leaves much longer than most of our other broadleaf trees around here.

So sometimes in fall, once all the leaves are off the other trees, you start driving around and seeing into the woods like you can during the summer. And the beach kinda stand out 'cause they've still got those bronze colored leaves when nothing else has leaves on

Jon Teater: them. So recently on a client visit, I, I was looking at trees and it's interesting the size and age of, some of these species, the point you just brought up of maybe a tree dying.

And then, obviously there's some suckering as a result of that. And those trees having the same [00:16:00] susceptible disease. These clonal trees that, essentially are root suckers. They may have the same. Likely the same incidences of disease that the mother tree or parent tree has.

These trees are self pollinating as well, just in case anybody did or didn't know that. The other thing I kind of wanna mention is, they've got these kind of walled off caners. I've seen that, and they look like spots essentially. So there's like ringed canker and then walled off canker.

And I'm not really sure the difference. But maybe that's the tree trying to work through, I don't know, sealing off the fungal issue, et cetera. Anyhow, regardless of that, these trees are susceptible, but, production values are some of the species that I've been on.

Some of the properties I've been on looking at kind of production values, some of these trees in that 40 to 50 year old age class, that's usually production start and then, producing anywhere between, I would say, 50 to 80 years, or 50 to a hundred years. That's typically the range I think you'd normally see.

But the cool part about the beech trees specifically is [00:17:00] when you do have producing years, and they could produce anywhere per, in increments of two to four to six, eight years, somewhere in those increments. Usually not every year, at least I've not seen that. And you said, you mentioned the hall being, not pollinated or there's being no seedling in there specifically.

That obviously that fruit. Without that fruit, obviously it's, it lacks value in the landscape. But I've seen, these massive beach crops. This is in Allegheny County, if anybody is familiar. That's in New York State, Western New York. I've seen major mass production and basically a lot of the small mammals just the next year, you're just have a, an abundance of animal life in those particular areas.

Because of the mass production, there's obviously relationship to population dynamics and food production. But the cool part about beach, the thing that sucked me in at beach years and years ago is that it out competes acorns in a bunch of different areas, particularly protein and fat.

Content and fat content's really critical, and bears specifically are drawn to [00:18:00] these particular areas. And you'll see on beach trees, I've seen this recently. I actually, I saw it on a property I was just on where you'll see claw marks of a beach tree, and that's an indication that tree is a producing tree.

Not always the case, but if you see claw marks and it doesn't have to be bear, it could be Martin or some other, clawing up type animal claws, that, that climbs that tree for production. So there's one measure. The other thing is if you're looking around a tree, I. You see these seedlings versus, roots root suckering and root suckering is easy to tell because if you try to pull on the, it's hard to pull up.

Number one, obviously a root sucker is connected to other roots, and the roots usually travel laterally. That's one example. And then if you're looking at seedling, they have a slightly different stem, at least at the base, and then they'll. They'll have a root that travels straight downward, not connected to other root systems.

As these trees start to age, the one thing that I recognize is, there's fungal relationships and there's also rooting relationships. So these [00:19:00] trees, co-locate, there'll be trees around it and it'll intermix. So you may have roots connected. So as a tree starts to.

Grow. It's hard to tell if it's a seedling or a root sucker. And those are just things that I've noticed on the landscape, Tim. But I think the protein, fat and fiber content as compared to acorns, at least the studies I saw were better on beach than oak trees. But again, we've got this disease susceptibility thing here, so I wanna bring that up as a topic.

Any thoughts on anything I just said?

Tim Russell: Certainly there's a point to be made about what be nuts might offer over acorns. But I also think of areas that don't necessarily have oak or hickory or some other type of hard nut in the Adirondacks, for example. Where I used to work closer to the Adirondacks and work there a lot.

Beach nut is the hard mast out there. It, it can play a really important role in some ecosystems. And then, of course, as you're pointing out, there are a lot of small mammals as well as I'd love finding the beach trees with the bear closet, claw marks in 'em that, [00:20:00] that a bear climb that tree.

