Windbreaks – Agroforestry for Any Property

I regularly have conversations with farmers, foresters, and family woodland owners who have misconceptions about agroforestry. I get it because agroforestry consists of many different practices which aren’t applicable to every situation. When I attempt to simplify the subject, I say agroforestry is just a fancy word for incorporating trees in agricultural landscapes. However, I insist that the principles behind it are useful for any landowner to […]

Make sure your planted trees survive and thrive

If you haven’t yet, check out the first two parts of this tree planting series here and here. I returned to Julie’s property some weeks after they had completed their tree planting to see how things looked.  Julie greeted me with a smile as she proudly led me through their brand-new forest.  And she had […]

Tree planting – It’s all in the details

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a landowner named Julie about some tree planting her family was planning for this spring.  We talked about making a plan for where and how to plant the trees they purchased (see that conversation here) and reaching out to her local DNR forester for some advice. […]

Do I really need a plan for where and how I plant my trees?

I was talking with a landowner (Julie) recently about the tree planting her and her family were doing this spring, and she seemed a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. It turns out they have planted a few trees here and there in the past, but nothing compared to the scale they had in mind […]

Myths surrounding the Managed Forest Law Program

I have talked with many woodland owners about the financial programs available to them, and I learned that there are many misconceptions surrounding the DNR Forestry’s Managed Forest Law (MFL) Program. There is so much fear and misinformation surrounding MFL that, at times, I feel like I am defending it rather than touting its benefits. […]

Thinking back and looking forward

December tends to be a time for reflection for me. It is a time of cold weather, hot tea, and sitting in my favorite chair thinking about the past year. This year I have been reflecting on what I have accomplished and trying to not compare that list to “before 2020”. This year I didn’t […]

Leaving Wood for Wildlife

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to see it, does it make a mess? On a recent trip to my in-laws, I took a walk with my dog in their woodlot. It was a crisp fall day and the wind whistled through the open under-story. Most of the leaves had […]

A Woodland Owner’s Journey Through the Bureaucracy

‘Conservation is seldom convenient’ – Randy Newberg I often think about this quote when talking with landowners looking for help with their woods. Whether help is answering a question about a tree, putting together a Forest Management Plan, or executing that plan, there are many different people, programs, and sources of information to consider.   In extension forestry, our first recommendation is usually […]

Finding a rare species on your property

We made a pretty exciting discovery in our woods recently.  While walking our trails, we came across a wood turtle.  Now, we have seen our fair share of uncommon wildlife on our property (recently including a red fox family), so we were not TOO starstruck.  But it was still neat to observe one firsthand and […]

Consider the Moss

One of the joys of walking in the woods with a toddler is moving slowly enough to appreciate the little things. I like to walk with my 2-year-old daughter at a State Natural Area (SNA) near our home. She’s got a different perspective from me, due both to her size and her relationship with the […]