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Sandisfield, MA 01255
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Forest Management

Drawing of White Ash leaves

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What can forest management accomplish?

People own forested land for a great variety of reasons. Most people who own forest land in New England are motivated by a love of the outdoors and the forest landscape that is so much a part of the region's history. Prior to recommending any forest management projects, Masswood talks with each landowner to ascertain his or her interests and goals for the property. The following list of possible management objectives, which is by no means all inclusive, reflects the complexity and beauty of New England's forests. Almost all landowners have more than one objective for managing their property.

Objective:

Maintain the health and biodiversity of the forest ecosystem.

Manage for:

Diversity of age classes.
Diversity of species.
Species well-adapted to the site, and resistant to insects and diseases.
Abundant regeneration of desirable canopy tree species.

   
Objective:

Produce revenue from forest products over the long term.

Manage for:

High-value commercial timber species.
Well-formed trees (straight, no branches on lower bole, etc.).
Rapid growth (healthy trees with large crowns).
Minimal competition between timber crop trees.
Woods roads that allow access to all areas managed for timber.

   
Objective:

Create or maintain wildlife habitat.

Manage for:

Wildlife openings.
Early successional habitat.
Vegetation that provides food and cover for wildlife.
Habitat structures such as brush piles and nest boxes.
Adequate density of large diameter snags.
Protection of fragile but important habitats such as vernal pools.

   
Objective:

Enhance the aesthetic value of the forest.

Manage for:

Clear views from high elevation points on the property.
Park-like appearance (open understory) in frequently visited areas.
Mixture of deciduous and evergreen species.
Views of water bodies.
Minimal disturbance caused by forest management activities.
Sight lanes in areas frequented by wildlife.

   
Objective:

Enhance the recreational value of the forest.

Manage for:

Extensive trail networks that reach areas of interest.
Access to water bodies.
Habitat for game species.

   
Objective:

Provide opportunities for research and education.

Manage for:

Opportunities to conduct research on the effects of new or unusual silvicultural treatments, particularly treatments that are designed to establish regeneration of desirable canopy tree species.
Opportunities to use the forest as a demonstration area for students and other landowners.

   
Objective:

Protect water quality.

Manage for:

Filter strips adjacent to wetlands and watercourses.
Minimal ground disturbance.
Diversity of age classes (which promotes resistance to hurricanes).
Establishment of evergreen leafscreens around water bodies.

   
Objective:

Protect land from development over the long term.

Manage for:

Granting a conservation easement to a trusted organization.
Donating the land to a trusted organization with the condition that it
will not be developed.

   
Objective:

Produce non-timber forest products.

Manage for:

Forest the desired product (e.g. maple syrup, Christmas trees, witch hazel, mountain laurel cuttings, shiitake mushrooms, ginseng, etc.)

   
Objective:

Produce firewood.

Manage for:

Include firewood thinnings near access roads as part of the management regime.

   

Photo of Red Maple Tree

Photo of Pine Woods

Photo of Ferns

Photo of Wetlands

Photo of Wetlands

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