Beaver Brook Is Proud To Be A NH Tree Farm
Jeff Smith, one of the founders of Beaver Brook (BBA), was one of the first Tree Farmers in the State of New Hampshire. Jeff donated his Tree Farm to the organization and we’ve continued to manage and harvest forest products since then. BBA has been recognized as NH Tree Farmer of The Year – an award given on the basis of forest management excellence and public exposure.
Over the years BBA has been host to numerous forestry and wildlife management undergraduate and graduate field trips and has hosted several New England Society of American Forester’s field trips to observe management techniques. Our land has been chosen for growth studies including one involved with the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Maine researching the effect of the fungus Caliciopsis Canker.
Land stewardship is a critical component of our mission and timber harvests are just one way that we manage the overall health of the forest.
Why We Conduct Timber Harvests
Timber harvests are carefully designed to:
- Maintain long-term health of the forest by ensuring trees have enough room to grow, and by removing unhealthy trees or trees at risk of being damaged by the elements, or disease
- Improve wildlife habitat by creating a variety of vegetation types and age classes to provide food and shelter
- Increase productivity of the forest by removing crowded, unhealthy, and mature trees to provide space for the remaining trees and encourage regeneration
Harvests occur annually and are part of our long-term forest management plan. BBA’s Natural Resources team keeps a watchful eye on species that currently carry or could be susceptible to disease and timber harvests are a way to control the spread. After a harvest, tree branches are left on the forest floor to decompose. This is known as “slash” and while it may look messy at first, it provides an incredibly rich habitat for many species.
How Is The Harvest Conducted?
The Natural Resources team carefully selects the trees to be harvested and partners with Wilkins Lumber of Milford, NH to complete the physical harvesting. A path is carefully selected for the equipment to travel so that the area is minimally impacted. Once processed, the lumber products stay in the community for a variety of uses.
Timber harvests at BBA are fairly small operations and typically only have one piece of equipment running. If you are in the area you may hear sawing or falling trees. You may see equipment moving trees from the forest to a landing zone where a truck will come to collect them.
The safety of trail users is of critical importance. When there is an active harvest occurring it is common to see temporary trail closures and signage on the trails indicating what areas to avoid. If you are near an active harvest area please keep an eye out for caution and closure signage.
One of the areas we will harvest in 2022 is located between the Big Tree Trail and Brown Lane. This area was last harvested 40 years ago and since then, these trees have grown mature and are becoming overcrowded. As the crowns begin to close in, the White Pine becomes susceptible to a fungus called Caliciopsis. Thinning crowns will improve airflow and help the trees overcome this fungus. This preventative maintenance will keep our forests healthy.
This harvest is expected to take a few weeks. While this work is taking place, the Big Tree trail will be closed. If you’re out on the trails, watch for caution signs that will help you avoid the work area. We’ll post any necessary updates here, on the trails and on our social media channels.