Find a Forester

 When to Consult a Forester

Forest management is a long-term endeavor, primarily because trees can take a long time to grow to maturity. So, the results of good management, as well as poor management practices, will have long lasting effects on the health and value of the forest. This is why it is so important to get professional forestry advice before making long- and short-term management decisions. Wise landowners will learn about their forest resources, find resource professionals to help them develop a plan to manage those resources, so when they do act, they know what to expect and how the practice helps them to meet their management goals.

“Forester” is defined in the Code of Virginia Chapter 11. Article 13. Foresters. Individuals with ten years of experience are permitted to use the “Forester” title under the Code of Virginia §10.1-1181.12.

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Services Provided by Your Local DOF Forester

The Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) employs a network of professional foresters who work across the state assisting landowners in managing their forestland to meet their short-term and long-term goals and objectives. DOF foresters can help landowners learn about their forest and natural resources and provide assistance, such as:

  • Prepare forest management and pre-harvest plans with recommended practices.
  • Identify insect and disease problems that can affect the health of the forest.
  • Provide lists of contractors to implement management practices.
  • Help landowners apply for federal and state cost-share assistance programs.
  • Coordinate planting services.
  • Prescribed burning services.

In Virginia, public sector foresters cannot do timber inventory or appraisal, or sell timber on private lands. Therefore, DOF foresters cannot assess or discuss timber values. Some service are provided to the landowner at a cost.

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Services Provided by a Private Consulting Forester

You may also consider hiring a private consulting forester to assist you with your forestland. Private sector foresters can provide professional forestry advice and service on a variety of forest management activities, such as:
  • Preparing management plans.
  • Perform timber inventory.
  • Conducting timber sales.
  • Planting new seedlings.
These private consulting forester services are provided to the landowner at a cost. A private consulting forester will be able to estimate the value of the trees, understand market conditions and the land’s accessibility, and help the landowner find a reputable logging contractor to buy the trees.

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Additional Resources

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Forests and Water - Get the Most Out of Your Land
Forests and Water – Get the Most Out of Your LandP00211

Publication is directed to landowners to educate about forest buffers, stream water quality, watersheds, riparian buffer tax credit program and other programs that can assist. Printed copies available.

National Timber Tax Website
National Timber Tax Website

The National Timber Tax Website was developed to be used by timberland owners, as well as a reference for accountants, attorneys, consulting foresters and other professionals who work with timberland owners regarding the tax treatment of timber related activities.

Viewfinancial-assistance-forest-management forest-managementresource
Plan Your Forest's Future
Plan Your Forest’s FutureP00205

Brochure provides information regarding the responsibility of owning forestland and the importance of planning your forest’s future, conserving your forestland, forest planning options, types of plans, elements of a plan, and benefits of a plan. Printed copies available.

Riparian Forest Buffers - Forests on the Water's Edge
Riparian Forest Buffers – Forests on the Water’s EdgeP00140

Publication is the effort of the Chesapeake Bay Program, including multiple states within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, to educate the community leaders and the public about the benefits of riparian forest Buffers, their importance to watersheds for air quality, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, forest Buffer losses and how we manage growth in riparian zones, how to maintain quality riparian forest Buffers, efforts in riparian forest restoration, and what you can do for forest Buffers. Printed copies available.

Services for Landowners
Services for LandownersP00112

Brochure provides information about the services available to landowners from the Virginia Department of Forestry, including forest management and forest health, timber harvesting and water quality, land conservation, tree seedling production, and resource protection. Printed copies available.

Viewfire-and-emergency-response forest-health forest-management forestland-conservation nurseries urban-and-community-forestry water-qualitypublication
Timber Harvesting and Water Quality
Timber Harvesting and Water QualityP00132

Brochure educates landowners and harvesters about the impact of timber harvesting on water quality and the steps required to maintain compliance with applicable laws during pre-harvest planning, harvesting and tract closeout after harvesting. Printed copies available.