Accelerating the Pace of Woodland Conservation in the Southern New England Heritage Forest

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.

The outlined area is the focus of a USDA/NRCS grant to accelerate the pace of woodland conservation. As the largest woodland management service in the region, Hull Forest Products will provide assistance to landowners seeking sound forest management for their working forests.

Hull Forest Products Is Project Partner with This New House

Hull Forest Products Sabine Schoenberg This New House

Sabine Schoenberg of This New House chats with Hull Forest Products floor salesman Greg Anderson.

February 2016 – Hull Forest Products is excited to announce it is a project partner with This New House (TNH) and will be supplying wood flooring for the TNH’s Greenwich House!

Sabine H. Schoenberg, founder of TNH, was looking for healthy, sustainable wood flooring that would also be good for the indoor air quality in the home, so she turned to Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, known for its forest-to-floor wood flooring.

A family business since 1965, Hull Forest Products utilizes locally grown and sustainably harvested wood to mill custom-made wide and long plank flooring. Hull Forest Products ships its floors nationwide, making it the mill-direct wood flooring source for metro NYC and beyond.

Browse Hull Forest Products Wood Floors

 

Wide Plank Wood Flooring In The Kitchen

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!)

Four Events that Highlight Sustainable Forestry this Fall in Northeastern Connecticut

This fall Hull Forest Products is offering four free and fun events for the whole family that celebrate Connecticut’s working forests and locally grown wood products. We hope you can join us for one of these guided woods walks or for the Hull Forest Products sawmill tour, where  you can watch us turn locally grown wood into beautiful and durable wood flooring and lumber.

1.) Town Forest Provides Recreational Opportunity, Wildlife Habitat, and Forest Products

 

The North Brookfield Town Forest is being managed for multiple uses, including recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, and the long-term production of forest products.

Join us for a walk on the 45-acre town forest owned by North Brookfield, Massachusetts, and learn how long-term forest stewardship can be applied to manage land for multiple uses and benefits, including recreation, income, and renewable energy. Hull Forest Products currently manages this land, and through the use of whole tree chipping, much of the low quality and traditionally non-merchantable timber has been removed and utililzed to produce renewable energy, while improving the conditions in the forest. The property is being managed for  recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty, and the long-term production of forest products. Part of the forest is being turned into a woodland park for town residents to fish, walk, and picnic. This is a one-mile loop walk over moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome.

 

Date/Time: Saturday October 3rd, starting at 10 am.

Location: 20 West Brookfield Road (Route 67) North Brookfield, MA, 01535. Signs will be posted.

Contact: Ross Hubacz (860) 576-1546

 

2.) This Was His Forest: George Hewitt Myers, the Man Behind the Yale University Forest

View of Myers Pond and fall foliage at Hull Forestland's Myers Pond Forest, Union, CT.

Join us for a 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of Hull Forestland’s Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale Forest founder George Hewitt Myers and today the only private inholding in the Yale Myers Forest. Learn about the man behind the Yale-Myers Forest and how he worked to put together this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. See the site of the Myers home and family cemetery. This walk will be led by Hull Forest Products forester Mike Bartlett, who has received the “Mr. Walktober” award from TLGV for hosting over a thousand Walktober participants in his 15 years of volunteering for Walktober. The tour will focus on sustainable forestry, how woodland management can improve bird habitat, and the life and times of George Hewitt Myers. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers. We hope you can join us!

Date/Time: October 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm (raindate is 10/25/15 at 1:30 pm)

Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.

Contact: Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117

 

3.) Timber! A Guided Tour of the Wilford Farm Woodlot

This purple trap is designed to attract and trap the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that feeds on Ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer is in Connecticut, and there is a now a quarantine affecting the movement of Ash materials and firewood out of Connecticut. Photo courtesy of USDA.

Join licensed forester Chris Casadei for this 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of the 170 acre Wilford Farm forest; participants will get to view and discuss recent woodland management activities including an improvement thinning and an Ash sanitation harvest designed to pre-emptively salvage Ash trees before the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that has infected Ash trees across Connecticut. The Wilford Farm woodlands have a history of active forest management since the old farm was disbanded, and they comprise a rolling landscape with a vast network of streams and wetlands as well as excellent wildlife habitat. Moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers.

