Good Forestry in the Granite State: Managing for High-Value Trees and Wildlife

NH Trees in the fall

We are approaching fall, when the buzz of chainsaws will be heard in earnest. The cool weather and impending cold encourages woodlot owners to get into the woods and harvest firewood, hopefully for next season's heat. Which trees to cut for wood and which trees to leave to grow for future value is the dilemma that is best decided with surveyor's tape or paint in hand and not the chainsaw—hard to change your mind when you make the decision with the saw.

Even before venturing into the woods to make life and death decisions (for the trees), its wise to brush off your copy of Good Forestry in the Granite State . The chapter on managing for high-value trees reminds us to leave trees with the largest crowns (tops) for additional growth and cut the smaller-topped trees for firewood. The trees with the larger crowns, called crop trees, will grow faster in diameter maximizing future wood-production.

Chapters on mast, cavity trees, dens and snags and dead and down woody material give guidance on important wildlife habitat features to consider as you grow your high-value trees. The fun and challenge of managing woodland is incorporating many objectives as you cut you cut your firewood, or harvest timber. Growing timber and wildlife isn't an either-or proposition and Good Forestry gives good guidance on doing both.

Extension county foresters will visit your property, free of charge and help you achieve your woodlot objectives including forestry, recreation, wildlife habitat, water resources, scenic beauty and income. Contact your county forester today!

Belknap County

Rebecca DiGirolomo

Carroll County

Wendy Scribner

Cheshire County

Matt Kelly

Coös County

Grafton County

James Frohn

Hillsborough County

Michael Gagnon

Merrimack County

Tim Fleury

Rockingham County

Greg Jordan

Strafford County

Rebecca DiGirolomo

Sullivan County

Dode Gladders

Forestry State Specialist

Steven Roberge

Forestry Information Center
1-800-444-8978 within New England


Amy Arsenault
Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager
Asst Extension Program Mgr
Phone: (603) 862-3883
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall Room 211, Durham, NH 03824