1. How many trees do I need to plant in order to maintain my tax deferral?
To maintain forest tax deferral your forest land must be stocked with trees. If your forestland is currently unstocked in some areas, you may need to plant trees to bring the stocking up to the minimum level in your area. If you conduct a timber harvest, the Oregon Forest Practices Act requires planting trees after harvest.
Within 12 months of a timber harvest, site preparation must begin, with planting completed within 24 months. At least 100 to 200 seedlings must be planted per acre (depending on productivity), but foresters typically plant 300-400 seedlings per acre to maximize forest growth. Within six years after planting, the law requires that trees be “free-to-grow,” which means they need to be taller and healthier than competing grasses, blackberries, or other vegetation.
2. Where can I get tree seedlings to plant on my property?
Healthy, high-quality nursery seedlings, grown from seeds gathered nearby, are an important part of successful replanting.
You want to find appropriate species for your area (called a seed zone) and elevation. Soil maps provide good descriptions of trees appropriate for particular soil types. OSU Extension foresters, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Stewardship Foresters, or a forestry consultant can help you decide which species are right for your property.
The Oregon Department of Forestry publishes an on-line Annual Guide to Nursery Seedling Sources. In this guide you will find a list of nurseries, the size and species of seedlings they grow for a given seed zone and elevation, and what they cost.
To learn more about tree planting, refer to the on-line publication, Successful Reforestation: An Overview.
3. Who can help me find out why my tree is sick?
4. How do I find a good logger/contractor/tree planting crew?
The professionals you work with, whether a forester, accountant or estate attorney, will guide you through their world of knowledge to help accomplish your goals. Your ability to articulate your goals, the professional’s ability to listen, understand, and interpret those goals into appropriate actions, and your supervision of their work will determine your satisfaction with their product or services. Rapport between you and the professional are also important in attaining a satisfactory result.
When deciding on a contractor to hire, contact and interview at least 3 professionals in the field with which you need assistance. This will help you find the best match for your needs. The following steps will help you collect enough information to make an informed decision about who to hire.
1. Identify your goals for working with a professional. What do you want to accomplish? What are your priorities?
2. Obtain a list of available professionals in your geographic area. You can get these from an ODF Forester or OSU Extension Office. Additionally, ODF has a “Who Can Help” Menu on their website that will point you to additional sources.
3. Talk with friends and neighbors who might have goals similar to yours and get recommendations about professionals with whom they have worked.
4. Use the information collected to identify at least 3 professionals who might be a good fit.
5. Contact those professionals and gather the following information:
a) Credentials: education, experience, licensing/certifications, professional affiliations, recent continuing education.
b) Professional philosophy: what are their goals when working with clients; with what type of clients do they like to work with most; why did they get into the profession and what has made him/her stay?
c) Describe your goals, and ask if they have worked with other clients who had similar goals.
d) Request 1-3 references of clients who have similar goals/situations, with whom you could talk. Foresters may be willing to show you a management plan they’ve prepared, or walk you through a property they’ve managed over time.
e) Discuss fees charged for the type of work in which you are interested. If there are no fees, be sure you understand who pays the bill and how that might affect the professional’s recommendations.
f) Discuss their availability to do the work and the timeframe to complete it.
6. Contact the references for those professionals still under consideration, get a feel for the professional’s traits, including:
c) Communication skills: listening and speaking
d) Quality of work
e) Assessment of associates of the professional (loggers, truckers, office staff, assistants,…) who will likely work on your project.
5. Do I need any permits to do timber harvesting or other work on my land?
The Oregon Forest Practices Laws mandate that you notify the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) of any commercial forest activity at least 15 days before beginning. There may be special requirements you must meet.
If you´re ready for this step, you will need to complete and submit the proper forms (called “notification of operation”), which can be found here.
You can find a local ODF forester here:
Regulated forest management activities include the following general categories (list compiled from ODF website):
• Harvesting or salvaging trees
• Site preparation and reforestation
• Applying chemicals
• Slash disposal
• Clearing forest land for non-forest uses
• Road construction and improvements
• Pre-commercial thinning