Natural Resources/Recreation>Plants

Vegetation in Hillsdale County

Plant collage [Click here to view full size picture] "To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Jane Austen

Vegetation in Hillsdale County is an important component of the landscape. Small and large woodlots are a common sight along with a variety of wetland habitat types. Information about the vegetation in Hillsdale County may be found on this page, and by checking out the links to the many other websites with related information.

Plants(For issues/answers local contacts are MSUE, NRCS, Master Gardeners).

Plants(For issues/answers local contacts are MSUE, NRCS, Master Gardeners).

Spring Flowers [Click here to view full size picture] 1.  Presettlement Vegetation
Prior to arrival by Europeans Hillsdale County was nearly completely wooded. The Michigan General Land Survey Office surveyed the entire State from 1816-1856 to lay out the township and range lines. As a part of this survey notes were kept detailing the vegetation present. It is from these notes that the presettlement vegetation map was created.

2.  Common Plant Species
A wide variety of plant species exist in Hillsdale County. This is due in large part to the wide variety of soils, drainage, and topography present.

3. Threatened and Endangered Species
There are 17 plant species on the States Threatened and/or Endangered list.


Forest of Trees [Click here to view full size picture] 1.  Tree Identification
See Michigan Extension Bulletin E-2332. For local identification contact The Michigan State University Extension Office or The Natural Resources Conservation Service.
2.  Types to Plant
Tree and shrub species should be matched to the specific site, soil conditions and the desired use. Consult the Hillsdale County Soil survey or contact Michigan State University Extension or the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
3.  Sources of Plant Stock
The Hillsdale Conservation District conducts an annual spring conservation plants sale offering planting stock at reasonable prices. (Mechanical tree planters can also be rented).
4.  How to Plant/Manage Trees and Shrubs
There are several things to consider when planting trees and shrubs. Will weeds be a problem, will the trees roots create future problems, are there overhead utility lines etc.? A number of publications exist to assist the landowner have a successful tree/shrub planting. For local assistance contact the Michigan State University Extension Office or the Natural Resources Conservation Service Office. /
5.  "Big Tree"
Hillsdale County has several "Big Tree" entries.
6.  Timber Management
Hillsdale County produces some of the worlds best high quality hardwood timber. Aggressive timber management is a job for a consultant forester. The consultant will evaluate your woodlot and make specific recommendations based on your objectives and the overall health and condition of your woodlot. (See consultant foresters list).
7.  Timber Marketing
Timber marketing is best left to a proffessional forester. They know current wood species value and can estimate log quality and volume. How to sell your timber A successful timber sale consists of the following: -a basic knowledge of how trees grow. -realizing the long-term values of a good forest stewardship program. -understanding the landowners needs. -getting the best price for trees using competitive bidding. -protecting the landowner from damages and/or liability. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:
A.Harvest trees when their growth in terms of board footage has been maximized, given the density/complextion of the existing situation.

B.Cut the right trees at the right time. There is a point of "diminishing returns" in regard to timber production and time. In order to maximize the "renewable resource" potential of the woods, trees should be cut at the time when this thresahold has arrived. This will vary depending on the situation and species. Managed woods, with planned, periodic harvests, increase growth by as much as 3 times.

C.A good harvest operation should include all the species that need to be removed, including those of lower value, because they take up growing space the same as the high value species. It is recommended that some cavity, and/or food producing trees be left for wildlife.

D.The particular uses of the landowner should be balanced with long term forest stewardship to insure environmentally sound practices as well as a good return on investment. A multi-use format is advised, with emphasis on recreation, wildlife habitat, and timber production.

E.After the trees have been marked on both stems and butts, they should be offered for sale on a competitive basis via "sealed bid". All bidders should qualify as bidders, meeting legal and insurance requirements. Only those trees marked should be included in the bids.

F.A contract reviewed by a professional forester and legal council is then used to insure safe and responsible logging. These contracts are thorough, and protect the landowner from potential damages and liability problems. There are many issues of how the trees are cut and transported from the site, as well as damage contingencies and weather considerations.

G.All of the monies are recieved before the harvest operation starts. Working on percentages, shares, or "best offers" after the cut puts the seller at a disadvantage.

H.Check with your local and state resource professionals for a list of qualified foresters.

8.  Consultant Foresters List

Frank Schaldach 3750 Lake Wilson Rd. Jonesville, Mi. 49250 517-849-2133

Carl (Bud) Heinowski 3620 Lake Wilson Rd. Hillsdale, Mi. 49242 517-849-9612

Peter Klink P.O. Box 521 Coldwater, Mi. 49036 517-238-4048

Tom Stadt 13105 M-89 Augusta, Mi. 49012 616-731-4494

Scott Throop P.O. Box 338 Vestaburg, Mi. 48891
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