Caring for Your Woods… A 10-step Plan for Landowners

When people acquire forestland they often lack information on what to do with their new property. Long-time woodland owners are often equally at loss when they decide to actively manage their woods for the first time. Some woodland owners wish to do little with their woods. Other owners want to do everything. The 10 steps presented here, suggest important information to obtain and the first things to do if you want to care for your woods with active management. Follow the steps and you will also learn what is feasible both for your land and your pocketbook.

Causes And Cures For Warp In Drying

Lumber warps in many different ways, but all warp is caused by differential directional shrinkage as the wood dries from its green state. When one edge or face or end of a piece of wood shrinks more than the opposite edge or face or end, the piece warps. The three types of warp are cup, bow and crook. Following an introduction to wood shrinkage, each type of warp will be discussed In terms of its causes, likely locations in a log from which lumber might suffer from it, and preventative measures which can alleviate the warping problem, where possible.

Determine Your Basis and Keep More Timber Income

Wow! It finally happened! You are now the proud owner of some woodland acres. Like most new owners, you cannot wait to enjoy the property. Therefore, you pull on your boots, file the sale papers and head for the woods. This is what all too often happens when a new owner takes title to forestland. However, you should place the joys of ownership on hold for one very important determination. A new owner should first determine the original basis, or value, of all merchantable timber at the time of acquisition.

Forest Succession

Succession is the natural replacement of plant or animal species, or species associations, in an area over time. When we discuss forest succession, we are usually talking about replacement of tree species or tree associations.

Hiring a Consulting Forester

An independent consulting forester (consultant) is a trained professional forester that operates or works for a private business. The typical independent consultant is self-employed or works for a small company employing 1 to 3 other consultants and/or forestry technicians.

What Will a Forest Tree Earn? “Rule of Thumb” for Gauging the Rate of Return

Have you ever thought about whether a tree should be harvested now or perhaps 10, 20, or 30 years from now? Have you ever wondered if a tree is earning a satisfactory rate of interest? If these and similar questions have intrigued you, then the table and process described in this report should help provide some of the answers.

What is Basal Area?

A tree's basal area is the cross-sectional area of the stem at 4½ feet above ground — breast height. Foresters report basal area as either square feet per tree or square feet per acre.

What is My Timber Worth? And Why?

Stumpage prices can vary greatly. The species, size and quality of the tree are, of course, important but there are also other factors that can account for differences in price. This note discusses some of the factors that can influence the price you receive for your timber.

What is a Board Foot?

A board foot is a piece of wood that is 12 in. wide, 12 in. long, and 1 in. thick (144 cubic inches). The board foot is commonly used by foresters, landowners, timber buyers, lumbermen, etc., to measure the lumber in a board, stack, truckload, etc., or to estimate the amount of lumber that can be sawn from a log or tree.

What is a Chain?

A chain is a unit of measure commonly used by foresters to determine horizontal distances. However, the chain is seldom used by others, being replaced by feet and other units. This is unfortunate because the chain, for many purposes, is a more convenient unit.

What is a Cord?

A cord is a unit of measure applied to stacked roundwood, usually pulpwood or firewood.

When to Harvest Timber? Now…, or Later?

Some forestland owners decide to harvest timber at a particular time because they are approached by a timber buyer with an offer that looks too good to pass up. Others simply might need money to tide them over a difficult time or to finance an emergency need. Decisions taken under these circumstances are not always optimal, but they do reinforce the point that the decision about "when to harvest" is controlled more by economics than by almost any other factor.

Wood Use and Society

It is not uncommon for people to believe that they use little or no wood in their everyday lives. This is understandable since many products made from wood no longer resemble wood or are used in products not often associated with wood.

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