Managing Your Woodlot

February 15, 2021

Video Transcript

- It's straight up 12 o'clock. You are in the Michigan Agriculture Conference, Forestry Session with Julie Crick. Julie Crick is an MSU Extension educator, specializes in forestry and woodlots and other natural resources things. She is housed in Roscommon County. Before we begin, a farm and food safety minute. - [Narrator] Produce safety folks often talk about not being able to sanitize dirty food contact surfaces. The same is actually true for hands. Hand sanitizer isn't a replacement for hand washing for the same reason. When I use this chocolate hazelnut spread on my hands and try to clean them with sanitizer, all I manage to do is spread the chocolate around. This happens with feces on a microscopic level. When we only use sanitizer, we only spread germs around. Effective washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds does a much better job. To help gauge the length of wash time, some folks sing the happy birthday song twice or the alphabet song twice through to make sure they've done enough washing. As silly as it seems, effective hand washing is the single biggest way to prevent the spread of food borne illness in produce. Doing it right is the single biggest way to keep poop off food. - Julie, you're on. - All right. Thank you, Beth. I'm excited to be here with you all today. I hope I answer all of your questions or at least give you food for thought for further questions. And so as I'm going through the presentation, feel free to ask, stop me and ask questions. Type them in the chat and then there will be time for questions at the end. So I wanted to talk a little bit today about managing your woodlot and just give you some things to consider when you're making plans to manage your woodlot and I'd like to start off by saying that even doing nothing, letting your forest grow, is a management decision because things will change over time. And so not advocating for cutting down all the trees, but just helping you reach your goals that you have for your forest and property. MSU Extension program is open to everyone and we're glad you joined us today. And so our agenda for today is to talk about basic forest management techniques. I'll just give a brief overview of how we make, foresters make decisions about managing a woodlot or a forest. The terms are interchangeable. You'll see both terms in the presentation today. Generally, a woodlot is a smaller forested area and then a forest is kind of a vast expanse of trees across a landscape. We'll also talk about the importance of hiring a consulting forester. How do you find a consulting forester? And then points to consider in a contract to harvest trees. And then we'll talk a little bit about forestry careers at the end. And because this presentation is open to youth, I'm not sure how many children are here and how I should tailor my presentation, so I created a poll and I wondered if you could all just kind of let me know your background. Are you an adult forest landowner? Are you a youth interested in forestry or just an adult interested in forestry? And that will help me give the best presentation for everyone. Okay. Looking pretty good. It looks like most of you are adults here, but we do have a couple of children. So there you go. So I hope everybody finds this interesting and engaging. All right, I'll stop sharing those. And if it still appears on your screen, you'll have to click out of it. Let's see. So one of the basic principles that goes into forest management is forest succession. You've all seen where there's been an open patch of ground, maybe a field that used to be farmed that is no longer farmed, will always grow back to the native vegetation that was there to begin with. It starts out with some grasses and forbs, maybe some shrubs and seedlings, and then moves into pole timber and then mature timber. And so that's really what the basis of forest management is, is we're trying to restart that cycle in order to regrow or regenerate trees on the landscape. I also wanted to point it out that during all of these stages of succession, wildlife use the forest. It creates habitat. Really, wildlife is best served by a landscape that has forests of all different sizes and ages, basically. And so when we see forest management on the landscape, it doesn't mean that there's not gonna be wildlife there anymore. They haven't been scared off. We've actually seen deer feeding next to equipment that's used by timber operators and wildlife really depend on that mosaic of habitat across the landscape. So forest management actually enhances wildlife in most cases. And forest succession follows a disturbance. So as I mentioned, fallow field and agriculture, if we had a drought, maybe an insect epidemic that kills a patch of trees in the middle of a forest, creates kind of an opening that will allow that succession to restart. Wildfire does that, as do wind events or tornadoes. In fact, this picture here is a picture of four years after a straight line wind event blew through Sleeping Bear Dunes. And so you can see that it's growing back. It's in that shrub and sapling stage and the forest is returning back to where, you know, back to its normal state. Forest management or logging is also a disturbance, but it's a planned disturbance because science has told us how we can predict the outcomes of what's going to grow there, to some degree. And so whenever we do forest management