Take a look at the recent Indiana Woodland Steward Newsletter, a resource that’s full of a variety of valuable information to foresters, woodland owners, timber marketing specialists and any woodland enthusiasts. This issue includes topics such as a forest management, what private woodland owners are doing about invasive plants, the threat of callery pears, as well as much more.
Check out this IWS Newsletter to stay current in the world of forestry, and feel free to browse archived articles dating back to 1992 for more information.
Tax preparation time usually brings with it questions about what is deductible, how do I report this income, and what can I do to save on my taxes in the future. Fortunately for woodland owners, there are several excellent resources available to help you find some guidance.
A national site addressing tax issues for woodland owners is the National Timber Tax Website. This site provides updated tax tips for the 2016 filing year, as well as many guides and references to help you effectively plan a tax strategy for your property.
As part of a new educational video project, Purdue Extension offers essential tips on how to select veneer trees and logs that demand a premium.
The video features Dan Cassens, a professor of wood products at Purdue University, and Greg Hartog of Danzer Americus in Edinburgh, Ind. They give comprehensive details about preferred tree species as well as characteristics, including defects, that are important to the veneer industry.
The advice should be of particular interest to landowners, log brokers, sawmill operators and forestry consultants in Indiana and throughout the hardwood region. Indiana has had a long history of supplying the industry with quality veneer logs and veneer since the early 1900s, Cassens said.
What comes to mind when you think of Purdue Extension? Agriculture and natural resources? Maybe Indiana 4-H? Right on both counts, but perhaps you don’t know how #PurdueExtension helps build health coalitions statewide. Or how we’re revitalizing economic opportunity in Indiana’s rural regions, helping immigrants acclimate to life in our state, or offering parents programs that build confidence and strengthen families. Learn about all of this and more in the 2016 Purdue Extension Annual Report!
Woodlands provide a multitude of environmental (e.g., carbon sequestration, enhance water quality, wildlife habitat), economic (e.g., timber, wood products manufacturing, tourism), and social (e.g., recreation, aesthetics) benefits to Indiana residents. The sustainability of these benefits is strongly tied to stability of the resource. In Indiana, 75 percent of the 4.65 million acres of forestland is owned by families. Actions they take on their property can impact the benefits woodlands provide all Indiana residents. However, many do not understand available options or sources of assistance.
What Has Been Done
The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, in partnership with many other organizations, helps produce and mail over 31,000 copies of the Indiana Woodland Steward to woodland owners three times each year. This 16-page, two-color publication includes in-depth articles on forest stewardship and health, invasive species and pests, wildlife habitat management, economics, and more.
Subscribers owned more woods (71.6 ac) for a longer tenure (33 years) than the average woodland owner in Indiana based on data from the National Woodland Owner Survey. As a group, they were also more active managers based on the proportion enrolled in assistance programs and who had a written stewardship plan. Fifty-four percent regularly utilized information from the Woodland Steward. In addition, 51 percent of respondents have implemented at least one practice they read about from The Woodland Steward, potentially impacting an estimated 1.2 million acres of forestland. His use of print media to communicate with woodland owners could be considered expensive, but clearly a large number of woodland owners regularly read and utilize the information making the average investment per landowner much lower.
Forest farming in North America is becoming a popular practice that provides short-term income for owners of new forest plantations while their trees reach maturity. This income diversification is particularly relevant for many of the Indiana hardwood plantations planted in the last decade, but will not fulfill their economic potential until 60–70 years from establishment. This free download publication titled Costs and Returns of Producing Wild-Simulated Ginseng in Established Tree Plantations, FNR-530-W, is the second in a two-part series aimed at analyzing economic opportunities in forest farming for Indiana forest plantation owners. The first study explores growing hops along the tree line of newly established forest stands, while this second study investigates producing American ginseng in older (20- to 30-year-old) forest plantations.
Biomass harvesting refers to harvesting where more woody material is gathered than in a traditional sawtimber harvesting. Material down to four inches in diameter is harvested along with large trees for veneer logs and saw logs. Small trees and tops are chipped and used for paper pulp and boiler fuel.
During October of 2012, a biomass harvesting project was started by harvesting a 100 acre tract of hardwood timber at the Southeastern Purdue Ag Center (SEPAC). The tract was divided into several treatment areas demonstrating various forms of harvesting including traditional clearcutting, biomass harvesting, and areas left uncut. The goal of this project was twofold: to determine the volume and value of the products produced using biomass harvesting compared to the traditional methods, and to gain a more thorough understanding of what happens to a harvest site following biomass harvesting when restoration practices are used.
The harvest site has experienced a rapid recovery of new vegetation. Forbs, shrubs, tree seedlings, and sprouts densely covered the ground and began providing new wildlife habitats and the beginnings of a new diverse forest area.
The new Extension video “Woody Biomass Harvesting at Purdue University” explores this process in further depth, showing the harvest as well as the aftermath and regrowth. It also introduces a Purdue Extension – FNR developed web application called the Woody Biomass Calculator. This calculator can be used by landowners, foresters, and wood products harvesters and managers to estimate the volume and value of several different wood product groups and tree species, including woody biomass. Before harvesting, consider using this tool to evaluate if biomass harvesting is a better choice than traditional sawtimber harvesting for you.
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 from yards or small tracts of woodland present some challenges.
Some consulting and industrial foresters may be willing to assist you on small properties. Find foresters in your area at: www.findindianaforester.org.
In some cases, tree harvests are conducted directly with loggers. The Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association has a Find a Logger database online.
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.