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This publication discusses how zoning and land use regulations impact the practice of forestry in North Carolina. The publication also explains planning jurisdictions, components of a zoning ordinance, and where to go for more information.
This publication lists and defines more than 150 forest resource terms to help you in conversing with others about forestry matters and in making informed decisions about your forestland.
Qualified North Carolina owners of soundly managed commercial forestland have been eligible for property tax reductions since 1974 through the state’s forestry present-use property tax program. To be eligible for Forestry Present Use Valuation, qualified forestland must be actively engaged in the commercial growing of trees under sound management (NC General Statues 105 277.2- 277.7). Commercial growing of trees will entail a harvest as a thinning, partial, or complete harvest of trees (as prescribed in the forest management plan filed with the county tax office). This publication provides a brief overview of the complicated law.
This publication discusses reforestation practices and the information needed to analyze a reforestation investment.
This publication explains how to determine the volume of a tree using a scale (Biltmore) stick and provides a template for making a scale stick.
This publication explains the major laws impacting a landowner’s liability in North Carolina and the responsibilities landowners have for invited and uninvited users of their property.
This publication provides an introduction to the various financial incentives available to woodlot owners. Both federal and state governments offer financial incentive programs; several of these programs provide cost-sharing payments that reimburse landowners for timber management activities. Other programs provide tax incentives, tax credits and deductions for reforestation expenses.
Longleaf pine trees deposit a blanket of needles, often called pine straw, on the forest floor annually. It is possible to sell this straw, but in fact wise management of this resource can substantially increase the owner’s income from the forest land. This publication covers the basics of growing longleaf pine, raking and baling pine straw, managing for straw production and selling the straw.
This publication describes the the benefits of hiring a consulting forester for North Carolina woodland owners. Qualifications of consulting foresters, selecting a consulting forester and services provided by consulting forester are all discussed.
With the high value of timbered forest property today, landowners would be well-advised to take sufficient steps to protect their investment. Maintaining property lines and boundaries is one of the simplest, yet most often overlooked forms of protection from theft, trespass and encroachment. This publication details the importance of property lines and how to maintain or reestablish them.
A compass and pacing can be useful in many different woodlot activities. A compass can indicate the direction you are headed relative to magnetic north, and pacing is a simple means of measuring linear distance by walking. This publication will help you use a compass to determine direction and determine your pace.
This publication discusses artificial and natural methods of reforestation that can be successfully used to reforest pines in North Carolina timberlands. Each method has advantages under certain situations. Landowners should select the best method for a specific tract in consultation with the County Extension Agent, County NC Division of Forest Resources representative, forestry consultant or industrial forester.
This publication describes the North Carolina Forest Stewardship Program, a cooperative effort to help owners realize their objectives for managing their forests.
Are you getting ready to plant your land in trees following a recent harvest, land purchase or inheritance? This publication explains how simple changes in planting design can benefit wildlife, timber and plant diversity...and your bottom line. Your rewards can be great and last for decades; all it takes is a little planning before the first tree goes into the ground.
Soil quality is the most important factor in forest management decisions. Soils will determine which tree species yield the greatest timber volume, the time to harvest, and ultimately, the investment a landowner must make to yield an acceptable economic return from forest management. This publication discusses site index, the collective influence of soil factors for a particular tree species on a given soil area.
Woodland owners harvest trees for financial and personal reasons. Deciding when is the optimal time to harvest is difficult for most woodland owners. However, this important decision strongly dictates future condition, growth and composition of the next stand of trees and, ultimately, your bottom line. Some basic economic principles can help you make harvesting and other key woodland management decisions. Using loblolly pine in North Carolina as an example, this publication demonstrates the optimal time to harvest based on financial maturity.
Developing forestland to continually produce timber and provide wildlife habitat requires an active management plan. Forest stewardship, the process of managing all of the forest’s natural resources together, enables us to conserve our forest resources, including timber, wildlife, soil and water. Forestry and wildlife management are not only compatible, they are interrelated. Managing for wildlife habitat can even improve forest productivity. This publication describes the basic concepts of management, showing how forestry operations affect wildlife habitat.
With an increase statewide in outdoor activity, many landowners report unacceptable levels of trespass, littering, property damage and game law violations. This publication discusses (1) liability, (2) ethical standards for recreationists, (3) alternative ways of managing access to private lands, and (4) dealing with trespass.
Successful pine plantings require a well-prepared site, quality seedlings, proper storage and field care of seedlings and timely planting by a crew trained in proper planting techniques. Most landowners contract with a vendor for such services. This publication gives information on (1) key clauses to include in any contract and (2) conditions which affect seedling survival and early growth.
Producing firewood from a woodlot can be an excellent forest management opportunity. Properly marked and administered, firewood cutting can produce immediate income while increasing the long-term value of the woodlot. This publication discusses how and when to harvest for firewood.
