The early spring has also meant that we can get back to trail restoration projects. It is amazing how a few years of relatively benign neglect can begin to obscure a wonderful trail. On this project in Guilford, Andy designed an extensive trail network over a decade ago. Now, Tom and Marshall have brought it back to life with a few hours of focused labor.
In places where a larger scale timber harvest isn't yet warranted, woodland stewards often invest in timber stand improvement work on their land- with a variety of goals.
Before: Trees in this densely stocked area are intensely competing with each other.
After: The best stems (mostly red oak in this case) are identified and then we cut their more poorly formed, yet still competing neigbors to give the best trees a competitive advantage.
Before: An area of poorly formed stems in a relatively homogenous forest. Pink ribbons mark well-formed trees that will remain to form the edge of the gap.
After: a small group of these poorly formed stems are all cut, to create a wildlife opening which diversifies forest structure, creates edge habitat, begins a regeneration process, and gives the landowner the chance to grow better trees where before there were only trees with low to no future commercial growth potential.