Farm land being repopulated with trees

Asked October 5, 2020, 3:08 PM EDT

Our family farm, not being farmed for 40 years, is slowly being taken over by pine trees and other growth (including invasive species-olive bushes). We are not sure what to do with land and if we want to keep the trees from growing back in. What is the best policy to care for the land? We want to be good stewards, but are not sure if there is a "proper" way to let the land to return to trees or if it would be healthier to guide the regrowth or cut all the growth down and keep open fields. Hire a forester? What would be a good first step in?

Emmet County Michigan

1 Response

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert!
A good first step would be to meet with local resource professionals for advice and to learn if there are programs to help eliminate the invasive species (likely autumn olive). Here is a link to the Emmet Conservation District:
Jackie Pilette is a wealth of information.
You may also want to reach out to your local Natural Resources Conservation Service representative to invite that person out on a walk (perhaps along with Jackie?). Here is a link to the Charlevoix/Emmet County NRCS Information; the office is located in Petoskey:
Between these two organizations, I think you will find a path and support to achieve your goals. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck!
All the best,