Why Hire a Forester? (PA DCNR Brochure)
Noll’s Forestry Services (NFS) promotes and practices sustainable forestry. Proper forest management can improve your forest’s growth and improve the profitability of your woodland. With proper management your woodland has the potential to grow 100% more wood than an unmanaged forest. Working with NFS will provide the opportunity to improve your forest for the future and the opportunity for monetary benefits for today and tomorrow.
There is more to timber management than just selling timber and cutting trees.
Questions to consider – Do you want to:
- Generate income through a well-managed timber harvest?
- Obtain a Management Plan for a long-term strategy of sustainable forestry?
- Conduct Timber Stand Improvement work to improve the health of your woods?
- Implement treatments to improve wildlife habitat quality?
- Increase the value of your land?
- Create a forest management legacy for your family and future generations?
NFS will guide you through the process of marketing your timber to receive the highest value possible. We will meet with you and tour your forest land and discuss your goals. We will provide options for you that will best fit your needs. We will help you make the right forest management decisions, which may include a timber harvest. If a timber harvest is advised, NFS can begin the process to prepare a timber sale.
- Individual trees will be marked with paint to be identified for harvest. It is not a simple task to design a proper timber harvest…many decisions are necessary and each timber harvest is unique and customized to your individual needs.
- Each tree selected for harvest is tallied by species, size, and number of board feet (volume).
- Upon finalizing the field work of the timber sale, a prospectus will be prepared. The prospectus will lay out for prospective bidders the terms and conditions for the sale. The sale area will be defined by an aerial photo identifying the property and harvest area. Along with the board volume of trees for sale the prospectus will give the terms for; payments, insurance requirements, performance bond amount, length of term, cleanup, and reclamation obligations. The prospectus will be sent out to prospective buyers who are interested in buying timber in your area. By marketing the timber to a wide range of prospective buyers you will receive the highest value from the most interested buyers. The performance bond is an amount held by NFS to ensure all conditions of the timber sale contract have been completed satisfactory.
- NFS will prepare a Timber Sale Contract between you, the landowner, and the successful bidder accepted for the purchase. This contract will be subject to your approval before issued to the buyer.
- NFS will oversee the complete process of the harvest. This will include start up instructions, regular inspections, and a final inspection. You will have the great benefit of knowing your forester (NFS) is your personal representative with hands on interaction with the contractor working on your land. This is great peace of mind for you, the landowner.
Timber Inventory and Appraisals
A timber value assessment can provide you with an estimated value of your timber, based on the present market conditions. The inventory report will provide you with the estimated volume of timber on your property. Timber values do fluctuate up and down as market demands change. The appraised value may change in the future due to markets increasing or decreasing. We track the timber markets closely and can provide information to help you make the best decisions with your timber resource.
A timber appraisal/inventory can be accomplished by standard sampling, or by conducting a 100% tally of trees.
You may need an appraisal/inventory for the following reasons:
- Financial Planning
- To Purchase or Sell Land
- Estate Settlement
- Forest Management Planning
A major benefit you have as forest landowner is the enjoyment of watching wildlife and/or hunting on your property. Many property owners want to enhance their property for improved wildlife habitat. NFS can make recommendations and provide services to assist you in your wildlife habitat management.
Animals need four basic elements for survival—food, water, cover, and space. Your property can be managed to improve each of these basic needs of wildlife. Proper management can increase ground cover, preserve nut bearing trees, cavity trees, and buffers along streams. Placement of food plots, planting evergreens, establishing border cuts, and developing bedding areas will encourage whitetails to make your property a favorite place.
Penn State’s publication from the Forest Stewardship Series (Wildlife #5) gives this excellent summary, “Whatever your specific interests, proper wildlife stewardship is based on managing forests to ensure that native species persist for the enjoyment of future generations. By taking into account the needs of wildlife on your property, you will be rewarded with endless hours of recreational enjoyment and satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped to ensure that future generations benefit from the diversity of wildlife found in Pennsylvania forests today.”
Invasive Species and Herbicide
Many of forests have suffered from poorly planned and executed timber harvests in the past. Often this is the result of a diameter limit cut (a form of “high grading”) which removes a higher percentage of the better-quality trees and leaves behind mostly lower quality trees. When a harvest is not done properly, the quality of the timber stand is reduced, and the heavy cutting opens the forest to invasive species. Often, invasive species become the primary vegetation on the forest floor. The invasive species prohibit the regeneration and establishment of desirable trees and native plants in the understory. Herbicide is an effective method of managing forestry vegetation. NFS can assist landowners by assessing invasive problems and recommended treatment to control.
“A forest management plan is a written document that outlines the objectives you have for your forest and guides your activities. It provides descriptions and recommendations for management, serves as a record of your accomplishments, and documents your philosophy, practices, and plans for the future. Forest stewardship planning is the wise management and use of our forest resources to ensure their health and productivity for years to come. It helps landowners not only with timber value, but also to leave a living forest legacy for future generations. Stewardship is concerned with all aspects of the forest. It involves the protection of biologically unique or important areas along with the responsible harvesting of trees for people’s use and it recognizes the role that forests play in the global environment.”
Your plan should include the following:
- A statement of purpose: what you want to do with your forestland and why you want to do it.
- A physical description of your forestland.
- The location of your property and number of acres owned; forest types and tree species, volumes, age, condition, and quality; soil types and productivity; land slope and limitations.
- A list and timeline of management practices and recommendations: activities planned for each area and recommended completion schedule.
- The most important thing about a management plan is that it helps you think through your operations before you start. It can be as short or as long as you like, and you can make changes at any time. Management plans provide a starting point, a reference, and a goal for the future.
(From Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s booklet, “Forestry with Confidence – A Guide for PA Landowners…..copies are available upon request)
Professional Forest Management * Maximize Forest Potential