Woodland - Winter 2019 - 28

two nephews - in the pine plantation with ladders,
a handsaw and a pole saw, pruning 700 pines. Julie
pruned as well and dragged brush away.
Adding to their hard pruning work, a portion of the
Parkers' best pines had fallen victim to pine blister
rust. Unfortunately, American white pines lack genetic
resistance to the invasive pathogen. While their pruning
was helping, they discovered they needed to remove
the nearby currant plants as well to completely remove
the disease. The Parkers spent several years pulling out
currant bushes that had escaped early settlers' plantings.
But the Parkers were not deterred by the road
bumps; rather they kept focused on learning more about
stewardship. "After hiring Randy, we really began learning
the science of managing our woods," says Peter.
Inspiration also helped along the way: The couple
had visited Vermont's Outstanding Tree Farm of 1981, a
majestic pine forest. "That visit motivated us to join the
Vermont Tree Farm Program and continue attending
yearly field trips," says Peter. To the Parkers, the
program represented good forest management.
In their management plan, each harvest was
designed to improve the stand by thinning poorer-quality
trees, opening the canopy for the better maples, cherry,
yellow birch, red oak and ash. The pine plantation's
first harvest came in 1990. "We got the stand thinned
in exchange for the logs," Peter says. "Randy was
clear that we would not get any revenue, but we got an
improvement thinning."
After the harvest, the Parkers discovered the potential
that came with sustainably managing their land, "We
began to see our woodlands as a modest source of
income that would protect us from the need ever to slice
off a piece of building lot for quick cash," the couple
wrote in Northern New England Review. The income
allowed them to keep investing in caring for their land.

28 WOODLAND * Winter 2019

In 1990 and '91, Peter began to invest more time in
learning about growing quality trees, conducting his
own growth study of the pine plantation. "After our first
improvement thinning, I selected 40 trees at random
throughout," he explains. He remeasured the trees every
five years and charted their growth.
From this the couple learned that the plantation
was growing very slowly and not actually a good pine
site; the understory was sugar maple, spruce and fir.
Their plan is to keep thinning the pine and encourage
a healthy stand 60 to 80 years ahead: "planning for a
forest we will never see."
The Parkers' first decade proved enormously
productive in terms of learning the basics, making
connections, laying the groundwork and putting in the
major effort toward their goals.
Planning the work and working the plan has paid off
in countless other ways. One became obvious in 2011,
when Hurricane Irene moved through Vermont. The
storm washed away many town roads and highways,
but the well-designed (and maintained) woods roads on
Parker land needed just two new culverts.
Following their management plan and foresters'
advice provided an increasingly beneficial space for
wildlife as well as an improving climate for the forest's
resources. Peter and Julie were thrilled to see an
increase in wildlife, since increasing native fauna had
always been a key to the couple's cultivation.
Learning and Teaching for Better Habitat
One of Julie's favorite spring activities is the annual
survey walk led by the Mad River Birder group to track
nesting songbirds. At her behest, Audubon Vermont
Steve Hagenbuch laid out a birding route protocol that
participants have followed for 11 years, listing 40 to 45
species identified mainly by song. Julie is also proud to


Woodland - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Winter 2019

2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Intro
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover1
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover2
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - OVERSTORY
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 5
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FORESTS AND FAMILIES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 7
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 8
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 9
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 11
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 12
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 13
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 14
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 15
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 16
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 17
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 18
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 19
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 21
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 22
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 23
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 24
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 25
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 27
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 28
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 29
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 30
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 32
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 33
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 34
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 35
Woodland - Winter 2019 - TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 37
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 38
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover4