You may need help planning and caring for your woodlands. There are a variety of professionals providing the services you need. All professional service providers should have liability insurance that covers you while they work on your land. They will serve you through a contract that specifies the work to be done costs, and payment schedule.
The Vermont Woodlands Association and Vermont Coverts are peer organizations that can keep you abreast of changes in natural resource programs as well as sharing experiences and advice or references on professional service providers.
Licensed Consulting Foresters
Mapping, plan writing, forest and resource inventorying, marking timber, writing and overseeing contracts for timber sales, and assisting with the paperwork for required reports or updates for property in the Use Value Appraisal program are the necessary skills of a consulting forester. As of July 1, 2016, state law required that foresters be licensed to provide forestry services. Some foresters are licensed to apply pesticides to control invasive plants. Licensed consulting foresters can also help you with the application process for federal cost share programs. Contact your County Forester for a list of consulting foresters working in your area.
Consulting foresters have experience working with loggers and can recommend professionals who will do the work you want. If you are contacted by a logger soliciting work, especially after a storm, take the time to check the logger’s references carefully. Most damaged trees do not need to be cleaned up immediately, and if you have significant damage, it is worth checking with a county forester to see if any agency has funding to assist with clean up.
Arborists focus on individual tree maintenance. Arborists and loggers alike have skills in tree removal, but your county or consulting forester can direct you to which specialist would be best suited for a tree-felling need. It is especially important to check the references of individuals offering unsolicited services such as logging or tree work. Find out more about hiring an arborist.
Biologist and Ecologist
Consider consulting an ecologist or biologist if you have significant natural features or threatened or endangered species on your property. The Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage Program of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department can direct you to a consulting biologist or ecologist.
If you have concerns about boundary lines, check with your town clerk. If the information on recorded deeds is unclear, the town clerk may be able to recommend land surveyors in your area. Knowing your boundaries is crucial for planning harvest and other activities on your land.