But, you gotta think about a lot of other wildlife as well, because. Some of your birds of prey. They're not eating beach nuts, but they're eating small mammals. So it is an important tree. Actually since you're in the woods, I don't know. Last season was a great season for this. Did you see any of the Boogie Woogie Beach

Jon Teater: Aphids The Boogie?

No. I did not see Boogie Woogie Beach Aphids.

Tim Russell: You might think you ate the wrong mushroom if you were walking through the woods and saw this thing. I'm the first time, so the first time I heard of this insect, I was working with some other foresters in a group on a project in the Finger Lakes, and another forester came over and said that he saw some little fuzzy white insect on a beach tree.

There was a whole group of 'em, and he got closer to look and he says, and then all of a sudden they started waving their asses at me. And I'm like, what are you talking about? They're waving their asses at you. He's yeah, like in unison to, to the rhythm. Like [00:21:00] just waving their butts at me. And it turns out that there is this little beach ad that some people call the Boogie a.

And if you find them, they're just hanging out. They're hanging out in a group. If you're standing underneath them, you might get some of that sticky honeydew stuff that some insects excrete like dripping on you. I've had that happen. And you see 'em and you're like, wow, these are really strange looking.

And you look right at 'em and just like in unison, they start, they'll turn around, they face their butts at you and they start waving 'em side to side. And it is like the funniest thing that you almost can't believe what am I looking at right now? They need the beach tree. And it's certainly something that I'm not looking to eradicate from the woods.

But you get some of these lots where, You've, it's been logged in the past and beach sprouted back and then there's the disease. And most time we worry about a tree disease 'cause it's killing all of the tree that we want to keep. And this is a strange case because the tree gets the disease and it sprouts back and then there's even more beach [00:22:00] and the deer don't want to eat the beach until they've eaten all of the maple and birch and potentially oak and potentially cherry they past the beach when they have those other options.

People don't particularly wanna harvest that tree. And again, it's very tolerant to shade. So you could go through multiple generations of stems that, as you pointed out, The parent tree got the disease and now it sprouts back. And it's not like you're getting any natural selection toward resistance because it's a clonal propagation of the same tree.

Yeah. So that stem gets the disease and this is how you end up with 95% beach. And when you know, if I'm working in a northern hardwood stand and we're doing a cut, and the intent is to recruit seedlings and a diverse mix of seedlings. I want bee, but I also want sugar maple and red maple and yellow birch and black cherry and basswood and all the things that are supposed to be growing

Jon Teater: there.

So let's talk about the benefits still. So we don't go totally left on this thing. So one of the, one of the research topics that [00:23:00] I looked at years and years ago, Was the correlation between bear production and beach trees. And what they've studied over the years is there's a direct correlation, at least in birth rates.

And post, we'll say post Autumn fall production and then obviously availability of beach. The increase, and I don't remember the statistics on this, but I know it's, I know it's high. The increase in bear production is likely closer to probably 70 or 80%, producing offspring verse when there's non.

Beach producing years. I think it's probably in the 20 or 30 range. And somebody can fact check me on that. I'm not gonna look it up. But for you bear hunters or people that want bear on your property, you know that's an option for you. Obviously the thing I've seen quite often and people can argue with me or not, I.

But I have been in, in stands and the trees are not co-located, but I have seen beach production and oak production in the same [00:24:00] property. They're not in the same locations, but I have seen a preference to beach nuts. And this is years and years ago I didn't even really know what a beach tree was and beach nuts.

But that started this whole investigation. I said, wonder why? And it's time and place and I was dealing with. Red Oaks, not White Oaks. So there's just one bit of data for you, but again, I saw. Utilization higher. Now, I also saw lower production. So in that example I had lower production of beech nuts versus red oak acorns.

