Northwest Natural Resources Group: Best Practices for a New Year

The Northwest Natural Resource Group recently published a newsletter explaining some Best Practices for forest management in 2018! The video below is a message from Kirk Hanson the Forestry director of Northwest Natural Resource Group.

You can do many simple things to make your forest attract more wildlife, provide recreation, and contribute to its own upkeep. As you plan for the new year, remember your forest and learn more about these fun and productive stewardship practices to improve its health and enhance its beauty. Getting out in the woods is also good for your own well-being!

Get to Know Your Forest – becoming familiar with your forest and tracking changes over time can provide insight into the workings and needs of your land. Keep an eye out for: tree species and abundance, tree size and age, seedlings and saplings, understory growth, dead and down wood, wildlife indicators, streams and wetlands, and trail and road conditions.

Enrich Habitat – many landowner actions can make their forest more wildlife friendly, by keeping or creating dead wood, protecting water bodies, planting forage shrubs, installing nesting boxes, and growing an assortment of trees at varying densities.

Provide Dead Wood – in areas with less than 4 down logs and 4 snags per acre, consider creating them or building habitat piles and constructed logs.

Control Invasives – weeds can completely take over the forest understory, crowding out native plants. Learn to identify invasive plants and apply the ideal control method to weed them out!

Protect Soils – you can increase soil nutrients in the forest by retaining or planting hardwoods, retaining organic debris on the forest floor, and using heavy equipment only during the dry season.

Thin Dense Stands – areas crowded with stressed trees may need thinning to restore the light and space needed for healthy growth. Remove suppressed trees with small diameters, defects, or a live crown less than 30% of total height. Thin trees to a density of about 250-300 trees per acre (12-15 feet between trees). 

Check out our new handout, Do-It-Yourself Ways to Steward a Healthy, Beautiful Forest, for tips and tricks on applying these practices in your forest!

Ryan Palmateer