A stand apart

I had the opportunity recently to walk through a woodland owner’s property and offer some advice. We had in-depth discussions on what she wanted to get from her woodland and how we were going to make that happen. She, like many of the woodland owners I work with, saw her woodland as one uniform forest, […]

The soil between your toes

I have had the pleasure of working in forests on a wide variety of soil types. The ones I have the most experience on are the clay-loam at the family farm and the sand that makes up our home soil. What I have learned is that you can’t ignore what is under your feet when […]

Strategies for controlling invasive plants

I, and the rest of our clan, spend as much time as we can in our woods.  Our time is split among harvesting trees and other forest products from the woods, having a good time, and keeping an eye on trees and property boundaries.  Every time we are in the woods we watch for changes […]

Improving your trees through pruning

Winter is the time when our family enjoys the warmth from the firewood we have gathered, and prune the branches on the trees we planted.  This is the best time to prune because the trees are dormant, and the insects, diseases and fungi that would normally infect open wounds in trees (like those created when […]

Choosing the right trees and shrubs to plant to attract wildlife

A landowner approached me looking for some advice as to which trees and shrubs to plant to bring more wildlife into her property.  Before I could give her a list to procure, I needed to know a bit more about what she is looking to attract and what the conditions are like on their property.  […]

Ode to a leaf

I am often amazed by leaves and their varied looks and feels; how they work; the role they play in the overall health of the plants, insects, fungi, and animals in our forests; and their ability to move us without even trying. Their texture ranges across the spectrum from the roughness of elms to the […]

Cutting and selling your own logs

There are many steps to take and things to learn for successfully cutting and selling your own logs. One fall, we got it into our heads that we could maximize our profits on a timber sale by felling the trees ourselves.  Additionally, we would either pay someone to haul the logs to the mill or […]

Talking to a logger’s reference

There are some important things you need to learn from a reference supplied by a logger. When I talk with landowners about hiring a forester or logger to work on their property, I always tell them to ask for references. The response I usually get is, “what questions should I ask them?” I recently came […]

Reasons for always having a written contract

There are serious problems you can avoid by spelling out in a contract exactly what you want foresters, loggers and other contractors to do Our property has been in the family for many decades now, and we have made our fair share of mistakes.  Some of these are related to working with contractors for timber […]