Hi, woodland owner with an interest in managing your woodland
Some woodland owners are very interested in their woods and want to be involved in managing them to produce forest products, such as pulp, sawtimber, and veneer. Most woodland owners, unfortunately, have little forestry, so they simply hire a consultant to manage their woodlands. At worst, they don't do anything.
But an individual with no formal training in forestry can get involved in managing his/her woodland. How?First, you need to realize that woodland management involves a number of steps, some require considerable training and are best handled by a trained forester (unless you get a lot of training) and other steps are relatively straight-forward and can be done by you with relatively little training. You can start with the simpler steps and, as you gain experience and knowledge, get more involved with the more complicated steps.
One of the easier steps that you might do and one that is relatively expensive to have done by a consultant is doing an inventory of your woodland. An inventory is done to determine the condition of the forest and involves a series of steps with a critical part being the measurement of a sample of trees in the woodland. There are various reasons to do a woodland inventory: develop a general management planning, prepare for a timber sale, estimate basis (value of the trees when the land was purchased), estimate stolen trees, and more. Each reason to do an inventory should be addressed by a somewhat different type of inventory. Developing a general management plan requires the least amount of training and allows you get a bird's eye view of your woodland and the condition of the trees there.
Before starting to measure trees, you need to develop an inventory plan. Preplanning is essential for an inventory to be done well and produce results that can be used to decide on what type of management is needed for the woodland. We have written a description of the process that you can download by clicking here.