With close to 60% of its land area in forest, Connecticut is one of the most heavily forested states in the nation. At the same time, Connecticut is also one of the most densely populated states.
Connecticut’s forests and trees add immensely to the quality of life for the people of the state. They filter the air that is breathed, safeguard private and public drinking water sources, produce locally grown forest products, provide essential habitat for wildlife, and offer many recreational opportunities. Whether people in Connecticut live in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, they are connected to the forest. Forests and trees are integral to the character of Connecticut.
Forests are dynamic ecosystems, with numerous factors influencing their development. To understand the forest we must know about the history of the forest; what forces have shaped it; and the interactions between man, forest and nature.
The FORESTRY STATION LEARNING GUIDE below covers a wide variety of forestry topics. Students will develop a working knowledge of forest ecosystems and their management, and also an appreciation of the value of our forest resources. Students should focus on the following Learning Objectives.
FORESTRY STATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
- CONNECTICUT FOREST HISTORY – Understand and describe the basic natural history of Connecticut’s forests.
- TREE PHYSIOLOGY – Identify “what makes a tree a tree” and tree growth characteristics adapted to soil types, water availability, and the needs of a tree.
- FOREST ECOLOGY – Understand and describe forest ecology principles, including:
- The relationship between soil and forest types
- Forest regeneration, competition, succession
- The relationship between factors such as climate, insects, diseases, wildlife, and invasive species on forest growth and development
- The function and value of forested watersheds and riparian areas
- SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT – Understand and describe basic forest management practices for managing forests, including the difference between various silvicultural systems and treatments.
- TREE AND SHRUB IDENTIFICATION – Identify the common tree and shrub species in Connecticut.
- TREE MEASUREMENT – Use a clinometer, a DBH tape, and a Biltmore (tree scale) stick for measuring tree diameter and merchantable height, and estimating board-foot volume.
- TREES AS AN IMPORTANT RENEWABLE RESOURCE– Understand the importance of trees in urban and community settings and the economic value of forests.
(To learn more about NCF-Envirothon National objectives, click here)
FORESTRY LEARNING GUIDE-STUDY MATERIALS:
1. CONNECTICUT FOREST HISTORY
- Harvard Dioramas—A Pictorial History of New England Forests
- Tom Wessels – Reading the Forested Landscape—Part 1 (Video)
- CCC Connecticut—Shenipsit Forest History
- Charcoal Production (PDF)
- The Demise and Resurrection of the American Chestnut (Video)
- “CT’s Changing Landscape” – UConn CLEAR
- “The Role of Service Foresters” by Larry Rousseau, CT DEEP Forestry (PDF)
- Connecticut’s Forestry History- Austin F. Hawes (PDF)
- Tree Anatomy
- Annual Growth Rings (PDF)
- The Science of Leaf Color Change
- Tree Physiology (PDF)
- Clay-Bales-Tree Physiology (PDF)
- “Tree Owner’s Manual for the Northeast and Midwestern US”- by USDA Forest Service (PDF)
- How Trees Grow https://www.youtube.com/
3. FOREST ECOLOGY
- Renaldo Arroyo, Forestry Professor, Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, CA
- Forest Ecology 2018 (PDF)
- Sustaining America’s Urban Forests (PDF)
- Forest Succession for Wildlife– Belding Wildlife Management Area (PDF)
FACTORS AFFECTING FOREST HEALTH
- Meet the Invaders! (Video)
- Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group—Photo Notebook
- Invasive Plants in your backyard!
- Common Tree Diseases and Pests (PDF)
- “Invasive Organisms and Forest Health”: by Larry Rousseau, CT DEEP Forestry (PDF)
- “The Economic Impact of Invasive Species” By Jean Laughman (PDF)
- “Ecological Impacts from Invasive Species” By Charlotte Pyle, USDA NRCS (PDF)
- Resources for Economic Impact of Invasive Species
- “A List of Common Insects and Diseases of Forest Trees of Connecticut“: CT DEEP Forestry (PDF)
- “CT Forest Health”: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Northeastern Area
4. SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
- Overview—What is Silviculture? (video)
- An Introduction to Silviculture-By Thomas E Worthley (2018) (PDF)
Forest Management on Connecticut Lands
- Why We Manage Connecticut State Forests (PDF)
- Forest Management on State Lands
- Forest Regeneration Handbook (PDF)
- Forest Management by DEEP Forester David Irvin (Video Series)
DEEP Photos—Before and After Treatments
5. TREE AND SHRUB IDENTIFICATION
- “Tree ID“ by Chris Fagan, CT Agricultural Experiment Station (PDF)
- Intro to Tree ID“ by Rob Rocks, CT DEEP Forestry (PDF)
- Tree ID by DEEP Forester David Irvin (Video Series)
Use A Dichotomous Key
Tree ID Guides
- ID by leaf, bark, twig, fruit
- Connecticut Trees and Shrubs
- Know Your Trees
- Urban Trees (PDF)
- New Haven Trees Map
- Some Suggested Forest Guides in Print Form (PDF)
6. TREE MEASUREMENT
- How to measure the diameter of a tree (Video)
- How to Use a Biltmore Stick (Video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myh-DuR-48g Models how to measure tree diameter and merchantable height, and estimate board-foot volume.
- Clinometer Directions (PDF)
- “Measuring Your Forests”: UConn Cooperative Extension System (PDF)
- What is Basal Area? (video)
- How do we measure Basal Area? (video)
- Using a Wedge Prism to estimate Basal Area (Video)
- “Instructions for Using Tree Scale Sticks”: ECFLA (PDF)
- “Woodland Owner Notes: Estimating the Volume of a Standing Tree Using a Scale Stick: NCSU Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- Mock Timber Sale (PDF)
7. TREES AS AN IMPORTANT RENEWABLE RESOURCE
Benefits Forest Provide:
- Follow the Forest—A Story Map for Our Region
- Follow the Forest—An Interactive Map for Our Region
- The Benefits and Applications of Integrating Trees into Northeast Agriculture By Joseph Orefice, PhD (PDF)
- Trees: Our Mental, Physical, Climate Change Antidote (WBUR.org news post)
- Connecticut Urban Forest Data
- Forest Products (PDF)
- “Products Made From Wood” (PDF)
- DEEP Sawmill—Portland, CT (Article—page 10)
Foresters; Forestry Equipment, Landowner Resources:
- Foresters Tools (PDF)
- Logging Equipment (PDF)
- “Understanding Connecticut Woodland Owners: A Report on the Attitudes, Values and Challenges of Connecticut’s Family Woodland Owners” (PDF)