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Hawley woods walk has green thumb on pulse of forestry

HAWLEY— Would you like to have more wildlife visit your woods? Would you like to harvest some timber for income but fear that you may end up with a woods that are all beech trees? Are you concerned that the emerald ash borers will kill all your ash trees?

Those and other questions will be explored at a Pre-Harvest Tree Farm Tour at the Taverntop Trust Tree Farm on South Road in Hawley Saturday morning from 9 to 11. The tour is free and open to the public,

The Taverntop Trust owns a 90-acre woodland in East Hawley bordered by Plainfield and South Roads and Dubuque State Forest. The woodland has been under active forest management for nearly 40 years and has been a certified tree farm since 1983.

Because some of the trust woodlands suffered serious damage from the 2008 ice storm, the trust will be having a timber harvest this fall designed to salvage the storm damaged trees and harvest large ash before they are killed by ash borers. The plans to salvage the timber have been complicated by an extensive beech understory in the 30-acre timber sale area, which prevents sunlight from reaching the forest floor and would prevent many species of desirable trees from seeding in.

The tour will visit the harvest area before it is cut and an adjacent stand that was previously harvested to create wildlife habitat in the late 1990s. The tour will be led by Sylvester and Gregory Cox, who is one of the trustees for the trust.

Participants should dress for summer conditions with sturdy footwear and bring bug spray for ticks. Bottle water will be available. In event of heavy rain, the tour will be held on Sunday at the same time.

Directions: The tour will meet at the junction of South and Plainfield Roads in East Hawley about a half mile south of the fire station.

For more information, contact Cox at 413-339-5526.

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