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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
To date we have permanently protected over 10,000 acres of our Massachusetts and Connecticut woodlands from development. These working forests provide so many public benefits, including enhanced air and water quality, large unfragmented wildlife habitat, critical wintering and staging areas for migratory waterfowl, carbon sequestration, and a steady supply of timber to meet society’s demand for sustainably grown, renewable building materials.
As part of our commitment to multiple use in our forestland (wildlife, timber, recreation), we lease some of these large forestland properties to individuals and groups interested in exclusive hunting leases and recreational access. The properties generally include access roads, gates, and miles of trails. Some even have warming cabins with wood stoves. Our clients include fish & game clubs whose suburban locations do not allow them to hunt deer; bird dog trial enthusiasts; hunters; and outdoorsmen and women of all kinds. Some of our lease clients have been with us for over 30 years, allowing them and their families to develop a special connection with the land.
For more information on our recreational leasing program, visit us at hullforest.com and click on the “Forestry” tab.
As a valued member of our community, we’re giving you a heads up on our fall woods walks so you can mark your calendar now and save the dates for these free and educational tours:
Town Forest Does the Public Good:
Explore the recent forest management activities initiated by the Preston Redevelopment Agency and Hull Forest Products on land once owned by the Norwich State Hospital mental health facility. This 2-mile, 2-hour hike over moderate terrain includes a large reservoir, panoramic views of the Thames River, beautiful timber, and historic artifacts from the crash of two Navy Hellcats that went down in these woods while practicing night interception maneuvers in October 1944. Date: October 19, 2013 10 am (rain date 10/26/13 10 am) Location: 21 Route 12, Preston, CT Directions: Approximately 1/4 mile north of the junction of Rte.12 and Rte. 2A on the right. Follow signs to a parking area near the reservoir. Contact: Hull forester Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550
Forest to Faucet:
Learn how local forests protect watersheds as you explore the beautiful reservoirs of the Southbridge Water Supply and Hull Forestland’s abutting Breakneck Brook Forest. Protected by a conservation easement from MA Fish & Wildlife, the Breakneck Brook Forest is a working woodland that provides drinking water supply protection, recreational opportunity, and a source of timber. This is a 3-mile walk over moderate terrain and should take 2.5 hours. Date: October 19, 2013 9:30 am Location: 511 Breakneck Road Southbridge, MA Directions: From the intersection of South Rd. and Breakneck Rd., take Breakneck Road south for 1 mile and park at the filtration plant. Contact: Hull forester Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117
Interested in learning woodland management 101? Hull Forest Products offers free open-to-the-public woods walks and tours each year to explain the principles of forest management and show off our work. Can’t make it? Fret not, we have recorded the highlights of our latest woods tour in this 7-minute video:
Over 700 acres of productive forestland in Granville, Massachusetts have been permanently protected in a collaborative effort between the Hull family, the New England Forestry Foundation, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEA), and the town of Granville, MA. The conserved forestland protects Valley Brook, which is Granville’s largest stream and an important tributary to the Hartford Metroplican District’s Barkhamstead Reservoir, the primary water source for the city of Hartford, CT.
Hull Forestlands L.P., the Hull family land trust, granted a conservation easement for the 715 acres to the New England Forestry Foundation in June 2013. This land protection project is part of the Western Massachusetts Aggregation Project, which aims to create larger unfragmented parcels of land in central and western Massachusetts. The New England Forestry Foundation received a Landscape Partnership Grant from the MA EOEA in 2012 to pursue the project.
The Hull family, who already steward over 8,000 acres of permanently protected forestland in Massachusetts and Connecticut, had long expressed an interest in seeing the Granville forests protected. The newly conserved forests add to large contiguous tracts of conserved forestland in the area, including NEFF’s Phelon Memorial Forest, forests owned by the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), and those of other private landowners.
The Hull family’s Granville forests, called the “Noble & Cooley Forest” and the “Valley Brook Forest” will remain in their natural state and continue to provide a source of timber for generations to come. The Hull family will continue to pay taxes on the land annually to the town of Granville. (And since forestland pays more in taxes than it consumes in community services like education, water, and sewer, forestland is a net financial gain for the town compared to residential land.)
The Hull family own Hull Forest Products–the largest hardwood sawmill in the region–and their mission is to preserve working forests, grow trees, and manufacture wood products, thereby satisfying society’s demand for sustainable building materials and forest ecosystem benefits. Selectively harvested timber from the Valley Brook and Noble & Cooley forests will be turned into lumber, flooring, post & beam timbers, wood chips, and fuel wood. These private forests will also continue to provide public benefits that make them important to the region as a whole, including wildlife habitat, enhanced air and water quality, carbon sequestration, and their contribution to the rural character of New England.
When Yale undergrad Griffin Collier approached Hull Forest Products about the possibility of donating lumber for the Yale Treehouse Project, we were excited to be able to help him reach his goal of building an arboreal retreat for recreation and wildlife viewing. The treehouse project was begun when Collier, inspired by the feelings that treehouses evoke, decided to create one for the entire Yale community. Collier used Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to raise over $10,000 for the project.
