Make smart decisions before your timber sale and Call Before You Cut

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – It's a pretty good bet that many landowners would benefit from expert advice when it comes to managing their woodlands, especially if they are thinking about harvesting timber. That's because caring for forested property is a long-term proposition where decisions landowners make can have long-term impacts on trees, water and wildlife.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages woodland owners to use the Call Before You Cut program to consult with professional foresters and trained loggers before they make decisions about their property.

"If you've got more than 20 acres of forested property, Call Before You Cut can help you determine whether a timber harvest is right for your land," MDC Forestry Field Program Supervisor Steve Westin said. "Whether you're looking at your timber as a source of income or a way to improve habitat for deer, turkey or other wildlife, your woods are a valuable resource."

Landowners can call toll-free (877-564-7483) to request a packet of information that will help them set up a timber sale, contact professional help, and find other management information for their woods.

"Although woodland owners know a lot about their property, they often don't have the critical information they need to determine when to harvest trees and who to hire to do it," said Westin. "It's important for landowners to know how many trees to cut, how much the trees are worth, and what the woods will look like after the harvest is completed."

Forest covers roughly one-third of Missouri, and private landowners own 83 percent of those timberlands. They are key providers of trees to produce some of Missouri's widely sought-after wood products, such as flooring, white oak for wine barrels and black walnut products. Call Before You Cut can help ensure healthy, productive woodlands for landowners and a healthy forest industry for years to come.

"Managing your woodlands can be a rewarding and profitable activity," said Westin. "A timber harvest can start a new chapter in the history of your woods by removing mature trees, allowing younger trees to grow freely, and new trees to start growing."

MDC recently released a series of videos that offers an overview of timber management, showing how foresters and loggers can help landowners make the right decisions for their properties. The series covers how to complete a forest inventory, how to protect the property with accurate site layout, how to select a logger, and how to prevent erosion with the installation of water bars. Find the videos on the MDC YouTube channel or go directly to the video playlist here:

More information about the Call Before You Cut program is available at