Efforts to protect working forests throughout our region, ensuring that they will continue to be a source of timber, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration for generations to come.
Are you interested in logging, forest management, or land clearing? We’ve been providing forestry services for landowners in CT, MA, and RI for over 55 years, and our work has earned us awards from the EPA and the Sand County Foundation. We can help you achieve your objectives.
Whether your goals are to improve the long-term health of your forest, conduct a timber harvest, convert forestland to open land, increase recreational access to your property, enhance wildlife habitat, generate income, or a combination of these, we can help!
Hull Forest Products and Hull Forest Products founder Bill Hull are the first New England recipients of the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award. Presented by the Sand County Foundation, New England Forestry Foundation, and American Farmland Trust, the award recognized outstanding achievement in the voluntary conservation of natural resources by American foresters, farmers, and ranchers.
Bill Hull showed an affinity for trees in his childhood Rhode Island backyard. By the age of 15 he convinced a local farmer to lend him the money to purchase a forest. He paid off the loan (with interest) two years later, and was on his way to becoming one of New England’s leading foresters.
While earning a forestry degree at the University of New Hampshire, Hull got his start in the lumber business sawing white oaks into barrel staves on an old-fashioned circular sawmill. Despite market downturns and collapses, bankruptcy scares, and several devastating fires, he bootstrapped a tiny business into the largest sawmill in southern New England. Today, Hull Forest Products manufactures more than 10 million board feet of lumber into sustainable building materials each year, including wood flooring sold mill-direct to the public.
With a business dependent on healthy, productive forests, he launched a woodland management division staffed with licensed foresters to help other landowners keep their woodlands intact by providing them a viable financial return.
He’s acquired more than 27,000 acres of forestland with a single-minded dedication for conserving working forests that provide bird and wildlife habitat and biodiversity across New England. In addition, Hull Forest Products manages thousands of acres of client woodlands in the Northeast, helping landowners grow value in their woods while keeping their forests as forests.
Hull Forest Products, which employs 80 people, is a family of forestland owner-investors working in the combined fields of forest management, timber harvesting, and wood products manufacturing and marketing.
Hull credits his rural background with teaching him that growing and harvesting trees helps the environment through increased wildlife habitat, improved air and water quality, and carbon sequestration. He has voluntarily placed conservation easements on 90 percent of his southern New England forests.
The Hull family has permanently protected 27,740 acres of forestland through Hull Forestlands, much of which is FSC-certified. By removing the possibility of development, it ensures that working forests will remain a source of timber for generations to come. These unique and environmentally important landscapes are home to wetlands, streams, and forests that sustain drinking water supplies for urban areas, and provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.
In 2000, Hull Forestlands participated in the largest private land protection project in Massachusetts history by permanently preserving more than 8,000 acres of working forestland. The Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs hailed the innovative project that spread across five watersheds in Massachusetts and Connecticut as a “regional model for innovative conservation of natural resources.”
“Bill Hull has been protecting and sustainably managing New England’s forests for decades, and New England Forestry Foundation is thrilled to recognize his tireless work with the Leopold Conservation Award,” said Bob Perschel, Executive Director of New England Forestry Foundation. “Over the decades, Bill has helped break new ground be introducing conservation methods like large-scale conservation easements, and he remains a key partner in our efforts to achieve a region-wide vision of forest protection and responsible management.”
“Bill Hull exemplifies the ideals of Aldo Leopold. His commitment to his industry, land conservation, community, and to the land on which he has built his legacy make him an ideal recipient of New England’s first Leopold Conservation Award,” said Nathan W. L’Etoile, New England Director of American Farmland Trust. “Like Bill, thousands of farmers, foresters, and forestland owners are working every day to protect land, provide clean water and air, combat climate change and produce safe, wholesome, high quality food and fiber for their communities.”
“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental success,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
The New England Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of New England Forestry Foundation, American Farmland Trust-New England, The John Merck Fund, The Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation, Wildlands and Woodlands, Whole Foods Market, David and Ann Ingram, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for conservation on private land, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional foresters, ranchers and farmers. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac; Aldo Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. He wrote it was “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.
