Ozark woods prescribed fire

Discussion in 'Deer Management, Habitat & Conservation' started by mattd78, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. mattd78

    mattd78 Active Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Getting my fire lines finished up encircling about 15a.

    Goals are to knock back some of the millions of woody saplings, burn off thick layer of leaves to get more vegetation growing, and protect market trees.

    When should I light the fire? Been reading that late spring is good for knocking back woodies, but I’m already seen green things growing. Hate to kill good stuff.

    Head fire or backing fire? Protecting larger trees is one reason for this question, but putting a hurt on the .5-2” saplings is another. And also not being out there forever watching a backing fire. It’s steep and leaves are thick. I imagine a head fire will be hot, however it’s rocky and for some reason it seems like the big trees don’t have many leaves around their base. It’s glade-y looking 2’ around most big trees.
    20' likes this.
  2. WBF

    WBF Wolf Brook Farms

    Oct 25, 2013
    Some good info on growing deer Tv . Several videos that cover a lot the questions that you asked. Dr Woods farm is in the Ozarks so same type of habitat.

    You might consider contacting your local PLC. I highly recommend taking a burn class. The class is extremely informative and provides cheap "insurance" just in case things don't go according to plan...

  3. CuivreDog2

    CuivreDog2 Addicted Habitat Junkie

    Mar 27, 2010
    Lincoln County, MO
    Education before ignition - you'll be glad you did!
  4. Maddog3355

    Maddog3355 Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
    Maries County
    I think Shortgrass said summer time for killing saplings. Maybe he will see this and respond.
  5. flatlander_

    flatlander_ Really? Show me. .

    You definitely need to make sure there's not any dead snags within 15-20 yards of your lines, if they catch fire they will act as a chimney and send sparks over your line.

    You mentioned that it was steep. Keep in mind that fire can race up a hill very fast.

    As mentioned education is key. I'd talk to your county PLC or try to find someone to help that has experience.
  6. Bloodtrail 1

    Bloodtrail 1 Grand PooBah

    Dec 11, 2007
    I have similar objectives and have done this before. I would not wait til summer. March would be a good month.
    Use a backing fire to help build your firebreaks, then let a head fire rip.
  7. You bring up some interesting points. To root kill small saplings <1" in would say a fire right at bud break in the spring or just before leaf drop in the fall. Burning now will only top kill those saplings.

    I encourage you to get your PLC or forester on site to look at the site first to give you a better answer than what I am giving you. You mention marketable trees but then say it might be a glade. The vast majority of the time glades and dry rocky woodlands don't produce marketable timber. So with this I would look into what the site actually is and then go from there. If timber production is your goal then periodic fires may be beneficial as long as you don't fire scar those trees too intensely. If it is a wildlife benefit then I wouldn't worry about a little scarring on the butt log as our oaks have been shown to do a great job of compartmentalizing those wounds and healing over.

    As for backing or head fire. We typically use a ring head fire which includes both a backing, flank, and head fire component. Talk to your PLC. A head fire along can put some high fire scaring on the trees, a backing fire can spend more residual time on the trees and better help to kill those smaller diameter trees.

    Lots of things can be discussed with prescribed fire than I could possibly type here so talking in person on site is generally better. Plus getting a prescribed burn plan completed will help you achieve your objectives.
    tcwild, Maddog3355 and WBF like this.
  8. tcwild

    tcwild Junior Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    Call in Oneshot