Woodland management through the seasons

Now that it is summer, you might be thinking about what you need to do for your woodland through the season. Summer is a great time to think about weed management, timber harvest, wildlife habitat restoration, and more. However, a lot of these things should be planned early. Land management plans can help you do this.

If you are a seasoned woodland owner, chances are that you already have a land management plan. If you do not have one OSU Extension and our partners have plenty of resources to get you started. Most woodland owners enjoy getting to know their property and creating a land management plan is a great way to do that. Plans typically have information about the physical property like location, size, and ownership. History, maps, and photos also help describe your property and guide you toward your goals and actions.

Having a list of goals and actions for your woodland is a good way to plan your priority actions each season. Here is a short list of a few that you might want to consider for the summer months:

  • Improve forest health
  • Protect against wildfires
  • Provide and improve wildlife habitat
  • Generate income from harvesting timber and non-timber products
  • Restore native habitats
  • Control invasive species
  • Maintain and develop trails for hiking
  • Improve fish habitat

It is important to note that not all woodland management activities are appropriate during the summer months.

If you are cutting or limbing trees to protect against wildfire, consider doing it when temperatures are cooler. This will decrease the chances of you losing your trees to bark beetles. It is best to do this in the fall. If you are planning to reforest your woodland, plan your planting in the spring when it is cool and wet.

Weed management is also dependent on the time of year and species. If you are hoping to tackle a nasty patch of Scotch Broom, plan this early in the summer before it goes to seed. But spraying too late in the summer could reduce the effectiveness of the herbicide. The more organized and prepared you are, the more successful you will be. Your land management plan can help you build this success.

Your land management plan can be as big or as small as you need it to be. This process can sometimes feel discouraging. Just remember that it is your plan. It should be a fun tool to help guide you through your journey as a woodland owner. Here are a few resources to help you get started, and remember, if you need more support, you can always contact your local forester, Glenn Ahrens.

Useful resources from the OSU library:

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