or cut down trees, we're really doing that to regrow the next cohort of trees. One of the big factors in that succession or what grows back is a tree's tolerance to shade. So some trees can grow just fine from a sapling or a seedling all the way up to a mature tree under the shade of a forest canopy. Other trees can't do that very well. They require that full sun for their entire life cycle in order to reach maturity. And so you can see here, you can see here that some of our hardwoods like sugar maple and beech and basswood, and then our conifers like cedar and balsam fir can grow just fine underneath the shade of a forest canopy. Oaks need a little bit more sun. They can tolerate some shade, as well, as does white pine. And then those trees that require full sun are Jack pine, red pine, aspen, which is commonly referred to as popple throughout the state, and then paper birch. They really require conditions to be opened up in order to thrive. And so one of our first forest management techniques that we'll talk about is clearcutting. Clearcutting is usually a shock when we see it on the landscape. Doesn't usually look great the first year after it happens. But the reason why we clearcut trees in the forestry world is because it creates those full sun conditions for regeneration of the next cohort of trees. For example, if we want aspen to regrow, we'll do a clearcut and aspen will actually grow back from nodules on its roots. So it'll grow back 2,000 stems an acre and then thin itself out gradually over time. Where I live near Grayling, we have very sandy soils and those soils can reach 120 degrees in temperature. Therefore, if we want to regenerate the oak that's in my area, we have to clearcut and then we allow those stumps to sprout back up. It would be near impossible to replant oak in the sandy soils near Grayling and expect it to survive those high temperatures and those droughty conditions. We also do clearcutting for planting success. Again, in my area, we frequently replant in Jack pine and red pine, but those species need that full sun condition and so clearcutting allows us to regenerate those species. In hardwood forests, we can frequently do a gap or a group cut, usually about a quarter to three to four acres large, big, and it just opens up the forest canopy, like you can see on the picture on the left-hand side, allows more sunlight to come in, increases the growth rate of the trees that are left behind, and stimulates the growth of some of the trees that were sort of suppressed down in the understory underneath the shade. Another management technique is single tree selection and so that would be where we would go in and take one or two trees out of a forest. We would select those based on the timber quality and also on what kind of gap is going to be left behind to allow the trees that were around that to regrow or stimulate growth. And so we would do that in high quality hardwood stands. So if we're looking at, you know, oak, hickory, those types of things, you can take out single trees and actually help single trees every 10 to 20 years and then that would keep that timber cycle kind of going throughout time. This is also used for timber stand improvement, which just means that if you have a forest that has kind of reached a plateau which the trees aren't really putting on much more girth, you can do single tree selection and it'll help increase that growth rate of those trees that are left behind. Another technique focuses on the tree you're going to keep rather than the trees you're going to take and that's called crop tree release. And this could be done in an area where you're a sugar bush, where you might be tapping the sugar maple trees and you'd like those sugar maple trees to have the largest crown available so that it produces a lot of sap and has a lot of sugars in the sap or in an area that you're managing for wildlife, maybe an oak tree that you'd like to release so that it'll produce more acorns in the future. And basically what it requires is you choose a single tree as your crop tree. That's the one you're going to keep. And then you can release the crown or the branches, the leaves at the top, release it on one, two, three, or four sides, allowing that tree to grow faster because of the reduced competition. And you can see how trees compete for just about everything that's around them. So by reducing that competition around your crop tree, that tree will grow larger in a shorter amount of time. This is kind of a summary of our forest management techniques. You can see how clearcutting, again, lets that full sunlight reach the ground in order to regenerate those sun-loving species. A patch cut or a group selection are kind of the same thing, you know, just cutting out patches of the forest and then allowing them to regrow, creating that increased wildlife habitat because you have different forest structure, not just the uniform forest structure that was there previously. Seed trees, sometimes when we do a clearcut we might leave behind a few trees in the middle of the clearcut in order for them to produce seed and then to have that natural regeneration. Shelterwood is one step up from seed tree because we leave a little bit more trees to shelter the remaining trees from wind, different conditions, maybe some shade to cool down the soil for those regenerating trees. And then again, the single tree selection that we would do in a high quality hardwood stand. So