Frequently Asked Questions

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?

Yes! Click this (link) to hear a tree falling.

Why am I seeing so many large dead oak trees in the forest lately?

For the past few years (2016 - 2018) southern New England experienced a drought, and the gypsy moth caterpillar population built up in those years until they were on nearly every tree in 2018. Oak leavs are their favorite food, but they will also eat almost any tree (except the tulip tree, they hate that one). Due to stress from the drought and constant defoliation by the caterpillars, many trees died. Wet springs have kept the caterpillars under control since then, and if the trees are lucky it will be many years befoe their population builds uo like that agian. However, Some trees were so distressed that native pests (including the two-lined chestnut borer and armillaria fungus) were able to finish them off, and are still killing stressed trees today. Read more about this "slow storm" in an article by extension forester Thomas Worthley.

How would do I find out about harvesting timber on my property?

The first thing you want to do is to have a liscenced forester look at your property and talk with them about its potential. They can perform and inventory and estimate the value of your timber, as well as construct a management plan to meet your goals, maintain your forest through the harvest, and ensure its regeneration in the future. To learn about what foresters do and how to talk to them about selling timber, check out this brochure by The University of Connecticut and the CT Dept. of Energy and the Environment. See this Massachusettes site to connect to a licenced forester in the state. See this Connecticut site to connect to a licenced forester in the state. See this Rhode Island site to connect to a licenced forester in the state.

I understand the need for timber harvesting, but why do they have to be so messy? Why can’t they chip the brush?

This is the most common question that public lands foresters receive. Leftover branches and treetops on the ground after a harvest will decompose and return nutrients to the soil. It also provides valuable cover for small mammals, amphibians and turtles. If the brush is thick enough, it may even discourage deer from eating the new tree seedlings. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what looks messy to a human looks like a safe haven for to a ground-nesting bird for laying eggs.