Forest Landowner Management Tips for August

— Written By and last updated by Kristin Wing

August is normally a time to celebrate summertime cookouts by the pool, vacations, and getting ready to go back to school for children. Things are a bit different in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forest landowners should look at summer a bit different when it comes to your forest land as well. Landowners usually don’t think about working in the forest during the summer unless they have a harvest going on.

  1. August can be a great time to think about habitat improvements for wildlife, getting ready for your fall food plots, and preparing for dove and deer season. Here are some tips to help you improve wildlife opportunities.
  • Now is the time to begin preparing for your wildlife food plots, such as clover, annual rye, and other winter food crops. Soil samples should be taken, so any amendments such as lime can be applied. This will give time for the lime to react before the food plots are sewn.
  • Deer Fawn bedding in grass

    Deer Fawn
    Tom Koerner, USFWS

    Set out game cameras to monitor for game species, but also for predators. Summer is a great time for predator control to help mitigate the loss of fawns and turkey poults.

  • Continue with invasive species control around your forest. Management of invasive species, both flora and fauna, is important to sustaining and enhancing native wildlife and game species.
  • More information on wildlife management can be found in the Tarheel Wildlife Management Guide.
  1. August is also a great time to review your forest management plan, making updates if you have harvested or thinned stands or have made any improvements to roads, crossings, or structures. Updating maps using county GIS, Google Earth, or with the aid of a consulting forester is also a great task for the summer heat.
  2. Hurricane prep and recovery are always important tasks landowners face in North Carolina during the summer. Road maintenance, culvert cleanout, and general inspections during the summer months are key to making sure you are prepared for bad weather events. Having an up to date management plan and maps can also help for these preparations and recovery tasks.

    road culvert

    Forest Road Culvert
    NC Forest Service

  3. Finally, don’t forget to think about preparation for the next generation(s) on the forest. If the heat is keeping you in and out of the forest, take time to sit down with the family and plan for the future. Estate planning and preparation can give you and your family peace of mind and also ensure you are ready to pass on your legacy to the next generation. More information on estate planning can be found at the NC State Estate Planning Portal and at the National Timber Tax Website.

For more information related to this article, please contact your local Extension Office.