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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

 

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

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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.

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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

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Explore the Woods With Us This Fall

Portion of the frame and left side landing gear of one of two Navy F6F-FN Hellcats that crashed in the woods of Preston, CT in 1944. (Courtesy of the CT State Historic Preservation Office.)

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

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New Woodland Management Video

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:

 

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Woodland Management Provides Income, Recreational Opportunity, and a Forestry Education at Connecticut’s Camp Tadma

 

Scout Forestry Management Camp at Camp Tadma, CT
Woodland management conducted by Hull Forest Products at the Mark Greer Scout Reservation helped create a forestry curriculum for the Cub Scouts, and the Friends of Camp Tadma erected this sign to highlight the area.

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.

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Hull Forest Products Recognized for Contribution to New England Agriculture

Hull Forest Products log yard Pomfret CT
This photograph of our logyard in winter was selected to grace the February 2013 Farm Credit Calendar

Here at Hull Forest Products, we’re quite chipper about winning Farm Credit’s 2013 photo contest, which highlights regional agriculture. Farm Credit is the nation’s largest lender to cater exclusively to agricultural businesses and rural America.

Not everyone realizes the contribution that forestry and forest products make to southern New England’s agricultural sector–more than $250 million annually in Connecticut alone. In addition, the forest products industry employs thousands of CT residents.

We like to remind folks that if they enjoy the local landscape, they can support that landscape by choosing locally grown forest products. Landowners who earn periodic income from the sale of timber on their woodland are much more likely to keep their land in forest instead of converting it to development, which is the largest threat to the region’s forests.

This photo of our Pomfret, Connecticut logyard in winter, with logs waiting to be milled into lumber, flooring, and other sustainable wood products was selected from among the many entries Farm Credit received and will be their February 2013 calendar photo.