If you decide to become a woodland owner, you should strive to improve the health of your woodlot at all times. According to a Franklin Township, New Jersey woodlot management company, a healthy woodlot is not only important for you and your family, but also to the wildlife species that use your forest as habitat to survive.
What is a Woodlot?
A healthy woodlot acts as home to a wide range of forest species. Healthy woodlots can provide wood products as well as other benefits. Woodlots that serve as a habitat for wildlife contain different kinds of tree species which can include trees of all ages and sizes, hardwoods, and conifers. Additionally, healthy woodlots can provide food-bearing shrubs and for wildlife and insects.
Why Are Healthy Woodlots Important?
Many years ago, Franklin Township was covered with dense forests intermixed with wetlands and open areas. In recent years, urban development and agricultural projects have engrossed the natural landscape. The few pockets of forest that remain provide a home to animal and plant species. As a result of urban development, forest species such as the saw-whet owl, the wood thrush, the hoary bat, and the blue-spotted salamander are disappearing.
Since the forests are too small, forest birds have become vulnerable to nest parasites and predators. Currently, private woodlots are the only forested areas that provide a home to these disappearing forest species. This is the reason why the government and many Franklin Township, New Jersey woodlot management firms are encouraging farmers to plant woodlots on their farms.
These forests prevent Franklin Township from the effect of urbanization. Just like forests, woodlots clean up the air and water pollution, prevent erosion and flooding, provide green places for resting, offer spots for recreation and balance nature in contrast to the developing surroundings. Healthy woodlots with a wide range of plant species play an important role in maintaining genetic diversity within plant species.
How to Improve Woodlot Health
What you want to do with your woodlot is up to you depending on your short-term and long-term goals. Franklin Township, New Jersey woodlot management companies advise woodland owners to take stock of what they already have in their woodlot. Your source of water, the size of your farm, tree species currently growing in the area, as well as other aspects associated with your property will determine your successes in the future. Once you have clearly identified what you are working with, create a list of all of your priorities. Some of the priorities to think about include recreation, wildlife habitat, and wood production.
Once you have your priorities set, the next step is to set your goals. Achieving these goals can be as easy as leaving your woodlot and surrounding area alone for a period of time to encourage natural regeneration. No matter your goals, having a forest management plan is vital to ensuring that you are able to meet and exceed them. If you need assistant with a woodland management plan, consult a Franklin Township, New Jersey woodlot management company. It takes time and energy to develop a comprehensive and healthy woodlot. Here are some essential steps to take to improve the health of your woodland.
#1 – Increase the size of an existing woodlot
When it comes to supporting forest species, size is an important factor to consider. Working with a bigger size is better for many animal species, especially for birds that migrate long distances. Most of these birds are threatened by the loss of their breeding areas is larger forests. Ask yourself these questions: How does your woodlot fit in the landscape? Is it part of a larger forest? Are there any natural areas or woodlots near you? If your woodlot is part of a large forest, it’s already playing an important role in maintaining wildlife population?
According to a woodlot management experts in Franklin Township, New Jersey, “Expanding your forest by planting more trees or by nurturing natural regeneration is a great way to manage the size of your woodlot.”. Another great way to increase size is to connect nearby woodlots by planting trees in open areas to provide a home for wildlife and plants.
In addition, encouraging natural regeneration growth in and around your woodlot is affordable and requires less work than planting. The process involves protecting saplings and seedlings of tree species from competing with other vegetation for nutrients, water, and sunlight. When it comes to planting trees, select a native species that can be grown from local seed sources.
To get the most from your investment, it is wise to seek professional help from woodlot management experts in Franklin Township, New Jersey regarding the site requirements for each species you want to plant.
#2 – Keep and Create Wildlife Travel Corridors
Check to see if your woodlot is connected to any natural areas by trees, vegetated fence rows, or protected travel routes. Wildlife requires safe travel corridors to food and shelter. You can improve existing walking paths and create new ones by planting shrubs and trees between forested areas and sources of water.
#3 – Go for Native Plants
To have a healthy woodlot you have to plant native plant species instead of non-native species. One of the major disadvantages of non-native species is they grow and displace native plants.
Always go for native plants when planting forests or landscaping.
#4 – Have A Protective Cover For Wildlife
To provide protective cover for wildlife, you must plant tree species such as conifers and cedars. Trees like conifers make the land greener and provide shelter to small mammals such as weasels and rabbits.
#5 – Be Careful When Harvesting
If you plan to harvest your trees, use methods that don’t cause much damage to the forest. After harvesting, always replant the disturbed areas of your forest. The access roads to the forest should be kept to a minimum.