January 2017- Hull Forest Products is excited to be a project partner with The Last Green Valley, helping to accelerate the pace of woodland conservation in the Southern New England Heritage Forest! We will be providing practical advice to more woodland owners and helping them create sound management plans for their #workingforests. Working forests provide huge benefits, including air and water quality enhancement, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, and a continued supply of sustainable wood.
On trend for 2016, more homeowners are choosing to add wide plank flooring when they remodel their kitchens. Check out these examples from our Houzz profile (Hull Forest Products was just voted Best of Houzz 2016 because our photos are so popular with users!)
“Forest” is the largest land category in Connecticut, with approximately 60 percent of the state covered in forest. Since the statistic began being tracked in 1952, Connecticut’s net growth of trees has exceeded removals, and today the ratio of growth to removals is more than 2:1.
However, there is a noticeable lack of diversity in the age classes of Connecticut forests. The state’s forests consist of 69 percent mature stands, 25 percent intermediate stands, and just 6 percent regenerating stands.
There is a critical loss of young forest habitat (also known as early successional habitat) in the state. When there are not enough young forest stands, then species that prefer low-lying vegetation are fewer in number. A diverse mix of forest age classes is beneficial because it provides the maximum range of wildlife habitat. Forest management is one way that landowners can influence the future composition of Connecticut’s forests.
Forests change constantly, with or without human intervention, and over time a new tree species comes to dominate another through a cycle called succession. Some people oppose intervention because they fear it might harm wildlife, but in the long run, doing nothing can lead to conditions that are unfavorable for the very wildlife they want to help. Woodland owners have an important opportunity to influence the type and quality of wildlife habitat on their land through active forest management.
Openings within a forest create edge habitat. “Edge” is the term for where plant communities meet, or where successional stages or vegetative conditions within communities come together. This is often the richest area in a forest in terms of wildlife abundance and diversity. Having a variety of habitat cover types and timber age classes is beneficial for many species of wildlife, including birds, because of the abundance of edges they create.
Working with a licensed forester, landowners can plan for timber harvests that not only provide income, but also create the desired timber age classes and habitat conditions favored by wildlife species. If the landowner’s neighbors also own forestland and have similar goals, then the habitat management can be implemented on an even larger scale.
Check out this handy Foresters For the Birds guide produced by Vermont Audubon to see how you as a landowner can work with a forester to promote habitat for specific bird species in your woodland.
In 2014 scientists from Connecticut Audubon and the CT Agriculture Experiment Station conducted bird habitat assessments on over 25 woodland properties in Connecticut. One of the most intensively managed properties they visited was Hull Forestlands’ own Myers Pond Forest in Union, CT, which has been actively managed for timber production since 1900, with a recent focus on hemlock removals and white pine regeneration.
Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation for CT Audubon, personally photographed a wide variety of birds and habitats on the land, including sedge/tussock meadow, open water, riparian, and upland bird habitats. Comins hailed the property as “One of the crown jewels of forestland in Connecticut.”
Jeffrey Ward, Chief Scientist at the Dept. of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment station, said the Myers Pond Forest was the “best managed property he had seen” in their bird habitat assessments. In addition to a wide variety of birds, the Myers Pond Forest is home to many of the common woodland mammals of eastern North American, including white tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, coyote, bobcat, and beaver.
The Myers Pond Forest is an excellent example of how intensively managed forests provide a wealth of wildlife habitat while at the same time producing timber to meet the needs of society.
Learn more about woodland management for your property.
Hull Forest Products is participating in the second annual National Bioenergy Day event on October 22, 2014, to help show the public, elected officials, media, and other stakeholders how local companies are utilizing bioenergy.
Hull Forest Products supplies mill quality as well as whole tree wood chips to many New England institutions that utilize biomass heating, including Ponagansett Middle and High Schools in Rhode Island, Mt. Wachusett Community College and the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor Center in Massachusetts, and Bennington College in Vermont.
One ton of wood chips has the energy equivalent of approximately 60 gallons of heating oil, but unlike oil, wood chips are a renewable (and local) source of energy. Hull Forest Products’s woodchips come from trees grown in family-owned working forests, and their use helps promote a healthy market for local wood, which in turn helps keep forests as forests in our region.
Please join us at 99 Canal Street, Putnam, CT from 3-7 pm on October 22, 2014 to learn more about the availability of woody biomass in southern New England and how this resource is being put to use locally. Bioenergy experts will be on hand, along with residential and commercial pellet boiler information, food vendors, and live music.
Hull Forest Products is hosting two woodland walks in October 2014 in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober event. These guided walks are a great opportunity to get some exercise, enjoy the fall foliage, and learn how our licensed foresters help woodland owners manage their land for forest products, wildlife, and recreation. We hope you can join us and bring the whole family for these free, fun, and educational events!
Hull forester Mike Bartlett will lead participants on a 2-hour hike over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain (there are some steep slopes) to tour the Walker family woodland, which has interesting geological features and some of the best scenic vistas in the The Last Green Valley.
Participants will learn how much a tree can expand its crown in one year; how to age a pine tree by its branch whorls; the difference between even and uneven aged forests; which tree species are shade tolerant and which are not; and how foresters manipulate sunlight to promote desired seedling regeneration.
