Spring 2010

Volume 19 No. 1

Mill Pond Demonstration Woods Update

by Bruce Wakeland


Since 1988 our Arrow Head Country RC&D forestry committee has managed the 35-acre Mill Pond woodland, which belongs to Marshall County. This is a good woods on a fairly good site, but it is not among the best woodlands in our area. We do a 100% inventory of the timber in the same 15-acre section of these woods every five years. We then use this data to calculate and report on this woods economic productivity.

We did this periodic inventory in November of 2009 and found that the Mill Pond woods continues to have an average growth rate of 274 board feet per acre per year. This represents an average annual timber value increase of $190 per acre per year. This growth in value is well above the typical annual per acre rates paid for farmland in our area. Our forestry committee marked and sold an improvement type timber sale in 2000 and sold 28,333 board feet of timber for $9,111. Our 2009 inventory shows 9,473 board feet of growing stock per acre, which is greater than the 8,776 board feet per acre just prior to the 2000 timber sale. We were pleased to find that these woods had more than replaced the volume harvested in 2000 in just 10 years. We are planning another timber sale as soon as the timber markets improve.

During the inventory in 2004 we noticed the beginning of a problem with Asian bush honeysuckle, mostly along the county road that runs along the south side of the woods. We discussed the need to control it while it was a small problem, but then forgot about it until we were doing the inventory this past November. It was amazing how much the problem had grown in just those five years. The honeysuckle was much thicker and was found in over half of the woods. We scheduled a workday in December to control the honeysuckle. Seven members of our committee worked on it for a half a day cutting honeysuckle and treating the stumps with herbicide. We plan to put about that much more work into it late this summer spraying sprouts and missed plants to finish the job. This demonstration woods demonstrated to us that when we tell landowners to take care of a bush honeysuckle problem while it is small and before it gets big, we mean now, not five years from now.

The Arrowhead RC&D forestry committee is planning a forestry field day at the Mill Pond Demonstration Woods this coming August 7. If you would like to attend, contact the Arrow Head Country RC&D office at 574- 946-3022 for more information


Bruce Wakeland is a Consultant Forester and Chairperson of the Arrowhead RC&D Forestry Committee.