Finding out about managing a woodlot

Jim Pedersen, Hastings Stewardship Council co-ordinator and professional forestry consultant Herman Ebbers led a tour of Jack and Christiane Locke’s woodlot near Hoard’s Station. This was part of the very successful 2010 Trenton Woodlot Conference on November 19.  
The Locke family had owned the broadleaved woodlot since 1855. The 35 acres woodlot had been harvested in 1970 and had had a light harvest in 1995. Jim Pedersen and Herman Ebbers had prepared a Managed Forest Prescription for Jack and Christiane Locke, whose long term objective is to have a healthy and productive forest as part of working farm and to supply  firewood for themselves.
It is a beautiful wood with a good mixture of tall, mature, hard maple  with some beech, white ash, bitter nut hickory, basswood and several tall  white pine. The basal area of the wood lot was 24 sguare metres per hectare, but 25 % of this is unacceptable growing stock. The advice Pedersen and Ebbers gave was to remove some of the unacceptable growing stock and bring the  basal area down to17.5 square metres  per hectare. This would create  small openings in the woodlot  will allow more light to the forest floor and thus encourage regeneration  of new trees and growth of existing trees. Pedersen and Ebbers also suggested  taking some mature stems in the medium and large saw log classes as one of the aims is to maintain a diversity of age classes. They marked the trees to be felled with blue paint.
Pedersen told the 40 or so people on the field trip,  “It is important to know what you have in your woodlot and to do you home work. You need to know what price wood of different quality is going for.” 
 The timber sale notice Pedersen and Ebbers prepared for the woodlot sets out in detail  the estimated volume of timber to be felled, the species and the grade of lumber. They noted the bid price will be applied to the actual scaled volume of harvested logs and pulp wood and not to the estimate. All fire wood  material would be to be left to the landowner Harvesting should be completed by mid February 2011. The managed forest prescription sets out protection measures and operational guidelines in detail. Only marked trees should be removed. There should be no skidding in seepage areas.  Stick nests should be protected  and mast trees and den trees retained. Contractors should ensure trails are left free of debris  and back blade roads and trails where rutting occurs.
Pedersen pointed out, at present, the price for veneer quality logs is low. He advised it is probably best to  have your woodlot professionally marked and to wait  to see when prices rise.
 If you have a wood lot which you would like advice on how to manage it get in contact with Jim Pedersen, Hastings Stewardship Council coordinator. The Hastings Stewardship Council with its Forestry Extension Program gives woodlot owners  $100 towards the cost of having a registered professional forester visit their woodlot and prepare a  report. For more information contact Jim Pedersen, tel no. (613) 478-6875 or email

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