And so that could be something, right? It could be a diet selection, scenario as well. Now the preference because of availability, et cetera. And feast or famine perspective. So I just wanna throw that out. Totally anecdotal. Something that I noticed, I did throw some statistics out 'cause I wanna be fact-check by somebody, but just something to consider.

So I wanna get into like decision making. So we have beach on the landscape. No, I've got beach on my property and I've had to make some of these decisions, but [00:25:00] I'm not a forester, so I want your opinion on it. We've got trees that are resistant. We're pretty much saying there's very few of those based on the statistic statistics that I gave earlier.

We've got trees that are tolerant and generally those are the trees that we're focused on more than likely. And then we've got trees that are totally susceptible. Eventually you see the tree die and. The bark starts to slough off it, et cetera, et cetera. And becomes just a standing stag, but the ones that are tolerant.

What would be your strategy in those examples? And what would you, how would you approach a tolerant tree? That it does have some production value, you've seen it produce, and it's, doesn't seem, that it's in a dying state, so to speak, full Crown Green, et cetera. It might

Tim Russell: depend on what the overall envisioned future is for that stand.

Am I just thinning the stand or am I trying to regenerate the stand? And also, how much beach is in the stand because if you're treating 50 acres and even if most of your beach is diseased, you could still choose an area to not poison beach [00:26:00] or remove beach and try and retain it as part of the stand.

Certainly if you are going through and killing beach and you're looking for a good candidate, Two leave behind and one appears to be resistant. You might be right, you might be wrong, but even if you're wrong, you're still leaving behind the healthiest beach. So it would stand to reason, for me that you would try not to poison that tree.

Part of my what I'd probably be scratching my head about is, okay, how far back do I have to keep while I'm poisoning other trees? If these other ones look like they have the disease and that one doesn't, does that mean that they can't be clonal from the same root system because that one would be diseased, otherwise it would right with.

If that one doesn't have the disease, then it can't just have sprouted from the same root system. And that's just a guess. And then also, are there root graft? If I poison that tree over there, am I gonna end up poisoning the beach tree that I'm trying to keep over here? It, it depends.

And, I. In many cases because of the expense of the treatment and trying to decide whether it's necessary whether [00:27:00] I'm thinning a stand or whether I'm really trying to regenerate the stand and establish a new co cohort of seedlings might make the difference as to whether I'm gonna recommend that something is done about

Jon Teater: the beach.

Okay. And I like that response, and I'm not gonna add to it, I'm just gonna ask you. If we're trying to remove beach and we find these trees that are susceptible, it's quite obvious. What are the steps that we should take to remove those individual trees and to limit the root suckering, so to speak?

What would be your strategy there?

Tim Russell: Part of that comes down to making sure you've got a good plan that's based on some good measurements because it matters a lot what you're looking at in terms of the size of the beach because you could have beach that are of seedling or sapling size.

And it's an issue. You could have trees that are of pole timber size and it's an issue. You could have trees that are more like saw timber size and diameter or in places that have been logged repeatedly and or have, multiple [00:28:00] generations of stems getting the diseases sprouting back. You might have an interspersion of trees everywhere from, an ankle high seedling looking thing that's really a roof sucker all the way up to a 30 inch saw timber diameter tree.

So if you're really just dealing with. Beach whips and beach brush and you don't have some of these larger diameter trees. You might be able to deal with it in the summer mechanically with a brush saw or come through and do a foliar spray. And depending on what type of sprayer you have I've got a steel SSR four 50 mist blower, and you can get in.

Pretty high up some of those trees that you might be able to get 15 or 20 feet high with a foliar application of glyphosate. And that might take care of it once you're into those pole timber size trees, you might look at doing a. Cut stump or hack and squirt where you're either cutting off the tree and then using a concentrated glyphosate on the outer two inches of the stump going around the edge, around the vascular cambium, wetting it, but [00:29:00] not to the point of runoff, or in some cases doing I think someone called it frill and fill once, but, hack and squirt where you've got your hatchet and you're putting the concentrated herbicide in there.

