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2016

Sustainable Tree Harvesting
December 15, 2016
Taking the time to understand forest development and how harvesting decisions can change a woodland for the next 100 years warrants careful consideration. Don’t fall prey to the idea that all you have to do is cut the big trees and the little ones will grow just as big and healthy.
Forest Green and Other Woodland Lessons
December 13, 2016
For the members of the Beaverdale Sportsmen’s Association in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, the conglomeration of green leaves and woody vegetation on their property were thought to indicate a healthy and productive forest…green is good…or is it?
Creating Healthy Woods and Improved Deer Habitat through Forest Thinning
December 13, 2016
If your reasons for owning your woods include creating healthy woods and improving deer habitat, a thinning may be the right forest management practice to consider.
Devastating wildfires in Eastern forests likely to be repeated, expert warns
December 13, 2016
The intense wildfires that swept through the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee late last month were a tragic melding of the past and the future, according to a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Landscape Stewardship Website
December 13, 2016
The US Forest Service’s Northeastern Area’s Landscape Stewardship Website is a great place to find helpful resources for forest landowners and foresters.
Forest Matters Newsletter
December 13, 2016
The US Forest Service’s Northeastern Area publishes its Forest Matters Newsletter in the summer and winter of each year.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – December 2016
December 13, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
James Henry, A Pennsylvania Advocate for Forested Buffers – In 1883
November 14, 2016
Now deceased 121 years, James Henry (1809-1895) is one of Pennsylvania’s unsung pioneer conservation heroes, and among the very first Pennsylvanians to make original and progressive contributions to the protection and enhancement of the aquatic resources of the state.
2016 Timber Tax Tips
November 14, 2016
This report provides up-to-date federal income tax information affecting timber transactions. It assists woodland owners, logging professionals, foresters and their tax accountants in filing the 2016 tax returns. The information presented here is for educational purpose only and is not intended for legal or accounting advice. It is current as of September 30, 2016.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – November 2016
November 14, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Fallen Leaves? An argument for not raking
October 25, 2016
Autumn beauty can sure leave a mess behind! Change your mindset about the value of those fallen leaves.
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
October 13, 2016
This article is the last from William C. Paxton, our dendrology specialist, after his passing this past April. We hope you've enjoyed learning from Bill's spirit of inquiry about all things woods!
A Walk in the Woods
October 13, 2016
Bill Paxton submitted his most recent post on Hackberry several months prior to his passing this past April. When it came time to type the article into the newsletter, we were pleased to discover a poem he had included with this submission. We hope you enjoy it and remember Bill with fondness.
PA Forest Stewards Volunteers Awarded the 2016 Rothrock Award
October 13, 2016
This year, as the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Volunteer Program celebrates its 25th year of delivering the forest stewardship message to an enormous audience of other forest landowners, we are pleased to share that they have been awarded the 2016 Joseph Trimble Rothrock Award for Forest Conservation.
Pennsylvania Forestry Association News
October 13, 2016
Updates from PFA - October 2016
Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee Notes
October 13, 2016
Updates from the PA Tree Farm Committee - October 2016
Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee Updates
October 13, 2016
Updates from the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee
A New Threat to Beech Trees in Pennsylvania?
October 13, 2016
As if American beech weren’t afflicted enough, a new disease - simply called Beech Leaf Disease - may soon affect trees in Pennsylvania’s forests!
Invasive Species Highlight: Japanese Barberry
October 13, 2016
The invasive shrub, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) was first introduced from Japan around 1875. This species has been a favorite ornamental shrub in yards, as hedges, and along highways because of its scarlet fruit and orange-red autumn foliage.
3rd Biennial Forest Landowners Conference
October 13, 2016
Registration is now open!
The Center for Private Forests Personnel
October 13, 2016
The Center for Private Forests has existed since 2011. These are the people who undertake the research and do the work of the Center. We thought you might like to get to know them a little better.
End-of-Year Charitable Giving
October 13, 2016
As you make plans for your end-of-year charitable giving, please consider making a donation to the Center for Private Forests at Penn State in support of its work and to help us build capacity and products.
Holiday Shopping Guide
October 13, 2016
Items that support the Center for Private Forests at Penn State might just be the perfect gift for the woods-lover in your household...
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – October 2016
October 13, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Trees and Drought
September 27, 2016
In Pennsylvania, we have had an extraordinarily hot and dry summer. Imagine what it is like to have your roots anchoring you in one place and depending on rain from the sky to ensure there is adequate moisture in the soil to keep you working. What happens when there is not enough?