what's the best technique for your woodlot or forest? Certainly depends on your goals, but how would you know? There's a lot of information out there. And so in this presentation, I wanted to focus more about how to get in touch with the forester rather than teaching you everything that a forester knows. We have 30 minutes, and so I wanted to kind of give you some tips on how you can best work with a forester and some things to consider. Maybe you haven't really heard about what a forester does and we're gonna learn what today. And so this whole presentation is based on, we call it needs analysis. I receive questions week for people who maybe somebody knocked on their door offering them money to buy their trees. But how do they know it's a fair price? How much is my woods worth? People often call and ask that. Can somebody come out to tell me more about my woods? What's going on there? Or are my trees ready to harvest? I get those calls all throughout the year and so my answer every time is the same. Contact a forester. Have a forester work with you on your property and help answer some of those questions. And so this next portion of the presentation is based on this bulletin that is available to you, free to download. There's a link to all of these resources at the end of the presentation. We'll be sure and share those with you. The bulletin is called "Hiring a Consulting Forester" and really describes why you would want to hire a consulting forester and what benefits you'll receive. We'll go through some highlights here in just a minute in the next few slides. So why work with a consulting forester? Foresters have professional knowledge about forests, about forest ecology and how they're going to change over time, regardless of what we do. And that's probably management decision to do nothing actually does help the forest change. It's going to change. Forester has professional knowledge about forest management, about road building, enhancing habitat your forest provides, the timber markets. If you want to sell your black walnut trees, but all of the mills nearby within a 100-mile radius are saturated with black walnut, you probably don't want to sell those today. You might want to wait two years. And a forester is gonna have a handle on what trees are marketable at this time. They'll tell you if you need to wait. They'll tell you if you can go now, if you can take the trees out now and still get a good profit. And so forester really hones in on what markets are viable at this time. Forester will also help you with harvesting contracts and then managing that contract to be sure that over time, you know, that the harvest goes to plan, that trees aren't damaged, and the forest looks like you want it to when the harvest is complete, if you choose to do a harvest. It only takes a moment to damage a tree or to damage a forest and the ecology of a forest and a forester will make sure that your forest is sustainable to grow in the long term and doesn't get set back by a harvest, rather, it's pushed forward because you're one step closer to regenerating the trees that you'd like. Consulting foresters do cost money. As with any service that we rely on, you do have to pay for a consulting forester, but here's what your money buys. You get advice on what's appropriate. That person that knocked on your door offering money for your trees today may not really have your best interests at hand and a consulting forester is working for you. They provide that service directly to you. There's a reduced risk of adverse effects of a harvest, again, making sure that your forest is sustainable and the way you want it to be in the long term. Generally, there's higher revenues from a harvest that's managed by a consulting forester. So, in a sense, that consulting forester pays for him or herself through that harvest. And they're marketing trees to the logger with the best equipment or the most appropriate equipment for the job and that's why I included this Feller Buncher on the right-hand side. Out for a single tree selection harvest, you probably wouldn't want this giant machine running through your forest. This is more for a clearcut or a seed tree cut. This machine here is made to take down a lot of trees in a short amount of time. And then again, avoiding that damage to the trees onsite is what a forester is gonna do for you. So when you're thinking about hiring a forester, the first thing, always keep in mind, forester works for you. And so the first thing the forester should ask you is what are your goals for the property? And I'm gonna bet that that person that knocks on your door offering you money is not gonna ask you what your goals are. They're just gonna say, hey, here's $10,000. Sign the contract. And that's not usually the best interest, ever is the best interest. Those are the stories I hate to hear about is when people kind of went through that process because it never turns out well, usually doesn't turn out well. So a forester should always ask you what your goals are for the property and then they'll give you advice based on where you want to see this property in 10, 20, 50 years. As with any service provider, always meet with several people before you choose one person. You don't have to meet with the first person that calls you back. Find out, as you're talking with this person, do they speak your language? Are they using terms that are over your head or are they taking time to explain the terms