Timber or landscape trees destroyed by the hurricane, fire, earthquake, ice, hail, tornado, and other storms are “casualty losses” that may allow the property owners to take a deduction on their federal income tax returns. The key for most cases is to figure out the “adjusted basis” of the timber.
This publication describes how to provide a suitable habitat for many wildlife species without significantly reducing timber production or cash flow from timber sales.
Forest certification is a third-party evaluation of the management of a forest. Certification systems assure the consumer that the product they are purchasing meets certain standards as verified by an independent evaluation. This publication describes forest certification systems, procedures, and potential for landowners.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful mapping system many professional foresters use to maintain clients’ management portfolios. Woodland owners can make use of the record-keeping, map-creation and management-planning capabilities using this system. Woodland map information stored in digital format allows for easy retrieval, updates, and map printouts. This guide explains: 1) the basics of computerized mapping systems like GIS and 2) the benefits GIS can provide woodland owners.
This publication covers effective forest planning, including setting goals. Three owner profiles are presented and discussed followed by a worksheet to set your own priorities and goals.
Costs and difficulty in learning the complexities of a full-blown Geographic Information System (GIS) limit its use to trained specialists such as forest consultants. However, three trends are allowing woodland owners to explore GIS-type applications: 1) Low-cost home computers 2) Fast Web access 3) Free, simple-to-use, interactive GIS websites. This publication describes three free tools available to woodland owners eager to explore their property using modern Web-based mapping. These tools are Google Earth, county interactive GIS websites and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Web Soil Survey.
This guide provides lists of regional, state and national sources to contact for information about forest and wildlife management in North Carolina. Advice on how to request information is included.
This publication addresses the guidelines to consider in planning timber harvests, site preparation and other site-disturbing forestry activities in accordance with the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act.
This publication introduces readers to the seven steps involved in implementing crop tree management. The publication is tailored to Southeast species, objectives, and forest conditions and explains how the approach might be applied to trees for wildlife, water quality, timber and aesthetics.
Landowners share a deep connection to their land and the legacy they’ll leave behind. With so many conservation options to consider, landowners need to have a working knowledge of the choices to protect their land in the near and long term. Landowners should identify their goals before embarking upon a conservation strategy. Once a conservation strategy is selected, then the implications of state and federal taxes can be explored. This publication reviews the most common land conservation and protection options.
This publication for North Carolina woodland owners compiles a list of technical and financial assistance available for the management of forest lands. Much of this help is free and can be obtained at county agricultural and forestry offices. If they cannot offer the services or information requested, they can refer you to the appropriate sources.
This publication examines tree protection regulations, zoning and other ordinances. Guidance is offered on how to practice forestry under existing regulations and on how involvement in the community can retain forestry as a viable land use.
As a landowner, you probably know of your responsibility to protect and preserve soil productivity, water quality, biological diversity and wildlife habitat. But you may not be aware of other valuable resources potentially on your property: archeological artifacts, historic structures and landscapes, and culturally important vegetation. These are known collectively as cultural resources, and this publication will help you learn more about identifying, protecting and conserving these resources on your land through the creation of a preservation plan.
This publication explains some common techniques that can be used to enhance the natural beauty and diversity of forestland. These techniques will help landowners set goals for their forestland, identify resources and develop a management plan based on scale and diversity. In addition, several different ways to manage for diversity including using open spaces, managing forest edge, using prescribed burning, caring for roads and trails and conducting a final harvest to regenerate your forest are covered.
While the sale of straw represents a financial opportunity for some private timberland owners, it can be a potential problem because of the repeated removal of nutrients from raked sites. Nutrient losses from a single removal of pinestraw are small and not likely to affect stand productivity. Research indicates, however, that frequent raking can result in significant nutrient losses. This publication covers commercial fertilizer applications that can replenish nutrients as well as increase pinestraw production.
Pruning woodland trees can improve timber value, appearance, access and remove dead and diseased branchwood. Although branch shedding or self-pruning occurs naturally, landowners often have objectives that can be enhanced or expedited by artificial pruning. Pruning is the removal of live or dead branches from standing trees. Natural-target pruning is a proven technique for removing branches that avoids discolored or decaying wood associated with other pruning methods. This publication describes when and how to natural-target prune young pines and hardwoods for timber production.
This publication describes thinning, the process of cutting or removal of certain trees from a stand to regulate the number, quality and distribution of the remaining crop trees. The reasons to thin, how and when to thin are covered.
This publication explores proven ways to plan, construct and interpret various types of recreational forest trails.
Most commercially valuable tree species found in North Carolina require full or almost full sunlight for seed germination, establishment and early growth. For regeneration to succeed remove competing trees, weeds and brush or reduce their density. Such steps must be taken before planting or before pines or hardwoods can regenerate naturally. This publication discusses alternative site preparation methods available to landowners.