Virtual Training Opportunities

In this course, you will virtually tour properties that highlight practices that can be used to change forest structure and promote the growth of desired tree and plant species in your woods. You’ll hear from other landowners who have chosen to manage their forest for birds, as well as forestry professionals that can help you learn how to begin planning these practices on your own property.

Topics covered in this training include:

  • Using Timber Management Practices to Create Wildlife Habitat
  • Other Forest Management Practices to Improve Habitat Quality
  • Steps for Successful Management on Your Property
  • Financial and Technical Assistance Resources for Forest Landowners

The training is available in two formats:

Online Course

Register for our free self-paced online course available through Start and stop the course at your convenience, and connect with other students through facilitated discussions.

Content Preview

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Virtual Field Tour 1: Shelterwood

Oaks are one of the most valuable tree species in Appalachian forests, both in terms of wildlife habitat and timber value. While many of the large, canopy trees in Appalachian forests are oaks, the number of young oak saplings in the understory and midstory is declining. A shelterwood harvest is a cut or series of cuts used to promote the growth of less shade-tolerate species, like oaks and hickories. Take our tour of a recent shelterwood harvest to see how this type of harvest impacts light levels and improves growing conditions for oak seedlings.


Virtual Field Tour 2: Overstory Removal

An overstory removal is a harvest that removes all but a few scattered large trees, so the plants on the forest floor can experience full-sun growing conditions. Oak seedlings need this higher level of sunlight to continue to grow and eventually become the next canopy trees. In this virtual field tour, we’ll visit a recent overstory removal and see how, when done sustainably, this type of harvest can create great wildlife habitat.


Virtual Field Tour 3: Timber Harvest

Timber harvesting is a tool foresters can use to help counteract the effects of past poor management and promote good growing conditions for desirable, young trees. In this tour we’ll learn about planning a timber harvest, and visit the site of an active timber harvest to see some of the equipment used to harvest timber in action.


Virtual Field Tour 4: Herbicide

One of the most significant issues facing Appalachian forests today is invasive species. Herbicide is our most effective tool in combating invasive and competing vegetation. In this video we’ll tour a site impacted by invasive species, as well as areas that have been treated with herbicide to help promote the growth of desirable plants.


Virtual Field Tour 5: Midstory Removal

Many forests in the Appalachians don’t have any established oak seedlings. A midstory removal is a forest management practice that kills all the shade-tolerant, undesirable midstory species in a stand, and can help promote the growth of oak seedlings and prepare for a shelterwood harvest in the future. In this video we’ll tour two separate areas of a property to demonstrate a before and after view of a midstory removal.


Learn more about resources available to assist you in planning any of these practices on your property by visiting our Financial and Technical Assistance Programs page.