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – September 2016
September 14, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Future of Pennsylvania's State Forests Outlined in Resource Management Plan
September 14, 2016
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the plan that will chart the course of Pennsylvania's future state forests has been finalized and is now available on the DCNR website.
Dappled Light and Shades of Green
August 29, 2016
Ferns, low growing shrubs and trees, and canopy trees all change the quantity of light, but they also change the quality of light.
Pennsylvania Team Competes at National 4-H Forestry Invitational
August 22, 2016
Pennsylvania was one of 17 state teams that competed in the 37th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 31, through Thursday, August 4.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – August 2016
August 22, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Poison Hemlock Information for Landowners
August 22, 2016
Poison Hemlock is aggressively spreading in many regions of Pennsylvania.
Weather, Woodlands, and Preparing for Uncertainty
July 22, 2016
Looking around the places where we live and work, it does not take long to find at least one sign of trees that are stressed by a shortage of rainfall across Pennsylvania.
The Best Honey in the World: Sourwood (Oxydendrum sp.)
July 14, 2016
Editor’s Note: Bill Paxton passed away on April 22, 2016. In his many years crafting the dendrology column, he covered myriad species naturally occurring in the state. He was always working ahead on his writing and drawings so this piece represents the second to last we have in hand to share with you. We will miss Bill’s passion and curiosity for plants and his willingness to share his enthusiasm with others in an engaging and welcoming manner. Please keep his family in your thoughts and send a quiet thank you to Bill for all that he shared over the years.
New Forest Science Fact Sheet on Fern Impacts and Control
July 14, 2016
Penn State Forest Resources Extension has just released the third in a series of Forest Science Fact Sheets. The latest in the series, entitled Controlling Understory Fern Competition for Regeneration Success, provides in-depth practical information on issues surrounding understory fern abundance.
The Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee Supports Well-Educated Timber Harvesters
July 14, 2016
Well educated and prepared timber harvesters are critical to the management of Pennsylvania’s forests.
Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee Second Quarter Updates
July 14, 2016
US Green Building Council Announces New Pathway to Encourage Environmentally Responsible Forest Management in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee Notes
July 14, 2016
Second Quarter updates from the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee.
New Penn State Extension Forestry Educator
July 14, 2016
Penn State Extension is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kimberly Bohn to the position of Extension Forestry Educator based in McKean County.
Woodland Nature Journal—Tracking Changes Through the Seasons
July 14, 2016
The Center for Private Forests at Penn State is pleased to introduce our newly-published Woodland Nature Journal-Tracking Changes Through the Seasons.
For Your Library: Last Stand Lessons
July 14, 2016
Last Stand is a rare three-in-one book that works. It is an excellent biography of an important American scientist and conservationist (George Bird Grinnell), a thoughtful history book about the decimation of North America’s buffalo herds, and an interesting exploration into the human psyche concerning the tragedy of the commons, in this case why people were willing to kill off the last few buffaloes even though they knew the next one they killed might well be the last.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – July 2016
July 14, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – June 2016
June 17, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Describing Sustainable Timber Harvesting: What Do Words Mean?
June 15, 2016
From a sustainability perspective, there are right ways and wrong ways to cut trees. A well-planned and executed timber sale focuses on two outcomes: What are you leaving to manage in the future (the residual)? Or, what will or have you done to establish or release regeneration (the next forest)?
New Leaves on Trees: Will They or Won’t They Show?
May 17, 2016
Driving around Pennsylvania this time of year, we’ve seen or are starting to see leaf bud break on many trees. Leaf out gives a good idea of what should be happening, but maybe isn’t.
Why the Forestry “Profession” Should Harshly Criticize High-Grading
May 16, 2016
High-graded acreage is a primary driver impeding movement toward sustained yield. Once a woodlot is high-graded, poor quality timber will occupy the site for generations before another harvest producing high-quality products can occur.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – May 2016
May 16, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Planning Trails for Your Woodlands
May 16, 2016
A good, well-planned, designed, constructed, and maintained trail system through your woodlands can provide many positive benefits.
Pennsylvania Needs Future Forest Stewards
May 16, 2016
Penn State Extension offers a new program to teach youth about forests and the concept of good forest stewardship.
A Look at Forest Health—Simple Steps to Help Evaluate the Woods Nearby
April 21, 2016
Now—before the trees are fully leaved—is an ideal time to observe factors that help to describe forest health.
