How do you enjoy your woods? Are you a bird watcher or a hunter? Do you harvest the berries, mushrooms, or timber that it produces? Maybe you just enjoy the natural beauty of trees. Like your yard and garden, your woods need to be cared for so that they meet your needs and wants. Forests change over time. As trees and plants grow and die, other plants will grow in their place. Wildlife will change too, as their food and habitat changes. You can create and maintain a woodlot that you will enjoy by removing plants that you don’t want, planting ones that you do want, managing insects and disease, and harvesting products.
Caring for your woods can seem overwhelming, but if you start with a plan it is easier to focus on what is important to you and your family. A forest management plan organizes the work to be done so that it is fits into your budget and available time. It includes site specific maps, soils information, a detailed inventory of the plants and wildlife currently present. It lists suggested activities to meet your specific goals for the property. It also describes the expected results after making changes.
Managing your woods can be a fun and educational experience and the Shiawassee Conservation District can help! The District provides technical assistance for conservation planning on all land types, including woods, free of charge. They can also help guide you to financial assistance available through Farm Bill conservation programs to adopt conservation practices such as invasive species control and tree/shrub planting in your woods. Contact the Shiawassee Conservation District for more information.