Information for Kentucky Woodlands Owners, Farmers, and Forestry Professionals
 
  
 
 
 
 

 
 
Photo Guide

This photo guide contains a number of pictures of trees of a number of species common to woodlands in Kentucky with a range of damage.

Recommendations are provided for each photo regarding the loss of timber value, if timber should be salvaged and when, and a recommendation about the potential of the tree as it relates to long-term management.

Click on each photo to enlarge it.

Trees in a stand will be damaged by ice to different degrees. To determine the loss of value or whether a tree can be expected to recover you must look at each tree and determine what type of damage has occurred. Acceptable growing stock evaluation must include current condition, length of time for recovery, and current market conditions.


BENT TREES

Trees that have been bent more than 60 degrees from vertical generally will not straighten. These trees will not die, but if the bend is the mainstem they have already lost value and may be susceptible to future dieback. Unacceptable Growing Stock.


Example of a pole-sized yellow-poplar bent beyond recovery. Unacceptable Growing Stock.

 

 



DOWNED TREES

Trees, regardless of species that are on or near the ground must be removed quickly to recover timber value. How quick this must occur depends upon the species, how much of the root system is still in the ground, and whether they are solidly on the ground or being held off the ground.

Valuable mainstems lying on the ground must be removed quickly to keep high quality veneer or sawtimber from staining or starting to rot. If veneer is to obtained from this white oak it should be removed the first growing season after ice damage. Sawtimber value will be retained for up to 2 years.

Knocked over but not directly on the ground. Since itis off the groundit will not deteriorate quickly and usually veneer logs can be removed within 1 year of the damage. Sawtimber value will be retained for several years.

 

 

BROKEN TREES

Oaks that have their mainstem broken may die while yellow-poplars and other fast growth species such as cottonwood may regenerate their top. How fast the log must be removed to recover value is based on how far up the stem the damage occurs.

 


Obvious mainstem breakage that results intotal lossof sawtimber value. Unacceptable growing stock.

 



Mainstem breakage that occurs above 18 to 20 feet above the ground allows recovery of butt log within 1 year of damage. This oak tree will not recover its top. Unacceptable growing stock.


 

Mainstem breakage that occurs 12 to 15 feet above the ground should be removed as quickly as possible. This oak tree will not recover its top. Unacceptable growing stock.




Yellow-poplar and other fast growth species can ultimately recover from high mainstem breakage. However, growth will initially be slow. Unacceptable growing stock.





Conifers that have live branches below amaintstem break will generally remain alive. However, no long-term improvement should be expected. Unacceptable growing stock.




Pines having mainstem breakage below live branches will die. Unacceptable growing stock.

 

 

 

MAJOR BRANCH DAMAGE

Occassionally large branches will break off at the mainstem. This can introduce rot into the mainstem. The height above the ground indicates how fast the tree should be cut to recover timber value.






Trees having a major crown branch brokenfrom the mainstem will survive. However, the large wound leads to rot development in the upper section of the stem. Unacceptable growing stock.




Major branches torn within the crown (not torn from the mainstem) will recover. Acceptable Growing Stock or Questionable Growing Stock (based on other choices in the stand).

 

 


CROWN LOSS LESS THAN 50%


Trees retaining 50% or more of their crowns generally will survive. There growth may be impacted.




Trees regardless of species that have lost less than 25%of their top branches will generally recover fully. Acceptable Growing Stock.






Example of light damage that all species can withstand. Acceptable Growing Stock in all situations.






Oaks that have approximately 50% oftheir crown lost through the loss of the ends of crown branches will recover. However, growth and recovery may be slow. Acceptable or Questionable Growing Stock depending upon choices in stand.





Oaks that have approximately 50% of their crown lost through the loss of main crown branches are susecptable to long-term degrade and vigor loss. Unacceptable Growing Stock.

 

 


Oaks that have approximately 50% of their crown lost throughthe loss of the ends of crown branches will recover. However, growth and recovery may be slow. Acceptable or Questionable Growing Stock depending upon choices in stand.




Tree 1 is an oak with 50% loss of crown through large branch breakage (Unacceptable Growing Stock) and Tree 2 has 50% loss through smaller branch loss (Aceeptable or Questionable Growing stocking depending upon other choices in stand).





Fast growing species having lost less than 50% of their crowns will generally recover. In this case the soft maple growing on a bottomland site will fully recover. Acceptable Growing Stock.





Oaks that have approximately 50% of their crown lost through the loss of main crown branches are susecptable to long-term degrade and vigor loss. Unacceptable Growing Stock (unless no other choices are available).



CROWN DAMAGE
GREATER THAN 50%

Tops with over 50% of their crowns lost mustbe critically evaluated. There will be a difference between species and species type to this of response. Oaks and slower growing species will die or take a significant amount of time to recover while faster growing species such as yellow-poplar and cottonwood will generally recover their crown.






Yellow-poplar and other fast growth species can ultimately recover from severe top damage, especially if they are growing on high quality sites. However, growth will initially be slow. Acceptable or Questionable Growing Stock.






Timber from oaks with less than 1/3 of their crown remaining should be removed within the next several years. Unacceptable Growing Stock.







Valuable timber (veneer and high grade sawtimber) from oaks with 25% or less of their tops remaining should be removed within one year. Unacceptable Growing Stock.







Yellow-poplar and other fast growing species with 25 top 50% of their top remaining will recover. Acceptable or Questionable Growing Stock depending upon choices in the stand.







Yellow-poplar trees 1 and 3 will die or will berendered useless (Unacceptable Growing Stock). Trees 2 and 4 will live and their crowns will recover. Some future timber potential will probably develop however, recovery will be slow. Unacceptable Growing Stock.



Oak with less than 50%crown left from the loss of major branches. Timber should beremoved within the next several years. Unacceptable Growing Stock.






Both trees 1 and 2 are yellow-poplar and will recover from this damage. Acceptable Growing Stock.

 


For more information, contact the webmaster, UK Department of Forestry Extension at forestry.extension@uky.edu

 
 
 
Sponsored by: