Discover The Woods

Forestry Board member Steve Thrasher and his wife Jolene, hosted a 'Discover Your Woods' field event sponsored by the American Tree Farm System. The event was held on October 4th at the beautiful Thrasher family Tree Farm in Jefferson MD.

Steve Thrasher welcomes

Over forty persons attended the event. The purpose was to acquaint landowners having forest acreage with sources of information regarding forestry practices and available resources for assistance in the enhancement of their forest land and techniques for renewable forestry practices. The agenda included information about improving wildlife habitat, the availability and use of the CREP program. This is the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program which is voluntary and removes environmentally sensitive areas from farm or other production to meet specific needs and compensates the land owner for the loss of revenue or other use of the land for a specific period of time. The contract is in some cases renewable and is a valuable environmental conservation tool.

A Thrasher family graveyard dating back to the 1700s located on the property was shown and discussed by Nancy Cherry, Steve’s sister. Historical site consideration is a requirement of the Tree Farm Certification Program.

Nancy Cherry discusses historic graveyard

The Maryland Big Tree Program was explained and discussed. A beautiful Hackberry Tree on the property was measured by participants to demonstrate the techniques used to score trees. This particular tree is a Frederick County champion.

Mike Kay demonstrates tree measurement

A discussion was held regarding identification and control of invasive plant species was conducted by Tim Pry, Frederick Weed Control.

Tim Pry discusses invasive species and control

An enjoyable woods walk was held which discussed stewardship programs, cost share programs, the new cerulean warbler habitat restoration initiative and timber merchantability. This was presented by Professional Foresters and Western Maryland DNR Foresters and a wildlife expert.

Steve Thrasher demonstrated turning logs into saw timber with his portable sawmill.

Steve Thrasher shows portable saw mill

A catered lunch was served and a number of decorative and useful door prizes were given out to complete the program.

The success of the program was greatly enhanced by the participation of volunteer members of the Frederick County Forestry Board, the Maryland Tree Farm Committee and the Maryland DNR.

Article by Claude Eans (photos by Laura Perrotta)