that they're using and the concepts that they're using? Make sure they have a degree from an accredited university. Check references. Accredited university is Michigan State, Michigan Tech. They're both accredited. Purdue, Wisconsin, all around. So go ahead and ask where they got their degree. Check their references. It's okay to do that. They should be happy to provide you with some references. And then something else to think about is are they an independent business person? Do they work for themselves or as a consulting forester for their boss or are they really a forester that's working for a mill? Little bit of a difference. Not saying that all foresters that work for mills aren't great guys. I know of several that work here in Grayling at the warehouse or plant. I recommend them every day. But it's just something to consider, you know, are they really thinking about your goals first or is it who they're working for first? And then are they active in professional associations? And that just speaks to their dedication to sustainable forestry in the longterm. Remember, this is a lifelong relationship that's gonna benefit you and the forest and so be sure you choose somebody that you really enjoy being around. How do you find a consulting forester? That's a tough one. We were talking before and they really aren't usually listed in the Yellow Pages, but there are several places where you can find them. And like I said, links to all of these different providers are at the end of this presentation. There is actually a nationwide Association of Consulting Foresters. It's by invitation only, so it's a pretty elite group of foresters and they do take a pledge to maintain certain ethics as they're working. The DNR maintains a Find a Forester website. Michigan Department of Agriculture has foresters by county and I'll go into that in the next, I actually go into the Forestry Assistance Program in the next slide, but there are several ways that you can find a forester. If you're lucky enough to own forested property in one of the counties colored in a color across the state of Michigan, you would have access to the Forestry Assistance Program and this is a program that's managed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDARD, and they're actually grant funded. And so they work through the conservation districts and it's their job to come out, to meet with you, to learn more about your goals, provide guidance, options, and advice. And then they actually run a referral service so that you can be without your name or your property location being advertised, they can put your property sort of what types of trees are in your forest, what you're looking for on a referral board and then local service providers can say, yes, I'd like to talk to that person. You end up with a list of actual service providers that you can then call and then people who actually know about the job that they're kind of bidding on. And again, they're employed through local conservation districts. So if you are in one of these counties that's shaded, go ahead and call your conservation district and find out what sort of forestry services are available to you. The next part of the presentation, I'll talk a little bit more about timber contracts. And again, this is based off of this bulletin, "Understanding the Sample Timber Sale Contract." I included this with some hesitation. I don't recommend that this, reading this bulletin will allow you to go out and manage your own timber sale. Rather, it would inform you as you're working with a forester on what should or maybe shouldn't be included and a forester would help you finalize that contract. This is about an eight-page bulletin. And like I said, I don't think it's the be all end all, but definitely a resource that can help you understand a little bit more about what's going into a timber contract. And so a brief overview here, what's in a harvesting contract? You know it lays out the who, what, where, when, and how of a forest management event. It spells out the remedies in the event of a dispute. It also specifies how trees are marked. In some cases, you know, there's just little nuances in the language. Are you going to take out all trees that are over 16 inches in diameter? Is that 16 inches in diameter at the base of the tree? Or is that a diameter at breast height, where most foresters work? If you're taking 16 inches at the base of the tree, a lot of trees flare out at the bottom. That means you're gonna be losing a lot more trees than you could imagine if you measure 16 inches of the base. And so really, those little specifics that can kind of just run by you if you didn't really know can catch you by surprise if you sign a contract and you aren't really understanding exactly what's there or that there's even an option, you know, 16 inches, what else could it mean? You know? And so there, it really is important to work with a forester. The contract will help you avoid conflicts and misunderstandings and then outline what is reasonable. I'm not sure what's reasonable and I wouldn't know which language in a contract is reasonable. I would want a forester to work with me on that just to be sure that I understand what is reasonable and what's being laid out. A few more things to consider if you are thinking about having a management event on your property is that you've gotta be sure that your property boundaries are set. Foresters are not surveyors. In fact, they are not