With your pulped, timber size trees, sometimes basal bark applications with tric LaPierre is an option. I haven't done it myself. What I don't like about that option particularly is you don't tend to expect good flash like you would with glyphosate. Like oftentimes, if I'm. Using her using Glycosate on beach.

It's with the hope that other trees that are connected to the same root system will die as well. Whereas the basal par bark applications are more like a chemical girdling. So there's

Jon Teater: that to consider. Tim, you gotta explain flashback. You said the term flash, so you gotta make sure, I don't think people understand that term.

Tim Russell: Sure. So one of the hopes with a cut stump treatment using glyphosate and glyphosate is great with this [00:30:00] is what you might call translocation, where it's moving into the root system and it's killing other trees that are attached to the same root system. And another term for that is flash. So if I came in and I saw there were a bunch of beach whips all over the place, and I just cut off the larger trees that were large enough to cut off, and then there's a stump that I could put concentrated glyphosate on.

I'm hoping that I come back in a couple of weeks and see that all those saplings that I did nothing to are dead. And I would say, wow, I got some good flash out of this treatment. So that's one thing we're looking for and that's something that I don't particularly expect to find if I, if doing a basal bark act application of TCOE on

Jon Teater: beach trees.

Yeah, and I agree with that and I'll, I just want to add one piece of this thrilling or hacking, squirting what, whatever the terminology I very rarely do it. And this is one of the only species of trees that I would actually do it to, just because of the examples that you brought up earlier.

And again, one of the other strategies I've had is, [00:31:00] hinge cutting beach trees in the summertime. I don't know, Tim, if that's been, you've seen that on the landscape? I've done it quite a bit in the summertime. Yeah. And mechanically, the tree's not likely to live maybe for that season, maybe a season.

Thereafter, but it's not likely to live and I generally don't see a lot of root suckering. Beyond that, I have actually hack and scored trees and I have got a stump response, and I thought that was interesting, at least, higher up. Maybe there was a bud there that was hidden, but I have seen that on beach trees.

Interesting enough, I don't know if you have. That's just an oddity maybe on my property. I just got a funny group of beach trees. I would expect better

Tim Russell: translocation out of a cut stump treatment than a hack and squirt. I. Also I find, 'cause sometimes you get low branches on trees. I've not always, but sometimes found if I hack a tree and my, all my hacks are above the lowest branch, I'll come back and the whole tree is dead, but that lowest branch is still alive.

So there's that to be aware of. Yeah. [00:32:00] Yep. And sometimes I take an extra hack and I'm like trying to take off that bottom branch or just like hack just below it to make sure that it gets that one too. So there, there's that. And another one just we're on the topic of beach, but if you live, I, I live in New York and I can tell you that oftentimes if I'm going through and doing the treatment to hack and squirt beach, I'm also looking at other non-commercial hardwoods like hot horn beam and stripe, maple that I'm doing hack and squirt on at the same time, because they can come back in prolific numbers and prevent you from growing something that is.

Better timber and potentially

Jon Teater: better for deer. Yeah, those are good examples. Trees as well. I shouldn't shy away from that. I'm just telling you my experience that's what I've done. Sure. So I want to go in, in the last piece of this kind of talk about, your take. Forget your forester.

Let's just go on the wildlife side. And we talked about the benefit of the beach nuts. We talked about bears, small mammals. Avians, et cetera. We've talked about endear specifically, and I've talked about the structure. You [00:33:00] talked about how to manage. If you look at beach on the landscape, we're generally promoting diversity and the one thing that I realize on my property specifically is I've got beach that's in that saw timber kind of phase and great looking.

Definitely I don't wanna say they're resistant 'cause they're definitely not resistant, but. They've tolerated the disease per se, and they look like they're in good form. And I'm waiting for production. I try to minimize logging in these two areas, and basically it's a grouping of trees. And in that grouping, what I've been hoping for is looking for, we talked about these small seedlings.

