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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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Longleaf pine trees deposit an annual blanket of needles, often called pine straw, on the forest floor. Many forest owners do not realize that it is possible to sell this straw. But in fact, wise management of this resource can substantially increase an owner’s income from forestland.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This publication describes how to provide a suitable habitat for many wildlife species without significantly reducing timber production or cash flow from timber sales.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Forest Resources representative, forestry consultant or industrial forester.
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.
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.
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.
This publication discusses the process for valuing immature timber stands that may have been lost due to natural disasters, theft, or condemnation. It explains the method for valuing young forest stands that may not be appraised under typical timber appraisal methods.
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.
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.
This publication explores proven ways to plan, construct and interpret various types of recreational forest trails.
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.
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.
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.
This publication describes the North Carolina Forest Stewardship Program, a cooperative effort to help owners realize their objectives for managing their forests.
This publication outlines the requirements and benefits of voluntary agricultural district programs in North Carolina and explains how forest landowners can join these programs.