Most of the time when landowners think about what they can do with their timber, they picture logging crews with heavy machinery hauling logs out of a forest straight to a saw mill, and making a passive paycheck. Although this may be true in some circumstances, managing timber properly involves a lot more than just bearded lumberjacks. Do we advise or consult on, and supervise timber harvests for our clients? Absolutely. We are big advocates of sustainable timber harvests. And we work closely with several of the most reputable loggers in the midwest, when it's time to have a select cutting on one of the farms we manage. But, anytime we are implementing a harvest, it's part of a larger plan that involves what is collectively known as Timber Stand Improvement (TSI).
Good quality trees, with marketable value, rarely reach full potential without some form of management plan. Having a professional come and lay out a long term plan for your forest will put you leaps and bounds ahead in the timber game. Having a professional with a well trained crew come in and remove the poor quality (or what some refer to as "trash") trees, and invasive species, while releasing desirable trees and trees with potential, can be an investment that will pay big dividends later down the road. A well thought out forest management plan is something that generations who follow on your piece of ground can reap the benefits of.
Nearly every critter roaming around your property stands to benefit from a well thought out timber plan. Everything from whitetail deer to downy woodpeckers would send you a thank you card (if they had fingers and opposable thumbs). TSI not only provides much needed food and winter browse for some animals, it can also give great security for nesting birds, and rabbits, and cover for quail and pheasants.
A person who has a plan and a chainsaw can see results as soon as the very first season. Manipulating deer movement with felled trees and brush is a great way to put more whitetails in front of your stand this coming season. Providing good cover long the edge of a field can also make your property a quail and rabbit hunting paradise. When acres under the plan really start to add up, it may be worthwhile to contact a professional land management company to discuss your goals with them.
The important thing to remember is that when you start to think about managing the timber on your property, think more than just bearded lumberjacks. The potential is there to create a wildlife oasis, as well as a future investment in timber value. And a forest management plan is the ticket to bringing all your goals together on the same page.