I. Just an indication of production, that there's enough production where you're getting, some stoic of particular seedlings and then you get the next generation. The one thing I was wondering, and I'm not sure that you've thought about this or you've seen this in the landscape, but have you seen resistant trees being transplanted in the landscape?

And the only reason I bring that up is we have, we had this discussion, you and I, about chestnuts. And, again, different species, different issue, [00:34:00] is there an opportunity for beach to be replenished in the landscape? Were these species, there are the resistant trees per se, have you seen an increase or thought in any of that area?

Or is it just a good beach is a dead beach, and that's the mantra nowadays. I'm not

Tim Russell: aware of any efforts to identify. Resistant trees and capture those genetics and propagate it out on the landscape. That would be interesting. And I certainly have gotten into those areas where I find a lone beach that's not diseased and I wonder, I.

Did the scale insect just not make it here? But I've also been in those cases where I, there's diseased beach everywhere, and for some reason there's that one stem that's perfectly smooth and it's 10, 12, 14 inches, whatever it is, that it's been there a while and so has the disease. And for reasons I don't understand and.

Hopefully, maybe it's genetics there. That tree is doing just fine. There's at least some hope there. And yeah, I guess I [00:35:00] was I was trained to think that way and over time I no longer really feel that way, that a good beach is a dead beach. But it's like any other interfering plant.

It needs to be managed to a tolerable level that we're able to grow what we're trying to

Jon Teater: grow. Yeah. And I think that's a good way probably to end this. I think thinking about clusters of trees that seem to be somewhat tolerant, keeping those on the landscape, thinking about the grouping of trees, these are also, they're also wind pollinated as well.

So it's recognizing the pollination potential and then to your point, finding those genetic trees. That seemed to be, at least in this case, maybe less susceptible and available on the landscape. Promoting those on the landscape, this is no different with a lot of the species we've talked about previously on this, on this podcast is thinking more depthly about each individual tree defining its purpose, benefit, how it prescribes itself in the landscape.

Like probably a question somebody would maybe ask in the Midwest is if I run fire through it, can I kill all the beach? You certainly would kill a [00:36:00] lot of the beach during the growing season. So the case is beach aren't using those areas where fire is usually the resource that you would use as like a tool.

But you could run fire through there. But I can tell you if we run fire through there and in the dormant season, you'll get a even a flusher growth of beach. And there, there's just one little thing to think about there. But again I don't think those environments typically are.

These fire ecology areas, so to speak. So just want to throw that out as an another perspective. 'cause I think people might, use fire as a resource, although you could. I don't know, Tim, I'm just thinking you, I use these propane torches all the time when I don't wanna put herbicide in an area and I could use my propane torch to, to burn, the cameo layer, et cetera.

So that, that is one, one option, so to speak. Sure. I dunno just an idea, and

Tim Russell: I think you made a good point that it really does matter when you're treating the beach one way or another, whether it's the dormant season or whether it is during the growing season. With most glyphosate treatments or really as far as I know, all [00:37:00] glyphosate treatments, you want to be treating the your beach during the growing season, during full leaf expansion.

And there's some evidence to suggest that doing it later in the summer, Might even be better when perhaps the tree doesn't have as much time to recover. But you might also have a draw from the leaves going down toward the roots later in summer as the tree prepares to store energy or you get better translocation.

Some of the. The tri LaPierre, like basal bark treatments. If it's not in a water carrier, if you're dealing with the right formulation of Tri LaPierre, that can be in an oil carrier. That's something that at least one of the pluses of it is you can do it anytime of year, including the winter, as long as you're not.

Just before or during, or immediately after rain. As long as the snow's not too deep to get at the base of the tree. That's one potential benefit there. But I have in just a few instances seen where the beach could be controlled. Just by [00:38:00] cutting. But they were very aggressive cuts where by far most of the trees were being removed as part of a timber harvesting operation.

And it was all cut during the summer. So cut during the summer they cut all these. Yep. These trees are fully leafed out. They do this aggressive cut and the beach actually do sprout back, and then they like sun scald and wither back. And in other areas that they tried to do the same thing, but it was more of a shelter wood.

