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Non-timber Forest Products: Part II Seeds and Boughs

Credit: Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Just this past week, I saw a local florist advertising that they are now purchasing boughs (or branches from conifer trees). In fact, nationwide, the most frequently sold NTFP is boughs. The most common use for boughs is of course wreaths. Other uses include garland, floral arrangements and producing aromatic oils. Luckily for those of us in Wisconsin, the preferred tree species for wreaths is balsam fir (Abies balsamea) which is a very common species in the state.

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Non-Timber Forest Products

As forestry educators, we often focus on timber sales (we want them to go well after all), but there are many more goods that can be harvested from woodlands for recreational or financial reasons. These goods are usually called non-timber forest products (NTFPs), which although states what they aren’t, does a good job of indicating they are too numerous to try to categorize otherwise. This entry will spend some time discussing what NTFPs are, why landowners might be interested in them, and what resources exist to support landowners who want to pursue various products.

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What Can a Forester do for You?

Brochure from Southern Pulpwood Conservation Association

Forestry has changed little since this brochure was published in the 1960’s, but the role of a forester and what they can do for you, if anything, has broadened. It is important to consider a forester for any activities you want to partake in on your property. A good forester is trained in the art and science of forest management, and can help you improve your forest for your needs and the forest’s needs. If you are considering a timber sale, working with a forester almost always guarantees you a better price for your wood.

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Wildlife for your Woodlot

A popular reason for owning woodlands is recreation, including hunting and wildlife watching. The wildlife that is found in woodlot is based on specific wildlife needs. In order for landowners to manage for wildlife, they need to take these into consideration. Wildlife have four basic requirements for life: water, food, shelter and space. Landowners have some ability to adapt their property to fit these needs based on what wildlife is desired.

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