Forestry Work at Palmer Woods


Beginning on January 30, 2017 the Leelanau Conservancy will begin conducting forest improvement activities within Palmer Woods Forest Reserve. The focus of the timber improvement will be on removing dead and declining ash and American beech impacted by the emerald ash borer and beech bark disease. Trees will be marked for harvest using orange paint. Red paint will indicate areas not to be harvested. We will post additional notice immediately prior to timber harvest.


Periodic harvests have occurred on the Palmer Woods forest over the past 35 years guided by a Forest Management Plan focused on continual improvement of overall stand quality by “capturing mortality” – removing diseased, dying, or overcrowded trees.

As a Forest Reserve, the Leelanau Conservancy manages Palmer Woods with a focus on protecting water quality, wildlife habitat, restoring functioning native ecological communities, maintaining recreational access, and managing a quality timber stand that produces forest products in a manner that meets the highest standards of sustainability.

Beech bark disease is a complex infection affecting American beech, and consists of a sap-feeding scale insect and at least two species of Nectria fungi. Palmer Woods Forest Reserve has significant beech damage due to the disease, however a small percentage of beech trees show little or no signs of invasion by the beech scale insect. Those beech trees that show no sign of scale will be specially marked to stay and will be monitored for disease resistance. In an effort to reduce the impact of beech bark disease, the timber harvest will reduce the total scale load in the forest, and will thereby reduce the levels of Nectria fungus that cause cankers, and death of trees.

Please refer all questions to: Becky Hill, Natural Areas and Preserves Manager at 231-256-9665




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