The timber species will be managed for saw logs as much as possible. Managing a woodlot is no different than grandma weeding out her garden. You take out the inferior species, the poor quality and allow the strong and healthy to survive. I will cull out or weed out my forest garden and let the strong healthy trees grow and thin out inferior and crowded species for timber, firewood, pulp for the paper mill or fence posts. Some culled softwood will be used for outdoor wood stoves to heat homes.
This piece of property is no jewel. It needs lots of work and in time it will be something. As long as our hearts are pumping blood and our lungs take in cool forest air, my wife Diane and I will manage the property with the future in mind. We may not see the benefits of a deer eating those apples or grouse feeding on crabs, but our kids and grandkids will.
I may be compost by the time all those young trees get to maturity, but those two young boys will soon be young men and they will have a sweet spot to hunt, a forest to manage and an opportunity. Now is the time to start teaching them and make sure they do things right.
The main access road is almost done. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so working on the forest management aspect comes next, and that is the fun part.
Managing your woodlot is like working in your garden, it can supply you food, an income and keep you healthy in body and mind. Remember to do things safely, get the proper chainsaw safety and felling training before you run a saw. An injury can easily ruin your day. You don’t want to let the saw cull you out of life’s existence!
Rich Redman is a retired District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and an avid outdoorsman. His column will appear regularly. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.