Date/Time: October 3, 2015 10 am rain or shine

Location: Willington, CT. From Route 74 head south on Parker Road, take a left on Cowls Road, then left on Busse Road, and left on Meadow Lane. Follow Meadow Lane to the end. There is plenty of parking in the cul-de-sac.

Contact: Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550

 

4.) From Forest to Flooring: Making Local Goods from Local Woods at the Hull Forest Products Sawmill

A locally grown Red Oak log is sawn on the double cut band mill at Hull Forest Products.

Tour a modern a sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility and learn how locally grown trees are sustainably harvested and milled into lumber for flooring, furniture, post and beam timbers, railroad ties, pallets, and more. Watch as logs are transformed into lumber before your eyes. This is a great “how it’s made” type of tour that the whole family will enjoy. Tours take approximately one and a half hours and are an easy .4 mile walk.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a modern sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility.  Here’s what a past tour participant had to say about the experience:

“Many, many thanks for the wonderful tour of the Hull Forest Products facility. I was impressed beyond words. To see hardwood timber–right off the logging truck–being transformed with sophisticated computer-controlled milling machines into finished product right before my eyes was truly amazing. This process must be experienced firsthand to really appreciate the enormous effort required to deliver such a diverse array of wood products from railroad ties to wide plank flooring.
And to think that this family-owned manufacturing company is based right here in Connecticut at a time when sadly, very little seems to be made in our country any more. I will not only recommend your beautiful timber and flooring products, but will do so proudly and enthusiastically.Thank you for allowing me this exceptional opportunity. Keep up the good work! ”

Date/Time: October 17, 2015, tours offered from 8 am to 2 pm

Location: Hull Forest Products, 101 Hampton Road (Route 97), Pomfret Center, CT 06259

Contact: Hull Forest Products (860) 974-0127

 

 

How Landowners Can Enhance Wildlife Habitat Through Forest Management

Black throated blue warbler, photographed in Hull Forestland's Connecticut woodland during a bird habitat assessment by Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation at CT Audubon. This warbler prefers mixed woodlands with thick undergrowth, especially mountain laurel.

“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.

Woodland Management Can Diversify Habitat

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.

Habitat Case Study: The Myers Pond Forest

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 Participates in National Bioenergy Day

The biomass boiler at Bennington College in Vermont. Since 2008 Bennington has used locally grown wood chips from Hull Forest Products to reduce its dependence on oil. The school has cut its emissions by over 40 percent and aims to become carbon neutral by 2020.

October 2014–

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.

 

Free Guided Woods Walks This Fall in Northeastern Connecticut

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 giving a tour of Hatchet Hill in Woodstock, CT.

1.) Hatchet Hill Hike, Woodstock, CT | October 11, 2014, 9 a.m.

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

Hull forester Chris Casadei will lead hikers on a "Working Family Forest and Shelterwood Harvest" tour on October 19, 2014.

2.) Working Family Forest and Shelterwood Harvest Tour | October 19, 2014, 10 a.m.

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.

Hull Floors Used At Frye Boot Stores

Frye Boot's Manhattan flagship store used ten inch wide floor planks of natural White Oak from Hull Forest Products.

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.

Audubon Applauds Quality of Bird Habitat at Hull’s Connecticut Forestland

Scarlet Tanager, photographed at Hull's Myers Pond Forest in Union, CT, a mixed deciduous forest interspersed with hemlocks and pines. Photo courtesy of Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation/Audubon Connecticut.

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.

View of Myers Pond and fall foliage at Hull Forestland's Myers Pond Forest. The woodland has been formally managed for timber production since 1900 and provides a wide range of bird habitat, including sedge/tussock, meadow, open water, riparian, and upland habitat types.

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.

Woodland Ambassador Tour April 26, 2014

 

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: wood@hullforest.com  or (860) 420-7420