Are your woods being taken over by beech trees? Are you concerned that a lack of diversity is making your woods less attractive to wildlife? If so, you should make plans to attend the Mass Forest Trust’s Beech Control Tour in Hawley on August 19th.
American Beech is an important species for wildlife in Northern Hardwood forest stands but it can be a very difficult species to control. The extremely shade-tolerant beech reproduce extensively by sprouting and may crowd out other more valuable and desirable species over time, creating a low value beech monoculture sometimes described as “beech hell”.
The Taverntop Trust family woodland in Hawley was severely damaged by the 2008 ice storm and with the pending arrival of the deadly emerald ash borer, forester Scott Sylvester recommended regenerating the woodland by harvesting the damaged hardwood overstory trees and the large ash. As part of the 2015 harvest, more than 400 cords of beech in the understory was also removed to try to give other hardwood species a chance to seed in and grow.
The Mass. Forest Trust will hold a Beech Control Tree Farm Tour at the Taverntop Trust property in Hawley from 9 to 11 am on Saturday, August 19th to see the results of the harvest and subsequent beech control efforts, and discuss how other landowners can utilize similar techniques to avoid having their woodlands overwhelmed by beech sprouts over time.
Participants should meet at the junction of South and Plainfield Roads. Long pants and bug spray are recommended. The tour will be postponed in the event of heavy rain.
For more information, call Greg Cox at 413 339-5526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.