allowed by law to act as a surveyor. And so they're going to rely on what's on the landscape, your land description, those types of things, but in the event of a dispute, you really want to be sure that you've had a professional survey done so that there isn't any kind of a dispute once the harvest is ongoing. You can talk to your neighbors, too. That's always a good idea. Decide with them where the property boundary is. Still a little risky if it's not in writing and not laid out by a professional surveyor, depending on who your neighbors are, but you know, really, you'd want to have a professional out there laying out exactly where the boundaries are. And then let your neighbors know what you're doing. Just in general, that's a good practice. You know, if they all of a sudden see machinery in your backyard or in the back woodlot and they don't know, they may not enjoy that. They may take it better if they're pre-warned and have been talked to about why you made the decisions you made and what's going to happen in the future. What are your plans for that forest? Finally, you know, you can visit a logging site. Take a look at what's going on. Ask your forester to arrange for you to go out on someplace that's actively being harvested, and that way you can kind of get a sense of how it goes. Learn through experience. It may be a little more difficult to do, but not impossible and I would highly recommend it just so you have a sense of what will be going on on your property. Finally, I wanted to wrap up with a little bit more about Michigan's forest industry. Michigan's forest industry is the third-largest industry in Michigan. It contributes $20 billion annually to our economy and supports over 100,000 jobs. And so a little selfless plug for myself. I do a 4-H forestry camp in the summertime where I host youth and then introduce them to the basic forest management techniques we've discussed here, as well as the number of careers that are available to in the forest industry. It's not just foresters or loggers. It's the people who drive the truck, the people who maintain the truck. Frequently, out on logging sites, there's a whole mechanics truck sitting there so that they can fix things on site without having to move the equipment again. We have saw mill operators and if you think about it, somebody's gotta sharpen all the saws in that sawmill and that's a full-time job, sometimes for two or three people. Log graters, so looking at the log and determining how it can be used or manipulated into timber products. Engineers help set up the whole operation of how a log moves through a mill. Nursery managers, ecologists, timber cruisers. And there's more. You could be a historian. This is Hillary Pine at Hartwick Pines, giving a tour. An equipment operator, wildland firefighter, or a researcher or an ecologist. There's a lot of different careers available in forestry and if you're thinking about your career or have children or grandchildren who are thinking about a career, I highly recommend the forestry careers. And so here are the resources. I just wanted to show you those. Couple of pages of those, including links to, believe it or not, videos. Two of my colleagues, Georgia Peterson and Bill Cook, have been busy for the past couple of years explaining the forest industry in Michigan in five-minute bits. And so I highly recommend visiting this and sort of watching these just five-minute videos tell you how paper's made, tree identification, all kinds of different things. And so there's a link to those videos here, as well. And finally, opening up for questions. Does anybody have any questions or comments? I haven't read the chat yet, so. - [Participant] Julie, is there a landing page that people viewing this presentation can go to to click on those links that you showed us? - There is not. Those links change with time and so I don't have a landing page. Is there a way that I can email those out to folks, or? - [Beth] I think that we could send it to Betsy Braid, the coordinator, and she can make sure that links go out to people who attended, are registered and attended the session. I also included several links. The three I felt that were the most important, top of the list links are in the chat. The two bulletins and the links for finding a forester in Michigan DNR, so that's the easiest way, Julie, is to just kind of put those links right in the chat for folks. They can copy and paste those from that. Folks can ask questions or make comments either in the chat or you're welcome to open your microphone and ask it live. - Hello? - Yes, we can hear you. - Yes. I grew up on a farm in upstate New York and we had the same forester and still have the same forester that did it when I was a child. Now, I'm almost 50 now. He's getting up there in age and he trained his son and his son graduated from Cornell and he's now picking up where his father left off. It is a generational business and we have always done selective harvests on our property. It's 200 acres and it's made a huge difference in the revenue generated. We are now considered prime harvest and we get the top dollar for everything in our forest and I highly recommend the selective harvest and building a relationship with you, your family, and your forester so you have succession planning in your forest. - Absolutely. Thank you for that plug. Yeah. - [Beth] So Gretchen mentions in the chat, well, she said it was eyeopening information, but then