If you are considering any harvest on your School Forest, always contact your DNR forester first.
Harvesting or logging is a way to keep your forest healthy and generate money. Harvesting might be a part of your Stewardship Plan. Trees on large sites can be logged and sold for a profit. Smaller sites may need selective harvest or tree removal to keep the woods healthy.
School Forests with large tracts of land can generate a significant amount of money from selling timber (sale of stumpage) to a local mill.
To set up a sale, always call your DNR forester first. This service is free to all registered DNR School Forests. If you are approached by a logger or local business to log, contact your DNR forester to ensure that you are able to maximize profit and maintain a healthy and diverse forest after the harvest.
The forester will mark the timber for sale and help you select a qualified logger. He or she can also finalize sale details such as how to harvest the timber, account for the wood and financial considerations, and reforest the site.
Remember, harvesting happens on long rotations. It might be 20, 30, 40, or more years before your site can be harvested again. Thus, your School Forest Committee will need design the School Forest budget accordingly to reflect this long-term investment. Money generated from the sale of timber, or any forest product, from School Forest land should be used to support School Forest or other natural resource education activities.
For smaller School Forests sites, your DNR forester may recommend selective harvesting —such as removing hazard trees or less desirable species—to keep the forest healthy. In these cases, money is not generated from the harvest, or tree removal.
In some urban areas, school forests might need to pay to have trees removed. Your DNR forester can help tag the trees to be removed and find people to do the work.
Many smaller sites ask a community member to volunteer to remove the trees or use the opportunity to demonstrate horse logging. Horse logging is still an active trade in Minnesota and a great way to remove small numbers of trees or trees that are difficult to reach and remove with modern equipment. Regardless of who fells the trees, be sure the people involved are either certified arborists or loggers to ensure proper safety measures are followed. Ask your DNR forester for assistance if you are unsure of what you need.
If you do not know your DNR forester, locate your local DNR forestry office.