Many woodland owners are unsure how to get started in their woodlands. There is plenty of advice available. The short answer is spend more time in the woods. Soon, then, you start to ask questions and will seek assistance. In NY, the two best starting points are:
1. Cornell's Master Forest Owner volunteers, for non-technical assistance www.CornellMFO.info
2. NYS DEC Private Forest Lands service forester
I had the good fortune to spend time with several woodland owners in Poestenkill, NY with a focus on the Rensselaer Plateau. I gave a presentation about "best practices" which apply to an owner who is getting started with their woodlands. Here is a link to that presentation Best_Practices_on_Wooded_Acres.
One fun and useful activity is for owners to keep track of the plants and animals on their property. Here is a checklist for trees.
Be safe in the woods!
Peter Smallidge, NYS Extension Forester