True old-growth forests have greenery at every level from the forest floor to the top of the canopy. You can start some new growth on the ground using small patch cuts, which remove every tree from an area less than an acre.
This brochure from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection discusses how careful timber harvesting, including the limited use of small clearcuts, can improve habitat for wildlife like chestnut-sided warbler, brown thrasher, and eastern box turtle.
Timber harvests, especially heavier cuts like patch cuts, can look ugly after they’re first cut. But nature recovers. This poster from New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department shows photos of a clearcut over 25 years to show how new growth emerges.
When New Hampshire landowners Bob and Trish Leipold realized their property was no longer supporting American woodcock, they worked with a forester to harvest trees and improve habitat for the birds. This article shares their story in their own words.
Selling trees is one of the most complicated tasks you’ll undertake as a woodlot owner. Plan ahead to get the best results for wildlife habitat, earning income, and protecting your land’s soil and water.
Perhaps the best known visual signs of old-growth forests are their truly enormous trees. You can accelerate large tree growth in your woods by finding your healthiest “legacy trees” and removing competing trees around them so the big trees can grow faster.
If your woods are short on snags (standing dead trees), you can create some of this valuable wildlife habitat by girdling trees. Girdling kills a tree while leaving it standing so it can become a snag.