North Carolina Forest Service

The best way to ensure the health of the trees on your property is to have a forester assist you with proper forest management.

Most woodland acreage in Avery County would greatly benefit from timber stand improvement (TSI). In simple terms, this is simply “weeding the forest” of undesirable or poorly formed trees. This can be most easily achieved by herbicide treatments during the cooler months following leaf fall. Other methods include removing the low-grade stems for firewood, etc. We have a demonstration site in the county for show and tell.

There are several cost-share programs available which pay a percentage of the expense to complete forestry practices such as TSI and tree planting. These programs typically pay between 40 and 75 percent of the cost of completing the project. Landowners with open land, nursery crops or Christmas trees they no longer want to maintain, may be interested in planting trees for timber and wildlife habitat. The NC Forest Service can complete this work for landowners at cost.

Currently there are buyers looking to purchase white pine tips which they prune from young (6- to 12-year old) trees. This “tipping” done correctly, does not affect the growth of the trees for timber while providing income.

Also, there is an incentive available for citizens who own 20+ acres of forest land. If you qualify, you can receive a significant reduction in property taxes through the Forestry Present Use Valuation program. Usually all that is needed to receive this benefit is to follow a written Forest Management Plan prepared by a forester.

Another program called Forest Stewardship, provides technical assistance to landowners who want to improve or maintain all the natural resources (soil, water, wildlife, and timber) on their property. The Stewardship forest management plan is generated with input from foresters, wildlife biologists and soil conservationists.

The North Carolina Forest Service can assist anyone in obtaining these services. Simply contact County Ranger Joe Shoupe at (828) 766-8043 or for more information.

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