The MU Marion Extension Center will be offering free, live webinars on basic woodland management at the Palmyra Courthouse Courtroom Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

The MU Marion Extension Center will be offering free, live webinars on basic woodland management at the Palmyra Courthouse Courtroom Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 21: How natural and human factors have shaped the forests in the region and the importance of this knowledge when developing management plans and practices on their forests.

Thursday, Feb. 28: Basic characteristics of existing hardwood stands, how to evaluate their potential, and make some basic decisions on future management strategies to make them profitable and sustainable.

Thursday, March 7: Woodland threats from insects and disease to invasive plants. Basic pest principles and simple practices to help maintain woodland health and productivity.

Thursday, March 14: Basic wildlife management principles and concepts, and habitat requirements of various wildlife that occur across the region.

Participants will have the opportunity to chat directly with presenters from across the Southeastern United States as well as ask local foresters who will be on-site to answer questions from the audience.

Missouri landowners own roughly 85 percent of the state’s 15.6 million forested acres. And they own these acres for a variety of reasons. In addition, these same acres support a $10 billion forest products industry in the state. But, according to State Forestry Extension Specialist, Hank Stelzer, many owners need education about managing their woodlands.

“Approximately nine out of ten Missouri woodland owners do not manage their woodlands. This lack of management threatens the health and productivity of their trees,” he said.

And the threat increases with each passing year of inattention. Stelzer urged landowners to think of their unmanaged woodland like an unweeded garden.

“One doesn’t plant a garden and then walk away only to return at the end of the growing season expecting to reap the rewards of weeks of inattention,” said Stelzer.

The same can be said of one’s woodlands, if on a slightly longer time frame. So, to help Missouri’s woodland owners begin their journey of more actively managing their woodlands, Stelzer has teamed up with natural resource Extension professionals from across the Southeast and developed this webinar series.

Stelzer said, “Sometimes the hardest step to take on a long journey is the first one.”

But, you do not have to take it alone.

“There are natural resource professionals in your backyard to help you. All you have to do is take that first step,” he said.

To sign up for the webinars, simply contact the Marion County Extension office at 573-769-2177 or email marionco@missouri.edu.