Pennsylvania’s Magnolias (Magnolia spp.)
April 14, 2016
Learn about the magnolias that occur in the state.
PA SFI Implementation Committee Back in Forest Leaves
April 14, 2016
Updates from the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee - Spring 2016.
Spring: A Great Time to Scout for Invasive Plants
April 14, 2016
Drive down any country road or take a walk in your favorite woodlot and you'll probably find non-native plant species beginning to show themselves this spring.
Brushpiles: Beckets Run Woodlands and Forest Management Certification
April 14, 2016
Brushpiles is the opinion page of Forest Leaves. It’s a place for you to write in and share your reactions and thoughts. This piece was written by Raul Chiesa and Janet Sredy, managers and owners of Beckets Run Woodlands and the 2015 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.
Newly Revised Forestry Herbicide Publication Available
April 14, 2016
The publication entitled Herbicides and Forest Vegetation Management: Controlling Unwanted Trees, Brush, and Other Competing Forest Vegetation, originally published in 2005, is newly revised. This full-color publication examines the use of forestry labeled herbicides to manage woodland vegetation.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – April 2016
April 14, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Wooded Landscapes Have Very Few Fences
March 18, 2016
The limits or boundaries of a landscape are difficult to describe, as one property borders another and yet another. In many ways, we are all neighbors and the decisions we make move across the landscape like ripples from a stone tossed into a pond.
Eastern U.S. forests more vulnerable to drought than before 1800s
March 17, 2016
Since the 1930s, the composition of forests in the region has changed markedly. Drought-sensitive, fire-intolerant tree species, such as maple, birch and hemlock, have become more prominent, and drought-resistant, fire-adapted species, such as oak, hickory and pine, have declined.
Experimental biomass harvest a step toward sustainable, biofuels-powered future
March 17, 2016
The first harvest of 34 acres of fast-growing shrub willow from a Penn State demonstration field this winter is a milestone in developing a sustainable biomass supply for renewable energy and bio-based economic development, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – March 2016
March 17, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – February 2016
February 15, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
PA Gov. Wolf Announces Task Force to Maximize Job Creation in PA Forest Products Industry
February 15, 2016
Acting on recommendations of Governor Tom Wolf, a panel of forestry experts from private, public and academic sectors kicked off a series of meetings to analyze current limitations to forest conservation and job growth, and to develop an action plan to address both objectives.
Creating a Woods Mission: Giving Voice to the Trees
February 11, 2016
If one of the biggest hurdles for legacy planning for those who wish to keep the land in their family is family communications, how do you take an understanding your hopes and intentions for your woodland and turn them into a statement of commitment and action?
Making a Plan—Learning and Caring for Your Woods Through the Year
January 21, 2016
This relatively quiet time of the year is also perfect to plan for woodland activities that can be done in spring, summer, and fall.
Ash-Leaved Maple or Boxelder (Acer negundo)
January 14, 2016
Of all the trees, the one few landscapers ever use is ash-leaved maple. With close observation, these trees often have poor shape and often have multiple-trunks resulting from breakage.
Center for Private Forests Promoting Forest Regeneration through Conservation Innovation Grant
January 14, 2016
The Center for Private Forests at Penn State recently applied for and was awarded a highly competitive national Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address one of Pennsylvania’s top forest health concerns—the lack of adequate forest regeneration as forests mature.
2015 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
January 14, 2016
The 2015 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year are Harold and Gay Thistle from Waynesburg, Greene County, in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Climate Change Threatens Pennsylvania’s Forests
January 14, 2016
The majestic forests that Pennsylvanians are familiar with today won’t be the forests that future generations know because of global climate change, says John Quigley, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners – January 2016
January 14, 2016
Throughout the month we receive notice of interesting and relevant research and items. These items come from partner organizations. We'll use this space to share these items with you.
New App Could Turn Outdoor Enthusiasts into Citizen-Scientists
January 14, 2016
If you enjoy wildlife, fishing, nature walks, paddle sports and other streamside activities, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences now is giving you a chance to parlay those interests into becoming a citizen-scientist by observing and recording environmental and ecosystem changes. The only tool needed is a pencil or smartphone.
Igniting the Spark: Encouraging Kids to Spend Time in the Forest
January 14, 2016
“If getting our kids out into nature is a search for perfection, or is one more chore, then the belief in perfection and the chore defeats the joy. It's a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it's even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it's a lot more fun.”― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder