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Understanding Your Forest Inventory

Do you know what trees are in your forest?  If you know what trees you have, do you know how big they are? If you answered no to either of these questions, then you might consider attending the Forest Measurement & Inventory Workshop scheduled for May 1st from 6-8 pm.  This event will take place at the Manning Field Station at DePauw University Nature Park in Greencastle.  Individuals will learn how to identify trees, develop a tree inventory, measure trees, and much more.  To register for this free program, please call 765-653-8411 or register online. This program will require walking over slightly rough terrain.

There are many benefits to having a healthy forest. Some of these benefits include being a habitat for wildlife, watershed protection, recreational space, and timber income. However, a lot of forest are not managed properly and suffer from neglect. Forest that are neglected may not have ideal plant species growing in them, may not be a suitable habitat for wildlife, is a stressful environment for plant life, can be overly dense and populated with slow growing trees, and does not provide the owner with a source of income. Learning how to identify and understand the trees on your property is a key step in developing a healthy forest.

A common way to protect, sustain, and improve forest health is through timber stand improvement (TSI). TSI involves a combination of tree thinning, girdling and pruning for multiple resource benefits with an emphasis on timber and wildlife values depending on stand location and site-specific management objectives. To start doing TSI, you should begin by developing a forestry management plan where you identify your goals and/or objectives for your forest. Some potential goals and/or objectives include:

  • Improve overall forest health
  • Increase potential timber income
  • Enhanced hunting
  • Control soil erosion
  • Develop alternative income enterprises such as maple syrup, forest herbs, etc.

To learn more about what may be in your forest and develop an understanding of how trees are measured, please consider attending the Forest Measurement and Inventory Workshop on May 1st.  This program is sponsored by Purdue Extension and the Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District.  This program will help prepare you to assess the overall health of your forest, potentially develop TSI goals, and be more aware of the potential income source you may have on your property.

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