Managing Small Forrest Area #775684 - Ask Extension


Managing Small Forrest Area #775684

Asked October 18, 2021, 11:42 AM EDT

We recently purchased an eight-acre property in Sussex County, and much of it is covered in mature trees. We have a mix of tree types, with more than half of the property covered with tall pine trees and the rest with a mix of oak, maple, and other trees. We have two questions: 1) What are a good sources of information on how to manage our trees for best health and biodiversity to support wildlife? We do not plan any commercial use of the trees. 2) What is the best way to find someone who is an experienced forester who could serve as a source of advice and guidance? Are there individuals who work for extension service who could advise us? Thank you in advance for any help you can provide us.

Sussex County Delaware

Expert Response

Mature trees in a wooded setting do not need routine maintenance. There are a few arborists who are members of the DNLA. Here is their website. I also suggest contacting the Department of Agriculture Forestry Division ( They might be able to send a forester out to your site if you have specific questions. Blake Moore ( is currently on vacation, but he is a good resource within Cooperative Extension on managing natural areas.
Susan Barton Replied October 18, 2021, 12:49 PM EDT
Dear Susan;

Thank you very much for your feedback and the suggested links - much appreciated.

When I referred to routine maintenance, I was thinking primarily about how to judge the health of the trees and how to identify any potential problems from pests. We have a number of dead trees, and I wanted to make sure that there were no underlying problems. I will contact the resources you provided and seek assistance.

Thanks again - Cooperative Extension is such a great resource.


On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 12:50 PM Ask Extension <> wrote:
Mark Clark Replied October 22, 2021, 9:26 AM EDT
Good to be thinking proactively. It is good to leave a few dead trees in a woods if possible to provide habitat - great for woodpeckers and other birds and animals.
Susan Barton Replied October 22, 2021, 9:54 AM EDT
Thank you - I had not thought of that function if dead trees.


On Fri, Oct 22, 2021, 9:55 AM Ask Extension <> wrote:
Mark Clark Replied October 22, 2021, 11:27 AM EDT

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