Growing Your Woods

Fostering Healthy Woodlands

Taking care of your land doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, by following a few tips, forestry can become a rewarding venture rather than a dreaded chore. Learning about your land and taking frequent walks on it are important first steps that will help ensure your woods are flourishing. These visits can help you identify problems, such as overcrowded or diseased trees, tree mortality, invasive species, inaccessible roads, erosion, and wildlife concerns. Recognizing the signs of a healthy ecosystem and developing a plan of action are critical to a forest’s success over time.


What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?

BMPs are the principal means by which water resources are protected during careful forest management. BMPs include methods, such as leaving a buffer zone of trees next to a stream, properly sizing and installing a culvert to cross a waterway and establishing grass on forest roads to prevent erosion, among others.

How can a properly maintained forest produce clean water?

Forests function as an umbrella, filter, and sponge. When it rains, forest canopies help slow and guide rainfall as it falls to ground, preventing erosion. Forest soils then trap sediment, nutrients, and pollutants from the rainwater, preventing contamination to ground and surface water. Lastly, forests soak up and slowly release water over time, maintaining consistent stream flow and reducing flooding. 

How can someone harvest their land while keeping it prosperous?

A forester can advise landowners on the best ways to sustainably harvest their property while protecting nearby streams, forest soils, and preparing the area for regeneration, if needed.