Join us for our sawmill tour! Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, will host free sawmill tours of its forest products manufacturing facility in Pomfret Center, CT on Saturday October 19, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm. Learn about forest management, timber harvesting, and wood manufacturing, and watch as local timber is transformed into finished products before your eyes. Observe the forest-to-floor process and develop a greater understanding of where local wood products come from and how they are made. Participants will also learn how using local wood helps conserve local forests.
This is a great “how it’s made” tour for all ages, free and open to the public, offered in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober.
Wide plank wood flooring in the kitchen? Yes. Wood adds a warm and organic element to what is often the most modern room in the house. Wood also contrasts well with sleek or metal kitchen surfaces. On trend for 2018, more homeowners are choosing to add wide plank flooring as a way to put their unique imprint on kitchen remodels.
Here are a few examples of kitchens that created one-of-a-kind looks with our custom wide plank wood flooring:
Imagine the white kitchen above with a more neutral color floor – without the reddish floor, this room would have a totally different look. The rich red hue of the American Cherry plank flooring really warms up this kitchen’s color palette.
The wide plank hickory floor in the modern Boston kitchen shown above also adds warmth and interest to an all white kitchen, but in a very different way. In this case, the wood character and the color variation between hickory’s pale sapwood and darker brown heartwood create the wow factor.
Another white kitchen, the California example (shown above) used figured Birch wood flooring to create a unique and contrasting interior.
Also be sure to check out more examples below from our Houzz profile. Hull Forest Products was voted Best of Houzz again – for 2018. This makes seven awards in a row now because our floors and and customer service are so popular with users.
Each year hundreds of students from local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges tour the Hull Forest Products sawmill in Pomfret, CT to learn about forestry and wood products manufacturing. 2017 school groups included students from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Burrillville High School in Rhode Island, and the advanced environmental studies class from nearby Pomfret Preparatory School, where teacher Annie O’Sullivan has been bringing her students to the Hull sawmill for several years now. We asked Ms. O’Sullivan to describe what role Hull Forest Products plays in her students’ learning:
“Our students have had a fantastic time touring Hull each fall for the past couple of years. I first took a tour as a grad school at Yale Forestry, so was eager to connect once I started working at Pomfret. In the fall we have a unit on Forest Ecology, so the students spend time in the Pomfret [School] forest learning their trees and about forest ecosystems in general. They then learn a bit about forestry management and why landowners might cut trees to encourage growth.
I have them think about where their wood products come from (they don’t know, except from Ikea), so that’s why we take the trip to Hull Forest Products. It’s there that the students really grasp for the first time how this natural resource they are so familiar with (red oaks) are turned into the flooring we see towards the end of the tour. They are usually pretty into the debarker and seeing the saws operating with the lasers.
My course is really about educating students about sustainability. Thus, I am trying to get them to understand that we use natural resources like water and food and trees, and that’s okay – being an environmentalist is not about rejecting all commodities. It’s really about how we grow and use them that determines what our future will look like. Hull is an amazing place for the kids to see that process right in front of their eyes.”
In the fall of 2017 students from Burrillville High School had the opportunity to tour an active timber harvest with Hull forester Chris Casadei, seeing how and why particular trees are marked for harvest. The students also toured the Hull sawmill to observe the manufacture of forest products from local logs. Students were able to see the entire process – forests being managed sustainably for the production of timber, the breaking down of logs on on a band head rig, the flow of boards through the sawmill and its dry kilns, and even the secondary manufacturing of flooring from some of this lumber.
Public outreach is an important part of every forester’s job – and we encourage our entire team to help educate the public about the vital role that forests ad forest products play in our ecosystem and economy.
Want to learn more? You can visit Hull Forest Products at these upcoming events:
March 17, 2018: Connecticut Land Conservation Conference, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
March 22-25: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Pier 94, NYC
March 23-24: JLC Show, Providence, RI Convention Center
March 27-29: New England Society of American Foresters winter meeting, Nashua, NH: New England Forest Stories – The People – The Management – The Technical Knowledge
July 10-12: NWFA Intermediate Wood Flooring Installation, NYC
Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the metro NYC and metro Boston area, as well as New England’s biggest producer of White Oak products, is hosting a series of FREE and FUN events during the month of October that highlight the value of local working forests and the forest economy. Open to the public, these events are designed to foster a greater connection between people and forests, and we hope you can attend!