she also mentioned shelter for horses, but we could be doing so much more and I just want to stretch that out. Julie, can you make a comment about folks that are using their woodlots and forest for livestock and how they can help keep the trees healthy and yet still use that as additional shelter for their livestock? - Mm-hmm, absolutely. And it's something that I'm actually involved in introducing here to Michigan residents and that we've worked with Cornell on and to learn more about, it's called silvopasture. And so silvo is treated and pasture is obviously pasture for livestock. And the way we recommend that is a lot of foresters, when they hear that you're gonna put livestock in the woods are just, euh, ah, because livestock left in a woodlot or around trees will compact the ground and will kill the tree. It will create a bad situation. And so with silvopasture, it's more, it's high intensity, tensely managed grazing. So you wouldn't leave the horses or the goats or the cows in one area in the forest. You would move them around. You'd have several paddocks. You'd move them around, only keep them in one area for two to three days at a time. And that way, they're not compacting. You're allowing the grass and the vegetation to regrow. It's a very sustainable system. The animals are staying cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and therefore, they're putting on more body weight. They're more healthy because of that temperance that the forest canopy provides. And so definitely a great system, but not the same as allowing livestock to just roam the woods on their own. A lot of management involved. I hope that answered your question. We are trying to promote that and so hopefully we'll see more of that. And I'm in the chat now, Beth. So it looks like our programs through the FSA, Farm Service Agency, that would reimburse part of the expenses. Yeah, there are. Not sure through FSA. The conservation district, foresters who work on those conservation districts, the Forestry Assistance Program are free. They come to you at no cost and so they're available to provide advice, but not provide services like writing a forest management plan or helping with a harvest. They're not for profit, basically. They're just there for advice. There are programs that help reimburse for the cost of creating a forest management plan. There's the Forest Stewardship Program with the DNR as well as NRCS will help you pay for that initial step. Forest management plan is usually about a 20-to-25-year roadmap of what you're going to harvest on your forest or on your land in the future. And so there are programs for that but generally if you've hired a forester and you're working through a harvest or something along those lines, the forester is going to get paid as part of the harvest. Most consulting foresters work that way or they work on an hourly basis or per job. Are there any programs where landowners get paid to maintain a forest? There are some tax incentive programs through the state of Michigan that allow you to have a lower tax rate on a property that is forested, is managed, and will remain forested. The Qualified Forest Program is that program. QFP, Qualified Forest Program. Did you record this? I have students coming into class and would like to show the presentation to them. If so, where would I find it? I think that's Beth. I'm not sure you'll find it today, but-- - [Beth] Yeah, it's being recorded and it will be made available. It probably will take a week or so to get them all processed and edited and up for viewing, but I can make sure. Mark, if you would like to send me your email address, I will put my email address in there. - Excellent. - [Beth] And then if you would like to send me a reminder email address, I will specifically send the link directly to you when it's available. - Looks like Muriel and both Christopher have about five acres or smaller. A couple of the management techniques that would be best suited for those smaller acreages are that crop tree management, being sure that you're managing for the trees that you'd like to keep in there. Invasive species removal is another. And then in a five-acre woodlot, I would almost consider planting some trees, too, just to increase the diversity and would also increase the habitat that's available for that five acres. Just depends on what it looks like and what your goals are, again, for that five acre property. And Muriel, I will point out that silvopasture is not limited to cows. I've seen ducks in silvopastural systems. And so just a thought. Muriel is one of our colleagues. Certainly, you can show this presentation to any group that you'd like. And then forest diseases such as elm and ash disease, what to do, how to manage. Elm, Dutch Elm disease is still on the landscape. Frequently when Elm trees grow, they'll get Dutch Elm disease at about the 20- or 30-year mark, if not before. Ash, Emerald Ash borer is still here and so probably will be. I would recommend diversifying forests that have tree species. Certainly, if you have a live elm or a live ash, I wouldn't cut it down, but I would make sure that there are other species of trees growing up in the woodlot around it so that if, likely when those trees do succumb to the diseases or invasive pests, that you'll have trees that remain in the area and it won't be such a disturbance or a shift in the forest type or a vacuum that nature will fill on its own when you lose those