Healthy, productive forests don’t happen by accident. Growing quality timber, suitable wildlife habitat, and resilient ecosystems can require a considerable deal of forethought and the implementation of forest management practices (silviculture) years in advance of the realization of management goals. Wildwood Consulting offers a range of services geared towards increasing or restoring the productivity of our clients’ forestland. Additionally, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to inform our landowners on state and federally funded cost share programs available to help ease the financial burdens associated with good forest management.
Silvicultural treatments we provide include:
Natural regeneration: Depending on the landowner’s goals and the condition of the stand, many hardwood stands can be regenerated by relying on stump sprouts, seed-in place, and advance regeneration (seedlings and saplings present prior to harvest). The art to this process is manipulating the conditions on the forest floor to promote the best mixture of species to achieve the long-term goals for the stand.
Artificial regeneration (planting): When adequate natural regeneration is not present, foresters rely on seedlings produced off site. Choosing the correct species, sourcing growing stock, ensuring adequate survival, and providing good growing conditions are all important factors in ensuring a tree-planting investment pays off.
Natural or artificial, Wildwood Consulting is well versed in helping our clients navigate the complexities of establishing the next generation of trees on their property. We offer consultation on the process as well as the administration of contracted planting and site preparation work, while also providing many of these services in-house.
Timber Stand Improvement (TSI): Not every tree in a forest reaches maturity, nor do we want them to. As a forest develops there are winners and losers. Timber stand improvement work can be executed to help push a younger forest in a direction that will more quickly realize the owner’s goals through improved growth, quality, aesthetics, composition, or habitat elements. Crop-tree-release, cull tree-removal, pre-commercial thinning and sanitization are all treatments we can complete to help a stand provide more of what our clients want.
Prescribed Fire: Modern forest managers use the latest knowledge in scientific fire management to help restore fire-dependent ecosystems, improve wildlife habitat, promote more valuable tree species, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Using on-the-ground weather monitoring and careful planning, our prescribed fire crew is able to set low-intensity ground fires within secure fire breaks to safely imitate the natural fires that have burned in this area for millennia. As one of the only private companies in our region offering this service, Wildwood Consulting can offer experience, reliability, and safety on all of our prescribed burning projects.
Invasive Plant Control: A weed is any plant where you don’t want it. When conditions are right, some weeds can become invasive, excluding other vegetation from the site. In the southeastern US, the greatest threat is usually from plants introduced from other continents at the same latitude, but in some cases native species can become invasive as well, such as fox grape, Virginia pine, and rhododendron.
We have over twenty years of experience treating non-native invasive plants in western North Carolina, and we maintain current Pesticide Consultant and Pesticide Applicator Licenses. Over the years, we have developed cost-effective techniques and equipment to control even the most heavily invaded properties.
Wildlife Habitat Improvement: Every action or inaction will benefit some species over others. Forest management practices can often be tailored to provide a diversity of habitat types supporting a broad range of species. In other situations, more specific conditions are needed to promote our clients’ desired species. Wildwood has experience establishing food plots for game species, creating habitat for declining song birds, improving nesting and feeding habitat for ruffed-grouse, monitoring for bats, sowing wildflower mixtures for pollinators, creating snags for cavity nesting birds and mammals, and burning upland pine stands to promote bobwhite quail. Our broad range of experience reflects not only the diversity of our forests and wildlife, but also the broad range of our clients’ goals.