Each chapter has an activity to help you better manage your woodlands. Use this list to view each activity quickly.

1: Preparing a Woodland Stewardship Plan
How this activity helps you: A woodland stewardship plan is the most basic and important tool that you can have to help manage your woodland. It will help you develop a vision for your property, identify opportunities, and provide specific recommendation that can help make your vision a reality.

2: Conducting a Woodland Inventory
How this activity helps you: You typically can rely on a forester to take all the tree measurements needed to help you make woodland management decisions, but engaging in these activities will enable you to:

  • Learn the meaning of tree measurement terminology that may appear in your woodland stewardship plan.
  • Better understand the accuracy and reliability of tree measurements provided by a forester.
  • Assist a forester to take tree measurements (diameter, merchantable height, total height), determine wood volume per tree and per acre, measure basal area per acre and trees per acre, and read a stocking chart to determine if a stand is overstocked or understocked.
  • Monitor your trees and woodland more often.

3: How Trees and Woodlands Grow
How this activity helps you: This chapter and its activities help you learn about the parts of a tree so you can better communicate with a forester, logger or other woods worker. It will help you determine which tree characteristics you want to encourage on your land by considering genetically controlled characteristics, live-crown ratio, and shade tolerance. Learn how soil type, topography, and climate must be considered when determining the most appropriate tree species to encourage on your land. Finally you will learn that managing a stand is easier when you let the natural ecological trajectory occur.

4: Regenerating Woodland Stands
How this activity helps you: You will learn that trees have the potential to naturally regenerate from seed, stump sprouts, root suckers and layering, depending on the tree species. Where natural regeneration is unreliable, you may choose artificial regeneration (planting seed, seedlings, or cuttings) and you will learn how to calculate the number of trees required to plant a given area. You will learn about different site preparation and planting techniques. Then the chapter describes different harvest and regeneration systems and the circumstances under which each should be used. This chapter is excellent background for the management recommendations for various forest types in Chapter 6: Managing Important Forest Types (PDF, page 55).

5: Woodland Improvement Practices
How this activity helps you: This activity focuses on ways to improve existing stands of trees to meet your objectives for woodland health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and visual quality. There are many small steps you can take using simple, inexpensive equipment that will improve seedling survival, tree species composition, stand density, tree quality, and tree growth rate.

6: Managing Important Forest Types
How this activity helps you: This chapter describes many of the forest types that occur throughout the Lake States and how to manage them. A forest type is an aggregation of tree species that naturally occur together. Descriptions for each forest type include common tree species in that type, geographic range where it occurs, products and uses, site conditions where it grows best or worst, regeneration strategies, intermediate stand treatments, pests and diseases.

7: Forest Health
How this activity helps you: Learn about preventative measures and how to implement preventative measures to protect your woodlands. Then look up resources for invasive exotic species and other types of damage.

8: Marketing Timber
How this activity helps you: This activity walks you through the process of marketing your timber.

9: Harvesting Timber
How this activity helps you: This activity suggests important questions to ask your forester, emphasizes safety and timber harvesting guidelines, and recommends mapping your property to guide the design of roads, skid trails and the harvesting process to protect soil, water, rare species, and cultural resources.

10: Management and Marketing of Nontimber Forest Products
How this activity helps you: Use this activity to determine which non-timber forest products are available seasonally on your woodland. Then learn about the management and marketing considerations for these products.

11: Wildlife and Forest Management
How this activity helps you: You will be able to identify wildlife species of interest on your land, evaluate habitat for those species, and understand basic principles of managing problem wildlife as well as threatened and endangered species. It offers excellent links to many more resources to deal with nearly any wildlife question.

12: Noise and Visual Quality
How this activity helps you: Learn how to minimize the impact of noisy forestry operations; assess how your forest blends visually with the surrounding landscape; and make your property visually appealing to neighbors and the public when building roads and trails, harvesting timber, regenerating trees, and conducting woodland improvement practices.

13: Recreational Trail Design
How this activity helps you: You will be able to design sustainable trails for hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, all terrain vehicles, and off-highway motorcycles. It takes you through the steps: determine trail uses, select the corridor, establish design standards, mark trail location, clear the trail, construct the tread, install structures to cross obstacles, sign the trail, and select supporting facilities.

14: Financial Considerations
How this activity helps you: If you generate income and expenses from your woodland, this will help you with income tax reporting. It also will alert you to property tax programs for managed forest land, help you predict financial returns from forestry investments, and get started with estate planning.