So it wasn't really that aggressive of a regeneration cut. It's like it was just enough that it came back to beach and it was like, okay, he shoulda either maybe cut it more heavily or maybe use some some herbicide. And one, one last thing, one technique that I, I haven't seen any research, but people talk about it and I've seen it in the field.

People talk about high stumping where you're, let's say, doing one of these heavy cuts, these big timber harvests over a wide area. You're doing it during the summer. You're cutting every stem of beach that you can find, and you're trying to kill the beach, and they leave [00:39:00] like a four or five foot. Stump on the tree to allow it to, to sprout back and then get sun scalded and wither back.

And again, I haven't seen the research to prove that this is actually more effective, but that's considered more effective at actually limiting the sprouts from beach coming from the roots to leaving that extra little stem on it.

Jon Teater: And I will say this, my experience has been, and I did this on my personal property in a particular area where I did find some trees that I weren't, I was not promoting beach in a particular area, which was surrounded an area that I was promoting beach.

So it was an interesting little dynamic and those trees were, saw timber quality, these were pole sized trees, poor form, et cetera. So anyhow, I cut those trees and suns skull did actually kill, any. I guess grow back ex, et cetera. The sun of the sun obviously penetrates. And how does that work, Tim?

I don't necessarily understand that the tree becomes less susceptible or it's not capable to handle that volume of sunlight. And it just because of its intolerance. Just whether there's a way [00:40:00] it dries it out.

Tim Russell: I also suspect that it's because it are the, it's these new leaves that haven't, Hardened off, so to speak, that if you were to take that tree and just release it, and those beach leaves that were already on that established tree suddenly got a whole lot of sunlight.

I think the tree would do just fine. In fact, it might do better. But those new leaves that are just coming back. Back and sprouting out, and now it's late in summer and you cut the tree when most of its energy was already in the top part of the tree. And a lot of that's depleted. But now it's trying to sprout back with that new spring leaf and it's 90 degrees outside and the sun is beating down and the plant cells are still trying to.

Put in the, lignify so that they can retain water. And it's just it's this tender little leaf that's coming out that just can't handle the sun

Jon Teater: at that time of year. Yeah. And I've seen root suckers get suns skulled in certain instances as well, which is just interesting. Anyhow, so just all interesting points.

Something to consider. There's always, we're talking one [00:41:00] species and the, I think the point of this podcast was to think. Yeah. And recognize that there's so much variation and beyond the variation tree seed I'm sorry, trees themselves. And thinking at the depth of, okay, what is this doing for my landscape?

How do I manage it? And it's thinking about each one of these tree species, individual, and I think it's really important that we kinda look at. The properties that we're managing at this level rather than just globally. And I think it's important to figure out what trees we wanna keep and what trees we want to get rid of and have some basis of that.

And Tim is obviously a great resource for that. That's why he's on the podcast. Alright Tim. I think that's it for us, I think I think this is a great topic. We've been wanting to have this conversation for about a couple years now, so I'm happy that we had it on the air and I appreciate you.

What else you got going on this summer? What are the other key things you're working on

Tim Russell: measuring trees, putting paint on trees, putting herbicide in trees. Yep. Just cruising, marking stallions, scaling forest management plans, [00:42:00] making maps. A good number of those plans are forest management plans, but are more wildlife based than the objectives.

Just, yeah same kinda work.

Jon Teater: Yep. So green fire forestry, you can get ahold of Tim, obviously if you wanna get ahold of me to get ahold of Tim, send me an email and I'll push you over to him, give you his number, you can get ahold of him. Tim, appreciate the time today, man. It was good catching up and we'll talk again soon.

Alright. Thanks for having me. Alright,

Tim Russell: man. It's always fun. Yep. See ya. Bye. Bye-Bye. Maximize your hunt is a production of whitetail landscapes. For more information on how John Teeter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out whitetail