Services For Woodland Owners
Consulting foresters support the efforts of woodland owners to maximize the value, health, and enjoyment of their property through services such as these.
Consulting foresters help woodland owners obtain the greatest value for their timber through a number of services, including the following.
Timber Marking, Marketing and Sale Administration
Consulting foresters’ knowledge of silviculture aids them in selecting which trees should be included in a harvest. This extremely important first step of a timber harvest determines and shapes the future quality, health, value and species composition of the stand.
Once a stand of timber is marked for sale, a consulting forester has the knowledge of who in the forest products industry may be interested in the particular products you are selling and how to best reach them in order to conduct a competitive sale to capture your timber’s fair market value. In addition to offering advice on the contract terms and payment schedules, many foresters assist the landowners and their accountants to obtain the most beneficial tax treatments of timber sales.
Forest Inventories And Appraisals
A timber inventory is a formal report detailing factors such as:
- total merchantable volume by diameter, by grade, and by species.
- current recommended harvest volumes.
- annual growth and yield.
- woodland stocking levels.
Owners can use the inventory as a basis for management planning, decision-making, and for appraisals assigning an estimated fair market value to standing timber, which can help when buying or selling woodland, selling standing timber, establishing timber depletion accounts for tax purposes, loan information, and litigation.
Forest Management Planning
Consulting foresters develop plans focused on a landowner’s objectives, from simple harvest plans to comprehensive approaches that address multiple uses for woodland. Foresters can perform periodic inspections to check on theft, insect and disease outbreaks, and storm damage; mark timber for harvest; schedule, arrange, and assist with timber sales; and monitor logging operations.
Timber Stand Improvement
Some woodlands cannot reach their potential because of inappropriate tree species, vines, and other undesirable growth. Consulting foresters make recommendations for vegetation management and other steps that will enhance the long-term viability of the timber.
Consulting foresters develop plans to convert agricultural land to forest cover for timber production, erosion control, and wildlife habitat, or to fill forest openings where nature has failed to regenerate growth. The forester can purchase and plant seedlings in accordance with the plan.
Invasive Species Management
Non-native species of trees and other foliage have been introduced to Indiana woodlands by property owners who aren’t aware of the threat they pose to native ecosystems. These invasive plants can quickly become dominant, driving out more beneficial native species. Consulting foresters identify and control invasive species so native trees and foliage can flourish.
Before woodlands were managed by humans, naturally occurring fires triggered by lightning strikes regenerated the forest floor and consumed dead and dying vegetation. Consulting foresters use carefully planned and controlled burns to accomplish the same purpose. While a burn may appear to be destructive at first, the result of a controlled burn is a healthier, more beautiful forest.
Among the many other services provided by some consulting foresters are Christmas tree, recreation, or wildlife management; financial and investment analysis of woodlands; estate planning; surveying; boundary line maintenance; and expert witness services for litigation.