I'm in here typing when I should be out there thinning my contest plots! Since the days are getting cooler, I wanted to post a few notes on the Northeast Timber Growing Contest so that interested folks can consider joining in on the fun in 2018.
The Northeast Timber Growing Contest is designed to help improve the long-term productivity and health of small private woodlands in the northeastern forest through the engagement of landowners and forestry professionals in a process that includes education, research, technology transfer, and friendly competition. The timber contest was founded in 2013 and it grew from a recognition that many forest owners take pride and see value in growing the best quality trees possible on their property. Growing quality timber is one component of restoring the northeastern forest because it reflects success in controlling deer impacts, reducing interfering vegetation, and practicing good silviculture. The contest's website is full of great information and resources (www.TimberContest.com). The contest is free and takes only four hours per year to begin to grow high quality timber!
In the most popular contest category, sample areas are identified in the woodlot and measurements are taken of tree diameter for all trees in that sample plot. Those trees are numbered and measured annually so that annual growth can be ascertained for each tree. Based on the data, thinning decisions can be made and growth can then be focused on your best trees. It's fun (and profitable!) to grow great trees. The rules that govern the measuring, scoring and judging processes can be found at www.TimberContest.com.
Please note that growth of just one square foot of basal area is like adding a fresh new 14” diameter tree to your woodlot. Each of these "new trees" can have an effective value of $100-$200 each! Some contestants have shown that it's possible to grow five such trees in one year on one acre. With proper silviculture, you can choose what this “new tree” is....wood on high quality sugar maple sawlogs or low-value beech firewood. The contest framework helps you put the growth on your best trees and use your lower quality material for projects or heat. There is still time to enter your woodlands for 2018 and it only takes about four hours or less.
If there are any questions, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the timber contest website at: www.TimberContest.com. Thanks!