Boyle County Conservation District news

September 02, 2003

Is your forestland an investment or just another piece of land with trees growing on it?

Large companies have known for years about the value of forestland as an investment. In the last several years, some individuals also have taken notice of the steady returns that have been enjoyed by large investment firms.

However farmers, the largest group of forestland owners in the region, still have not fully taken notice of the potential of their woodlands.

How do you take your forestland from just trees to an investment? There are three steps.

First, you must develop a forest management plan. Trees are just another crop with one critical difference. A new tree may take 30 years before it can be harvested instead of the four months an agricultural crop requires.


Having a plan can help prevent the landowner from losing sight of his/her long-term goals in regard to forestland development.

Secondly, you need to take steps to protect your forestland from damaging agents. There are two things that can damage your forestland more than all others: fire and livestock.

Fire is an obvious danger as it burns the tree, leaving scars that damage its value. Livestock are just as damaging to your woodland because they compact the soil around the tree prohibiting growth and cause other forms of damage that can lead to rot and defects.

The woodlands are also dangerous to livestock. There are many dangers such as acorns, hedge apples, and black cherry leaves that can kill livestock.

Woodlands have low nutritional value. Keeping livestock and fire out of your woodlands is critical.

Finally, you need to invest in your investment. Nothing worth having comes freely.

The best three investments that you can make to help improve your yield and productivity of your woodlands is to work with a forester to manage your woodlands, perform improvements as required, and if not already in place, develop an all-weather road system to allow good access to your woodlands.

To start investing in your woodlands, contact a forester today.

For a list of foresters in this area, contact the Boyle County Conservation District at (859) 238-7461, ext. 3.

This article was submitted with permission from Four Winds Forest Consultants of Perryville.

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