Located along the Branch Brook Trail just a short walk from base camp at Yale-Myers, the Yale treehouse will soon be built in an old Sugar Maple whose low spreading limbs provide an ideal embrace. Hull Forest Products is supplying kiln dried Sassasfras lumber at cost for the construction of the treehouse. The structure may well draw more Yale students to the forest, particularly ones outside the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies who might not otherwise have reason to visit. And in our opinion, anytime you can bring people into nature, it’s a good thing.
Our Myers Pond Forest , which is under conservation easement to the Nature Conservancy, abuts the Yale-Myers Forest and is the only private inholding within Yale-Myers. This property was where the summer home of Yale forest founder George Hewitt Myers once stood. Myers, who told Yale Forest head David Smith, “I wanted to be able to stand on top of a hill and own all the land, as far as I could see”, would no doubt have appreciated the vantage point the Yale treehouse will offer.
Our woodland owning clients sometimes like to know where their wood is going and what it’s going to be used for after a harvest. So today we’re telling the story of the not-so-lowly wood chip, and how it’s keeping New Englanders warm in winter.
When we at Hull Forest Products buy your timber and saw those logs at our mill, nothing is wasted. Bark is peeled off and turned into landscaping mulch. Sawdust is recycled in our biomass-powered dry kilns and also sold to wood pellet manufacturers. Slabs, edgings, and trimmings are ground into wood chips, a versatile product with uses ranging from paper production to playground surfacing to biomass heating.
One ton of wood chips has the energy equivalent of approximately 60 gallons of heating oil.
Hull Forest Products supplies mill quality as well as whole tree wood chips to 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.
Since its biomass heating system came online in 2008, Bennington College has reduced its annual emissions by 40 percent. The school used to burn 400,000 gallons of oil to heat the campus through the Vermont winter; now they use less than 10,000. Bennington is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2020, and currently their biggest liability is the 15 percent of the campus not connected to their biomass system. They are now working to extend their steam lines to all areas of the campus.
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. Bennington College uses approximately 6,000 tons of wood chips each year. These chips come from trees grown in family owned working forests, and their use helps promote a healthy market for local wood.
Managing for Multiple Use: The Mark Greer Scout Reservation
Like so many Scout properties, Camp Tadma, an active boys summer camp in Bozrah, CT found itself on the chopping block in 2010 as the Boy Scout Council considered selling the 340-acre property. Friends of Camp Tadma Chairman Bruce Sullivan hoped that a timber harvest would generate some additional income and also improve the long-term health and productivity of the forest, making it more attractive to the Council. Hull Forest Products had conducted timber stand improvement work at Camp Tadma in the 1980s. Now the time had come to revisit those woods.
According to Chris Casadei, the forest resource manager at Hull Forest Products who was assigned to Camp Tadma, “When a forester revisits a woodlot that has responded nicely to the sound management practices applied by his predecessors, there is a feeling of great satisfaction.” “This feeling was abundant as I cruised the productive stands on the opposite side of Tadma Pond at the Mark Greer Scout Reservation. The vigorous growth was a direct result of our timber stand improvement work from the 1980s.”
Managing for Income & Recreation
Casadei reworked the property’s forest stewardship plan to reflect the current conditions and presented his findings and recommendations to the Council’s property committee. He scheduled a timber harvest to take place over two successive winters so it would not conflict with the activities of the seasonal camps held on the property for hundreds of Cub Scouts. Management prescriptions within the stand were tailored to the woodland’s current condition and the way it had responded to the previous work. “We did areas of timber stand improvement and intermediate sawtimber thinning, as well as two small areas of shelterwood harvest,” says Casadei, adding “There was also some ‘while you’re here with the equipment’ clearing of a few new campsites and some problem tree removal within the camp.”
Benefits for the Camp & the Campers
First and foremost, the forest itself has benefited from a flush of natural regeneration and the accelerated growth of the residual stand. The woodland will continue to provide quality wood, clean air and water, recreational opportunity, and wildlife habitat.
Camp Tadma has reestablished itself within the Council as a viable piece of the Connecticut Scouting experience and for the time being, talk of closing the camp has ceased. Whether the income from the timber sale influenced the fate of the camp has yet to be acknowledged, but it certainly could not have hurt.
The objectives and activities of the first winter harvest at Camp Tadma were profiled by the Norwich Bulletin, providing both the camp and Hull Forest Products with great publicity.
Camp Tadma has turned the managed areas into a forestry classroom, and campers hike through the different stands, learning firsthand about woodland management. The Friends of Camp Tadma were so pleased they proudly erected a “BSA Forestry Management Camp” sign at the camp’s entrance. Cub Scouts now have the opportunity to learn firsthand how working forests provide multiple benefits, including wildlife habitat, a sustainable supply of timber, and recreational opportunity.