Silviculture is the theory and practice of managing a forest to maintain and enhance its productivity based upon the objectives of its owner and the ecological capabilities of the land.
Forests and woodlots are constantly changing. To get the most out of your property to meet your wildlife, recreational, aesthetic or economic goals, some type of regular management will be necessary. Getting the most out of your woods can be a challenge on your own. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you.
Whether you are interested in wood products, wildlife, recreation, or scenery, proper management of your forest will help you achieve your goals and interests. If you haven’t been managing your woods, consider starting today.
Forest management is providing your forest with the care it needs to remain healthy and provide the benefits you desire. Forest management considers all parts of the forest community: soil, water, plants, animals, birds, and air, as well as the trees. The goal of forest management is a healthy, sustainable forest that accommodates any number of uses.
Common Indiana Forestry Conservation Practices
Forest Management Plan
Benefits of a Forest Management Plan:
- Provides suggested activities to meet your forest objectives
- Guides long-term sustainable woodlands
- Plans out practices for program assistance
Forest Stand Improvement
Benefits of forest stand improvement:
- Increase forest product quantity and quality, and restore natural plant communities
- Improve vigor; initiate forest stand regeneration
- Achieve desired crop tree stocking and density levels and increase carbon storage
- Reduce potential damage from wildfire, pests, and moisture stress
- Improve aesthetics, recreation, and wildlife habitat
Benefits of brush management:
- Removes competition so beneficial vegetation can re-establish.
- Creates desired plant community
- Improves wildlife habitat
- Enhances tree regeneration
- Increases tree growth and health
Benefits of improved wildlife habitat include:
- Increasing fruit and mast(nuts)
- Improving forest structure
- Increasing forest diversity for forest wildlife including ruffed grouse, deer, wild turkey, woodcock, songbirds, etc.
Benefits of tree planting:
- Provides wildlife habitat
- Protects soil from eroding
- Improves air and water quality
- Sequesters carbon
- Enhances the aesthetics of an area
Benefits of erosion control:
- Prevents sediment from entering into streams
- Provides woodland safety
- Prevents and fixes ruts/erosion on forest trails and landings
The benefits of access control include:
- Prevents livestock from compacting soil, damaging tree roots and bark, destroying food and nesting habitat for wildlife
- Protects seedlings from being trampled, uprooted or eaten
Riparian Forest Buffer
Benefits of riparian forest buffers include:
- Create shade to lower water temperatures for aquatic organisms and create camouflage for predatory fish
- Create wildlife habitat and establish wildlife corridors
- Reduce sediment, organic material, nutrients and pesticides in surface runoff
- Provide a harvestable crop of timber and fiber
- Provide protection against scour erosion within the floodplain
- Restore natural riparian plant communities
Additional Forestry Information
District Foresters from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry are professionally trained to manage forestland. A District Forester can help you start the management of your forested land by visiting your woods and recommending a best course of action to meet your goals.
Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) is one of the leading natural resources programs in the nation. FNR is also Indiana’s only degree-granting, research and extension institution in the fields of forestry, wildlife ecology and aquatic sciences.
Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association
IFWOA advocates for scientific best practices for management to achieve objectives of clean water, wildlife habitat, soil protection, native species diversity, timber production, recreation, carbon sequestration and many others.
US Forest Service
The Eastern Region is one of nine Forest Service administrative regions, consisting of 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie. It is also home to the Forest Service’s largest State and Private Forestry program to protect, conserve, and manage forests and community trees across 20 States and the District of Columbia.