JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.–Caring for your woodland is a long-term proposition where one decision can have impacts for decades. A new outreach effort, Call Before You Cut, provides information to help Missouri woodland owners conduct tree harvests wisely.
“Although woodland owners know a lot about their woods, they often don’t have the critical information they need before selecting someone to harvest their trees,” said Brian Schweiss, forestry field program supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “It’s important for landowners to know how many trees they want to cut, how much the trees are worth and what the woods will look like after the harvest is completed.”
The Call Before You Cut campaign encourages landowners to call 877-564-7483 toll-free for free information. A live operator is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays. Callers receive information packets to help them set up timber sales and other management information for their woodlands.
“Call Before You Cut isn’t about not cutting trees,” said State Forester Lisa Allen. “It’s about how and when you cut them.” The program puts landowners in touch with professional foresters who can tell them how much their trees are worth, which trees should be harvested soon and which ones can grow for greater profits later. Call Before You Cut gives landowners options they might not have considered.
“Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about how to keep my woods healthy and beautiful,” said Dave Murphy, a landowner from Clark County, “but I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. I didn’t want to make any mistakes with my own land. By working with a professional forester, I was able to make money, maintain healthy woods, and improve food and cover for turkeys, one of my favorite wildlife to view and hunt.”
Forest covers roughly one-third of Missouri, and private landowners own 83 percent of those timberlands, which covers roughly one-third of the state. 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.
More information is available at callb4ucut.com.