Some key questions that will help you determine management actions: What do you already use your woods for? What would you like to use your woods for?
Some ways to enjoy the woods:
- Wildlife or bird watching
- Foraging for ramps, wild mushrooms, or other edible goodies
- Access and trail creation for hiking
- Cutting firewood
- Cultivating non-timber forest product hobbies such as maple syrup
Some resources for those who want to manage their woods for enjoyment:
- Mushroom Cultivation: Lessons from Working Woods
- Maple Sugaring: Lessons from Working Woods
- Rural Action, Sustainable Forestry
- ODNR’s tips on managing for wildlife
- USDA National Agroforestry Center
“What should I know about Ohio forests and forestry?”
- If you want to speak to a natural resource professional or consulting forester about your goals, it helps to have some basic terminology. Check out our glossary of common forestry terms.
- The first step to determining what you want to do in or with your woods is to understand what’s growing there. Here’s an excellent free Tree ID Booklet and a Searchable Native Tree Species Guide from ODNR
“What should I consider before launching into management?”
Ask yourself a few key questions about your goals and the land to help you get off on the right foot. Should you choose to speak to a natural resource professional about creating a management plan for your property, your answers to these questions will assist in the planning process.
- How much wooded acreage do you have? Are the boundaries marked? This is a good first step. There are some professionals (https://ohiosurveyor.org/) who do this, but if you want to do it yourself, check out your county auditor’s website, or even use Google Earth to help walk your property and mark boundaries: Marking Property Lines
- What is the history of your property, and what was the past land use? How old is the forest? We can’t plan for the future without knowing the past!
- What are the unique features of your property that you treasure?
- What are your existing resources and constraints? This includes the money, time, or physical limitations you have for management activities.
- What are your long-term goals for the woods? What do you want for the forest in the future?
For more, check out MyLandPlan.org, an American Forest Foundation webpage for landowners seeking to get more out of the land they love.
If you are interested in how to take care of individual trees, please check out our HF&G Tree Care Toolkit