In the same family for over 160 years, the Walker family woodland has been managed for recreation, wildlife habitat, and forest products, and it is an excellent example of how working forests can meet the needs of society while simultaneously providing multiple environmental benefits.
Date/Time: October 11, 2014 9 a.m.
Address:#1914 Rte. 198 Woodstock, CT. This is the West side of Rte. 198, 2 miles north of the intersection of Routes 197 and 198.
Hull forester Chris Casadei will lead this 2-hour walk over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain that was farmed in colonial days, as evidenced by the beautiful stonewalls that still crisscross the land.
Participants will hike the 165-acre property to view and discuss recent forest management activities there, including areas of improvement thinning and a 17-acre first-phase shelterwood harvest designed to remove a declining stand of pine and low quality hardwoods and replace it with upland oak regeneration. This is a great opportunity for anyone considering a shelterwood harvest to get a firsthand look at a textbook example.
Participants will learn what forestry techniques are used to establish a new generation of seedlings from a particular species or group, giving the landowner more control over what regenerates. Other topics include how to protect the health of the residual stand and how income generated over time from the sale of timber can mitigate development pressures on family forestland owners.
Leashed dogs are welcome on this hike.
Date/Time: October 19, 2014, 10 a.m.
Address: From Rte. 138 in Griswold, head south on Bethel Road, take the 3rd right on Stetson Road and follow to cul-de-sac, plenty of on-street parking is available.
If you have visited Frye Boot’s Manhattan or Boston stores, you’ve stood on Hull wide plank Oak. Frye Boot, the oldest continually operated shoe brand in the United States, wanted the design and visual merchandising of its stores to reference their long history of shoemaking, and they turned to “raw” ingredients like wood, leather, and metal to convey the company’s brand heritage. Hull Forest Products provided ten inch wide live sawn solid White Oak flooring for the New York store and eight inch wide live sawn White Oak flooring for the Boston location. Both floors are rustic grade, with occasional knots and character markings, and both were given a dark multi-tonal stain to help create the “vintage workshop” feel envisioned by the Frye’s design team. Learn more.
Union, Connecticut– In the summer of 2014, biologists from Audubon Connecticut and scientists from the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station teamed up to conduct bird habitat assessments on privately owned woodlands across the state, with the goal of helping landowners take steps to enhance bird habitat in their forests. Connecticut has faced forest fragmentation and an ensuing loss of variety in bird habitats, but intensively managed working woodlands can provide a range of critical habitats, from the unfragmented interior forest habitat favored by neotropical migrating birds like the Scarlet Tanager, pictured above, to the early successional habitat favored by shrubland and grassland birds.
Among the woodlands assessed was the Myers Pond Forest in Union, a 450-acre woodland owned by Hull Forestlands and managed by Hull Forest Products, a CT sawmill and woodland management service. Permanently protected with a conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy, Hull’s Myers Pond Forest is surrounded by the 8,000 acre Yale University Forest, creating a large tract of contiguous woodland. The property has been formally managed for timber production for over a century, and most recently has undergone harvests to remove diseased Hemlock and promote White Pine regeneration.
Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Connecticut, was impressed with the quality of the bird habitat at the Myers Pond Forest as well as the way in which Hull’s forest management activities had led to forest regeneration. He hailed the property as “truly one of the crown jewels of forestland in Connecticut.” Jeffrey Ward, Chief Scientist at the Dept. of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment station, declared the Myers Pond Forest the “best managed property he had seen” so far in their bird habitat assessments, which included over 25 properties in Connecticut.
In southern New England, residential development and suburbanization have contributed to forest fragmentation, and as forest parcels grow smaller and smaller, they provide less viable habitat for birds. Smaller parcels also make it more difficult to practice forest management, and as a result, there is less variety of bird habitat. In contrast, when timber harvests are periodically conducted as part of a forest management plan, they create temporary openings in the woods that quickly regenerate to shrubbery, then young forest, eventually growing into mature forest, and they provide a variety of bird habitats in the process.
Hull Forestlands and Hull Forest Products are proud of their role in contributing critical habitat to Connecticut’s birds and grateful that Audubon Connecticut was able to perform the assessments and provide feedback for landowners.
You are invited to join Mike Bartlett and Michele Wood of Hull Forest Products for a Woodland Ambassador Tour at the Wood family forest, 83 Blood Road in Putnam, CT, on Saturday April 26 from 10-noon. (Raindate April 27). Three generations of the Wood family and forester Mike Bartlett will lead a tour of the property. Topics discussed will include invasive species, timber sales, and how to manage woodlands for wildlife habitat, tree growth, and health. If you are wondering about the future of your own forest, this is a great opportunity to meet other landowners, foresters, and land trust members to share information and ask questions. Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Light refreshments will be served. This event is sponsored by the Southern New England Heritage Forest Partnership (SNEHFP),The Last Green Valley, Inc., and the Eastern CT Forest Landowners Association/Wolf Den Land Trust.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 420-7420
Hull Forest Products will be exhibiting its show-stopping wood floors at the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94, 55th Street at Twelfth Avenue, New York City, March 20-23, 2014.