I recently purchased 67 acres that was clear-cut six years ago. The previous...
I recently purchased 67 acres that was clear-cut six years ago. The previous owner attempted to plant several thousand black walnut trees, but the results were not very good. I am looking for direction in how to plan and execute the redevelopment of the forest on most of the 67 acres. I understand that this is a very broad question that cannot be answered with a simple response. I'm requesting advise on where to go to get more information. Books and on-line material I have found do not answer most of my questions: (1) what mix of trees (hard/soft, type) would promote both short and long term health; (2) what effective methods are recommended for protection of young trees from deer and rabbits (what else haven't I thought of?); (3) what resources are available to help me offset the cost of acquiring trees (and the equipment needed to nurture them). (4) several thousand other questions that I haven't even thought of yet. If you can direct me toward any resources, I would be greatly appreciated.
Meigs County Ohio
You are right in that there isn't going to be a simple answer to this. For most woodlands in Ohio planting to regenerate a new forest isn't necessary but controlling invasive plant species may be necessary to get the forest to regenerate. That said, I would try to walk the area with a professional forester who can look at it and make recommendations on moving forward. You have a couple of options on that front. The Ohio Division of Forestry offers a service forester for the county free of charge who can walk the property with you and work with you to create a plan with what steps are necessary to help you work towards the woods you want. To contact the forester for Meigs county (Perry Brannan) go here http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/serviceforesters . This is a free service offered by the division.
The other option is to hire a consulting forester to work with. A list of those for Ohio is available at http://osafdirectory.com There will be a fee for their services.
Starting with an assessment of the site is critical. You need to know what you have and figure out what you want from the woodlands. Once you get there there are educational opportunities offered around the state for woodland related topics. Our Woodland Stewards site also has a listing of publications that can help with the process along with classes scattered around the state http://woodlandstewards.osu.edu
I will gladly help point you in the right direction but a site assessment will help you decide what you want and need to move forward. Hope this helps.