Winter Woody Work

Blog, Buckthorn, Invasive Species

Winter is a great time to work on improving our woodland habitats.   “Winter woody work” involves removing invasive tree and shrub species and sometimes thinning aggressive native woody species. Why is winter the best season for this work?  Some of the reasons are listed below!

Frozen ground or snow cover allows us to use machinery to remove invasive or unwanted woody species.  Using machinery makes us more efficient and clears larger areas faster than hand removal.  Snow and/or frozen ground are particularly important for protecting the soil structure and minimizing disturbance, as the frozen ground and snow act as a protective layer.  Using the same machinery in the warmer months would likely cause rutting or compaction of the soil.

Access may be limited or restricted outside of the winter season in areas with soft or hydric soils. During the warmer months, there may be a risk of equipment getting stuck or causing environmental damage. Frozen ground provides temporary access to these areas and allows for more efficient tree removal operations using machinery.

In environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands or areas with high-quality plant species, frozen ground provides a temporary protective barrier.  In these sensitive areas, frozen ground is necessary even for work being performed by hand.  Working in these areas during the winter reduces the impact on surrounding vegetation by avoiding soil compaction around the root systems of native plant species.

It’s important to note that while frozen ground can facilitate tree removal operations, proper environmental considerations and regulations should still be followed to minimize the impact on ecosystems and ensure sustainable forestry practices. Additionally, care should be taken to avoid disturbing wildlife habitats and sensitive areas, even during winter operations.