species. Conservation reserve program to get paid. Is there a federal tax incentive for forest management? I don't think that there's a federal tax one, but the state tax incentive program is that qualified forest program. I've never heard of federal. Want to point out something I didn't cover is that there are, when you manage, when you have a harvest that you make money on, there are certain ways to file your taxes in order to be sure that it's filed correctly. And there are forest tax consultants that are available to help you with that paperwork and or your forester may be able to help with that paperwork depending on their expertise, so definitely ask about that. The name of the forest for the animals is silvopasture. Yep, that's exactly what it is. S-I-L-V-O-P-A-S-T-U-R-E. Microsoft will tell you it's not spelled correctly, but that is indeed the term that we use. How could a forester help develop a plan to speed a pasture forest to a forest? To speed pasture. Oh, so-- - I could clarify. - Thank you. - Yeah, just right now, you know, our farm's been retired for many years, but we have a lot of open fields and as generational planning, I actually would rather we don't have any need for the fields, but to plant trees in the fields and reforest the property. It was forested pre-1800 but has been clearcut since 1830s. - Sure. That is someone that I would, I would actually refer you to both your conservation district, regardless of what county you're in, because they usually sell trees. They have tree sales. And then with your NRCS representative. Natural Resources Conservation Service is NRCS. I'm not sure they have cost share for converting a land use, so taking it, you know, putting it back into forest, but they can certainly help you with the web soil survey so that you choose the right tree species for the soil that's actually existing on that property. And so they help you develop a plan for that. - [Beth] That's what I would recommend, too. Make sure that you select a variety and number of species to create diversity because diversity is stability. And then yes, make sure that you match the species with the soil type and where you are in the tension line in Michigan. Michigan has two types of tree sets. In the North, there's Northern trees and in the Southern part of Michigan there's like mixed wood, hardwood forests. So depending upon where you reside on that, what they call the tension line in the state of Michigan, is gonna dictate the type of ecological system you're gonna establish. - I hope that answered Kim's question about what types of trees do you put in for diversity. Find out what's on your property. find out what your property can support. The web soil survey, NRCS can help you find that web soil survey for your property and it will generate a list of trees that are best suited for the soil types on your property. Beeches affected by beech bark disease, which is a scale insect and then it allows fungus to come in and a lot of the beech trees are being affected by that. They are dying because of that beech scale. But the good news is is that we're seeing, in some areas where beech trees are infected, entirely infected, there are some resistant trees growing. And so limbs from those trees are actually sticks. Twigs from those trees are being harvested and grafted onto beech root stock so that hopefully we'll have a resistant beech tree in the future. So, yes, but they are. If you have beech in your forest and they're affected by beech bark disease, probably gonna recommend a harvest, your forester probably would, just to get them out now. Is there any info on protecting young trees from deer? They would be eaten very quickly. Norman, you may have to consider some fencing or some tree tree cages or something along those lines in order to protect them from deer, especially if you're doing it in an open field. What type of trees do you put in for diversity for elm and ash that have diseases? You'd want to work with your conservation district on what trees they sell because you'll probably be putting in some small trees. You'll probably want to protect them from deer. And then generally, elm and ash grow in wet site conditions, so you'd be looking for trees that are adaptable to wet sites, sugar maple, basswood, red maple, willow. Those types of trees would probably be the best ones to reforest in an area that had ash and elm. Any of the tree diseases that would be harmful to your livestock? There are not tree diseases, but some trees are harmful to livestock. I believe cherry is not good for livestock and so you want to be sure that you have a list of those and make sure that you work to identify all the trees in your forest so that you don't have anything that your livestock will eat. I'm not sure about work on Dutch Elm disease. I believe that might be at the forest service level. My email's right here. If you'd like to email me, I can look into a forest service connection that may be interested in learning more about elm trees that are older that haven't had Dutch Elm disease. I think that's all the chat. Any other questions? Well, thank you all for attending and for great questions and yeah, just being interested in managing a woodlot. I really appreciate the fact that people are taking an interest and not just kind of going out there and doing things. - [Beth] Thank you for attending again and have an amazing day. (upbeat music)

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