Michael Blazier, Kilpatrick, Ricky L., Coolman, Denise
SHREVEPORT – Having a plan in place is one of the most important steps forest landowners should take before they try to sell their timber.
This was advice given by Malone Buchanon, a forester with International Paper Co. in Canton, Miss., during the LSU AgCenter’s 20th Annual Ark-La-Tex Forestry Forum last week in Shreveport.
Buchanon based his discussion titled "Making Money By Growing Trees" on his experiences. He said landowners who plan to sell their trees should have a plan in place before they plant the first seedling.
"Some people who can help landowners put together a plan include county agents, county foresters, consultants and others in the forestry industry," Buchanon said during the March 11 forum. "This plan should address conservation measures, as well as the marketing of timber. The more prepared a landowner is, the better off he or she will be when it comes time to sell timber."
Buchanon also talked about legal issues that may affect the sale of trees. These include making sure all of the land the trees are grown on has a clear title.
"Knowing the boundary line is the most important step you’ll take," he said. "You want to be sure you legally own all of the property and trees involved. Knowing your legal rights can prove beneficial in the long run."
On another issue, experts who also spoke during the forum said Louisiana foresters should use a combination of herbicides and fertilizers to get the optimal growth from their stands.
Dr. Michael Blazier, forest project research leader for the LSU AgCenter, said previous studies show "the best possible pine tree growth comes from a fertilizer/herbicide combination." Blazier is conducting a similar study at the LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm Research Station near Homer.
"The fertilizer/herbicide combination used depends on which type of soil is present," Blazier said. "For instance, some combinations work better in gravelly soil than in other types of soil. Determining the type of soil that is present is the first thing you want to do."
To find out which type of soil you have, send a soil sample to the LSU AgCenter’s Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab. For a price listing and tests that can be performed, contact the lab by phone at (225)578-1261, fax at (225) 578-1403 or e-mail at email@example.com. The lab’s Web site can be found at www.lsuagcenter.com/stpal.
Other issues discussed during the forum included information on the Louisiana Legislature’s Act 802. Buck Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association, said this is a "very valuable piece of legislation" for landowners that relieves some of the work of "posting" property.
"According to this act, property owners don’t have to go through the cost of posting signs all along their property lines," Vandersteen said. "Signs just need to be put up at entry points."
Vandersteen also warned landowners that summer is coming, bringing with it dry weather.
"Dry weather means more forest fires are likely to start," he said. "Use caution when burning and help cut down on the amount of forests that are lost because of fires."
Other issues discussed at the forum included "The Future of Wood Utilization," "Marketing Small Diameter Trees" and "Trees – Biomass for Fuel?"
For more information on this and other agriculture-related issues, as well as such topics as health and nutrition, the economy and more, go to www.lsuagcenter.com.
Michael Blazier at (318) 927-2578 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricky Kilpatrick at (318) 965-2326 or email@example.com
A. Denise Coolman at (318) 644-5865 or firstname.lastname@example.org