Forestry 201+

On this page are dozens of articles on a wide range of subjects. Many folks have suggested that I write a book, and I suppose that I have; You have over a hundred pages right here! Besides the articles, I include a link to the revised “Silvicultural Guide for Northern Hardwoods in the Northeast”. Many of the articles were written for “Sawmill and Woodlot” magazine, and come as a pdf with the pictures included. Others come from our annual newsletter and other papers as word documents, some with pictures. There is something here for everyone.

Each forest type has a “silvicultural guide” with the nuts and bolts of its management. Most of our forests are Northern Hardwoods, or their mixedwoods: maples, beech and birches mixed with up to 65% softwoods. We also use guides for white pine, hemlock, spruce and fir, and red oak stands, but the Northern Hardwood (NH) guide covers about 80% of our forests. Bill Leak is the grandfather of NH silviculture. He has worked for the Forest Service for over 62 years on the Bartlett Experimental Forest and around the region. He participated in the first guide in 1957, before I was born. He was the lead author of the revisions in 1967, 1987, and 2014. Bill asked me to help write the recent revision with Mariko Yamasaki, noted wildlife biologist with the Forest Service, also working primarily in NH types. Bill asked me to bring my practical, on-the-ground experience since this is a guide for other forest practitioners to use, and wanted Mariko to include the wildlife implications since forest management is more than “boards and cords”.  Here is our book on Northern Hardwood silviculture. The download is about 50 pages:


Following are links to articles; click on the title.  This first section includes articles of general interest:

Habitat Diversity  This explains a wide range of issues about habitat management for forest wildlife.

It’s not all about the money! But it is all about the money. We look at a range of financial considerations with active forest management.

Biomass controversy vt Biomass harvesting is controversial, but an important option for certain forest conditions.

Bulk Tank Forests This looks at the last big decline in agriculture, creating a large age class of forest from 1950-1970, and some photos of biomass harvesting of weeviled pine trees from these Bulk-Tank forests.

tree cookie215  This is an explanation of the story in two sets of tree rings in two thin slices: “cookies” which tells a story of forest management along with Vermont’s forest history.

S&W Intergenerational transfer  Here is a new article on a topic of interest to may clients

S &W Forest business: Is it really worth it?

S&W Careers in natural resources  Opportunities for young folks to get started

Silviculture is the culturing of forests, and we have a full series on a range of topics:

S&W uneven aged 215  Forests with multiple age-classes are more complicated, more interesting, and more expensive. Individual tree selection along with small and large group methods are discussed.

S&W Thinning Thinning and intermediate treatments in immature stands are critical to improve forest health, modify species composition, salvage mortality, and increase the growth of crop trees.

Shelterwood Theme and Variation Shelterwood is an important method to regenerate even aged stands or transition to 2-aged stands.

Clearcut Theme and Variation 2 Clearcutting has gotten a bad reputation. But with modern conservation practices, it is an important tool for regenerating forests and improving wildlife habitat.

Pine mgt pics  This article looks at changes in strategies for the valuable White Pine type.

Forest Regeneration 14 We discuss a range of problems and solutions regarding forest regeneration.

Two-aged and hybrid silviculture: These systems do not fir traditional even or uneven-aged methods, but are appropriate in a wide range of conditions.

S&W Rehab Silviculture looks at restoring degraded stands to productive condition by combining extensive and intensive management techniques.

S&W Forest Succession 2016 another look at changes in the forest over time.

S&W Invasive Weeds Imported plants are taking over portions of our woods. To mange these effectively, we need to understand their biology, impacts and how best to control them.

S&W Soils article Under every woodlot is soil. Why is that important?

Here is another series of articles, on more general and philosophical topics, mostly from Sawmill and Woodlot magazine. Look them up and get a subscription for all their content.

S&W Philosophy Part1  This is the start of a full series on philosophies involved with the complex subject of just how and why do we manage the forest. These were feature articles in Sawmill and Woodlot published a month or so apart, so there is a bit of overlap for readers.

S&W Philosophy Part2

S&W Philosophy Part3

S&W Philosophy Part4

S&S&W harvesting systems: This one describes the systems of harvesting equipment in common use in our region, with their applications and limitations. 

S&W Harvesting plan. After your forest plan is completed, each project must be planned in detail. These are some of the details.

S&W Carbon management in forests final  With forest carbon an important topic, here is a view from a forester. 


S&W Forestry Evangelism If you are an active forestland manager, how do you interact with your neighbors? Are you spreading the “forestry gospel”? In this article, you also get a good look at a “Quality Deer Management” parcel.

S&W Organizations As a landowner, you are involved in politics whether you like it or not. State, federal, and local laws affect your tax rates, rules, rights and responsibilities. Being involved in landowner groups will keep you informed and multiply your voice.

Selecting a forester or logger :   This is an article about the relationship you might have with either a logger or consulting forester, and how to make a wise selection.

Beyond the Growth Rate final  This is the final draft of an article that looks at technical data for Vermont’s forest condition, a dramatic increase in mortality and decrease in net growth. Is there a solution?

S&W Pulp Conundrum1 We love and hate pulpwood and low-grade markets at the same time.

Specific things for woodlot owners involved with actively managing their land:

S&W Do-it-Yourself #1 – Safety

S&W Do it yourself part 2 (Firewood)

S&W Do-it-Yourself #3 sawlogs

S&W do it yourself #4  My father always says “Plan ahead”.

S&W Food plots for Wildlife Specific wildlife management goals for hunting can be implemented by intensive management of food plots to attract game species.

S&W Selling Standing Timber Why do we grow trees? Certainly, we love them. But we also sell them and so we should do it well.

S&W Growing for Grade growing trees for grade lumber products.

S&W Bucking for Grade Cutting the tree stem into merchantable logs for their highest value.

S&W BMP’s “Best Management Practices” are the normal things we do to protect water quality on active projects.

S&W bridges – the second portion of the “Best Management Practices” article

S&W Marketing for loggers: This was a chapter written for my mentor, Ben Hoffman, for his book on Logging Profits. 

S&W adding value  This is for the active woodlot owner harvesting and selling products, with ideas of how to add more value.

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