Sawmill Tour at Hull Forest Products October 7th – Pomfret, CT
A fascinating behind-the-scenes “how it’s made” tour of a modern sawmill facility – watch as we turn raw timber into finished forest products. Learn how sustainably harvested local wood is milled into lumber, flooring, post and beam timbers, and more. A must for builders, architects, contractors, and designers. Also recommended for families or anyone curious about how wood products are made. Tours are an easy .4 mile walk and take approximately 90 minutes. Tours will be offered on a drop-in basis from 8am – 2pm. Please note that this event was listed incorrectly in TLGV’s Walktober Guide. It is being held on Saturday October 7th.
Date: Saturday October 7, 2017 8am-2pm
Location: 101 Hampton Road (Route 97) Pomfret Center, CT 06259
Woods Walk #1: The Man Behind the Yale University Forests October 15 – Union, CT
Join us Sunday October 15th for a 2-hour 2-mile guided walk of Hull Forestlands’ Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale University Forest founder George Hewitt Myers. Walk participants will learn about changes in the land over time since the days of the Nipmuck Indians, early farming in the area, and the man behind the Yale Forests, who worked to create this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. Walkers will tour the site of the Myers family summer home and cemetery. This tour also showcases sustainable forestry and the ways in which woodland management can improve and diversify bird habitat. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers on this walk.
Date: Sunday October 15 1:30 pm (raindate October 22 at 1:30 pm)
Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.
Contact: Hull forester Michael Bartlett (860) 377-0117
A 2-hour 1.5- mile guided tour over moderate terrain at the Westridge Farm Forest and the neighboring Pachaug State Forest. Led by foresters from both Hull Forest Products and the state of CT, participants will view and discuss recent woodland management activities, see beautiful old stone walls, and then cross into adjacent Pachaug State Forest to visit cultural artifacts including an old shingle mill site.
Date: October 21st 10 am (rain date is October 28th at 10 am)
Location: 611 Wyassup Road, North Stonington, CT
Contact: Hull forester Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550
Woods Walk #3: Historic Steerage Rock October 22 -Brimfield, MA
On this 2-hour guided woods walk you will learn about historic Steerage Rock, once a favored camping site of King Philip, son of Massasoit, and a landmark on the old Indian trail that later became known as the Bay Path, which served as a landmark for the pioneer settlers of the Connecticut Valley. Participants will view actively managed woodland and enjoy a vista of Brimfield Common as well as a view of the path of destruction left by the the 2011 tornado. Bring binoculars. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Date: October 22 1:30-3:30 pm, rain or shine
Location: Steerage Rock Road, across from 1 Harnois Lane, Brimfield, MA
Contact: Hull forester Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117
Woods Walk #4: Enhancing Wildlife Habitat, Improving Forest Health, and Creating New Opportunities at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center – October 28 – Spencer, MA
Join us for a guided woods tour over moderate rolling terrain to view and discuss recent woodland management activities on the 100-acre working forest at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center. Participants will walk new recreational trails created during a 2017 timber harvest and observe enhanced wildlife habitat, a young hard maple stand that will serve as a future sugarbush for the camp, areas where stump grinding has been completed to reclaim old fields, and areas that were once pasture land that have since converted back to woodland.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Did you know that you can enhance wildlife diversity on your own property through woodland management? Read on to learn how you and your forester can create greater biodiversity through silvicultural practices.
“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 (and southern New England forests in general). Connecticut’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. For more information on Hull Forestlands’ Myers Pond Forest, you can access the forest history here: Myers-Pond-Forest-History-2020
Learn more about woodland management for your property. Check out our youtube channel for videos on our award-winning forestry and timber harvesting services, as well as our lumber and wood products manufacturing (utilizing sustainably harvested local timber). See where harvested wood goes and how it is utilized in a zero-waste operation to make products that store carbon throughout their service lives as well as by-products that reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Read reviews from clients who have used our forest management, logging, and timber harvesting services.
Contact the Hull Forest Products forestry department today for a free no-obligation consultation. (860) 974-0127 extension 4.
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.