Posted: January 14, 2020

In theory, winter is the downtime for forest landowners and can be a good time to update and evaluate your forest management plan. If your plan is older than five years, it is time to update it to meet the American Tree Farm Standards.

Monitoring wildlife can be a fun winter activity (Photo by Laura Kirt)

Monitoring wildlife can be a fun winter activity (Photo by Laura Kirt)

Contact your forester to schedule an appointment to meet and discuss the process and cost. Consult with your DCNR Service Forester about how to apply for money to help pay for a new management plan and management tasks. Once your plan is in place, if you would like to be part of the American Tree Farm system, the plan and your property will need to be inspected by a PA Tree Farm Inspector. If your forester is not a PA Tree Farm Inspector, you can find one on our website.

If your management plan was updated within the last five years, then use this downtime to organize the activities you did in 2019 and also plan tasks for 2020. If you are one of those people who says that they will be able to remember all the work they did, believe me, you won't. It is best to write it down. Many use a three-ring binder system to house the latest plan along with dates, location, task completed, and photos to document the work. In our house, we keep a journal where we include the section of the property we worked on, dates, hours, and tasks. This journal also has a map with the different plots laid out and a growth chart of the four different stands of trees where we are monitoring DBH (diameter at breast height) growth. We keep photos in a separate digital file by date. We do this for work on the property as well as educational tours, webinars, and meetings we attend that help educate us about managing our land.

Winter in Pennsylvania is a great time to monitor wildlife on your property, whether it is feeding birds outside your window or trekking the woods and looking at tracks and other signs of creatures about. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing offer quiet ways to stalk the woods for good wildlife sightings. We highly recommend trying out the new lightweight metal snowshoes. We have used the old gut snowshoes, and the newer snowshoes are easier and much more fun to use.

The PA Tree Farm Committee wishes you a joyous start to the new year.

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802