Forests, Woodlands & Trees

Forests and woodlots are constantly changing. To get the most out of your property to meet your wildlife, recreational, aesthetic or economic goals, some type of regular management will be necessary. Getting the most out of your woods can be a challenge on your own. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you.

A professional can help plot the best course of action for meeting your ownership objectives while keeping your woods healthy. Your selection of a professional depends on what services you need and the size of your property. Ten (10) acres is a threshold for where you go in Indiana.

More than 10 acres

  • The Directory of Professional Foresters is a service provided by the Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association. For this directory, the term “professional forester” means a person who has successfully completed a four year college level curriculum accredited by the Society of American Foresters and has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry from that accredited institution.
  • The Indiana DNR Division of Forestry provides private forestland management assistance through District Foresters who are professionally trained to manage forestland for the many resources it can provide. District foresters administer both state and federal programs that provide technical assistance, property tax incentives, and cost-sharing incentives for applying practices that accomplish sustainable management.
  • Foresters can help answer some of your tax questions. The National Timber Tax Website is another good resource. The National Timber Tax Website was developed to be used by timberland owners, as well as a reference for accountants, attorneys, consulting foresters and other professionals who work with timberland owners regarding the tax treatment of timber related activities.

Less than 10 acres and Backyards

  • The Indiana Division of Forestry has a woodlot owner series that provides basic information for anyone who owns a small woodlot or backyard woods.
  • Because of the scale of operation, it can be difficult to get professional services from a forester for small woodlots. In most cases, tree harvests and other improvement cuts are set up directly with loggers. The Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association has a Find a Logger database online.

Selling Timber

Selling timber from yards or small tracts of woodland present some challenges.

Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner Course

The Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner course provides forest landowners eight learning sessions designed to introduce them to the biology and management of forests, and the resources and professional assistance they can access to help them form their property management goals and pursue their objectives. Field experiences are integrated into the course to provide in-person, hands-on connections with the biology and management of Indiana forests. Connections made during the course and field tours introduce landowners to the foresters and other natural resource professionals who can help them with the management of their forestland. This course is offered in-person at varying locations around the state and also as an online version with live question-and-answer sessions. Courses normally run between January and April, so check the Purdue Extension – FNR Got Nature Blog and Upcoming Events sites for dates and registration information.

Get connected with other Indiana landowners!

Woodland owners often learn the most from people who are in their situation – fellow woodland owners. Several groups provide different ways to connect and have different resources. Explore the following to find out which group(s) fits your needs.

Invasive Species

Invasive species present a serious threat to the health and productivity of trees and forests. You can learn about recognition, reporting, and management of the invasive species found in forests at these sites:

Forestry Videos on Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

Purdue FNR Experts

Lenny D. Farlee
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Elizabeth A Jackson
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Ronald A Rathfon
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Michael R Saunders
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