Northwest Illinois Forestry AssociationWoodland owners sharing ideas on forest productivity


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  • 24 Jan 2022 2:37 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    The USDA Forest Service just published fact sheets on eight tree species that produce more than just timber.  Consider diversifying your woodland by adding a few of these.  The fact sheets can be found at THIS LINK.

  • 20 Jan 2022 1:10 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    The USDA Forest Service has issued a four page discussion of preparation of income tax returns for woodland owners.  You can download this paper HERE.

  • 20 Jan 2022 9:40 AM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    • For an excellent educational webinar on improving wildlife habitat in and around woodlands, follow the link below to a presentation by Dr. Craig Harper. Although Dr. Harper is from the University of Tennessee, his presentation is applicable to hardwood forests in the eastern half of the U.S. It is over an hour long, but I highly recommend it for gaining a solid understanding of what “wildlife habitat” truly means (food, water, cover, and space) and how to manage various areas of a woodland and adjacent fields to create high quality habitat. After understanding the basic concepts, you can search online and find numerous presentations from Dr. Harper on more specific topics such as improving deer habitat if that is your priority.

  • 03 Apr 2020 3:44 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    As of 4/1/2020, the NIFA officers haves decided to postpone all subsequent events to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.  When this risk subsides, we will re-organize our calendar and hopefully re-schedule many of the postponed events.

  • 04 Jul 2019 11:19 AM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    Several Walmart locations and one HyVee location have been found to be selling plants containing the pathogen for the Sudden Oak Death disease.  Fortunately, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has responded quickly to contain any spread.  The Walmart in Freeport was one of those named.  Here is the ILDOA press release.

  • 24 Dec 2018 2:40 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    A 2010 study by two universities in Missouri determined that the density of honeysuckle in forests correlated with the increased population of ticks in those same plots.  Get rid of bush honeysuckle in your forest and you reduce the potential risk from tick-borne diseases.

  • 24 Dec 2018 1:30 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    Recently, a member wanted to know how to plant the seeds he had collected to grow seedlings successfully.  There is a very good reference with lots of information on this subject.  The "Seeds of Woody Plants in North America" by James and Cheryl Young covers 386 genera including trees and bushes.  For each of these genera, the book describes in drawings, charts, and text -

    • how soon one should collect fallen seeds to prevent them drying out
    • what temperature and humidity to maintain during seed storage
    • how long seeds can be stored
    • temperature and duration of pre-chilling of seeds
    • the best times of year to plant seeds
    • the planting depth and spacing for seeds

    The book also includes information on grafting and growing from cuttings.

    This 1992 book is based on Agricultural Handbook 450, published first by the USDA Forest Service in 1948, which covered fewer than half as many genera.

    There are other publications on this subject as well, but I am most familiar with this book.

  • 29 Oct 2015 1:33 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    This Indiana DNR just sent out a message asking for public input on its latest strategic plan and how it relates to forestry.  They have proposed charging fees for certain services.  For those enrolled in the Indiana equivalent of our FDA program, there would be a flat per acre fee included in the real estate tax.  For those not in that program, they would charge for specific services. Here is the message that they sent -

    "Note that the Division of Forestry, based off Indiana Code 14-23-1-1 that was added in 1995, is recommending fees for services to landowners.

    "At the public input meetings, the following suggested fees were presented:

    "Classified Forest & Wildlands (CFW) Division of Forestry preliminary proposal:

    • $2/acre/year administrative fee
    • All other services free
    • Paid with property tax, county retains 10%
    • Estimated revenue of $1.3 million per year

    "Non Classified Lands Division of Forestry preliminary proposal:

    "Pay for service:

    • Stewardship Plan $200
    • TSI Marking $100 for every 5 acres (max. 10 acres per year/landowner)
    • Forestry Practice Plans for invasive species and tree planting $100
    • $100 Revision of existing stewardship plan for cost share
    • Estimated revenue: $190,000"

    Anyone think that the Illinois DNR is not paying attention to this?

  • 07 Oct 2015 5:37 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    Illinois agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address concerns are encouraged to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


    Eric Gerth, Acting Illinois NRCS State Conservationist, announced that November 20, 2015 and January 15, 2016 will be the two EQIP application deadlines in Illinois. “Producers can sign-up for EQIP at any time throughout the year, but to compete for the upcoming funding periods; I encourage producers with resource concerns to submit an application by one of the application deadlines.” Gerth explains.


    Many applicants have interest in funding pools that address soil erosion and water quality issues on cropland.  However, there are also funding pools for grazing land operations, confined livestock operations, organic producers, and wildlife habitat improvement, just to name a few.


    In addition to conservation practices, EQIP provides funding for the development of plans, such as Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP), Grazing Plans, Drainage Water Management Plans, and more.


    Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office.  Applications submitted by November 20, 2015 and January 15, 2016 will be evaluated by NRCS staff for the funding period submitted. The staff will work with producers to determine eligibility for the program and complete worksheets  and rankings in order for the applicant to compete for funding.


    EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers. Through EQIP, NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve water and air quality, and create wildlife habitat. For information on EQIP, contact the local NRCS field office or visit THIS SITE.

  • 07 Oct 2015 9:58 AM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

    These are the tips that I gathered from the excellent Chainsaw Safety Demonstration by our IDNR District Firester Jeff Harris at the end of August -

    • keep your saw clean and the chain sharp
    • file the raker blades when sharpening the chain's cutters
    • use 91 octane ethanol-free gasoline
    • wear protective clothing and accessories
    • no one should be within reach when operating your saw
    • when felling, everyone should be 2.5 times the tree's height away
    • step back and estimate the weight or lean of the tree
    • based on the lean, cut from the safe side, away from the lean
    • spend the time to look for all the hazards
    • plan two escape routes, each 45º off the intended tree fall
    • your hinge width should be 80% of the DBH
    • your hinge thickness should be less than 10% of DBH
    • use an open-face/boring-cut technique
    • if tree is thick enough, leave a rear trigger for release
    • after cutting the trigger, always walk away on an escape route
    • always keep both hands on the saw when it is running
    • never cut across your body
    • always engage the chain brake when walking or moving
    • always lock your thumb on the front handle
    • always quit when you feel tired

    This isn't a comprehensive list and shouldn't be used as a substitute for professional training.  I'll expand this list based on any suggestions.

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