Big Ideas for Your Small Woodlot

If the weather stays like this, I told my co-workers that I might just take the rest of October off as vacation leave.

Beautiful blue skies and perfect temperatures call me outdoors, and into our small five- acre woodlot for campfires and playing in the stream with my 10-year old son. It’s not a big woodlot, but we enjoy it. When my son has friends over, it’s where they head for adventure.

Many properties in Holmes County have small woodlands as part of the mix, typically because the terrain is such that it is better left to trees. Sometimes that woods can be overlooked and just left to fend for itself. But if you want some ideas, I encourage you to look to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. The Division of Forestry has an excellent webpage devoted to small woodlots like mine.  

There are links to resources that will help you think about what you want your woodlot to look like, and formulate a plan to make it happen. There’s information about planting trees, enhancing wildlife habitat, controlling non-native insect pests and diseases, specialty forest products and providing woodland retreats.

I’ve always had grand ideas for a woodland retreat, with a peaceful bench overlooking our ravine and stream, and mountain bike trails that are easy enough for me to ride. Sort of two different ends of the spectrum, but that’s ok. And rocks, I want lots of piles of rocks. And maybe a stray tacky lawn ornament here and there. Hey, I’m getting inspired again!

So if you are looking for some ideas for your small woodlot, look to the ODNR Division of Forestry webpage. And if you have a larger woodlot that you are managing, information is there as well. In addition, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) might have some funding available for timber stand improvement and pollinator plantings for those who are interested. The funding has gotten pretty competitive, but you can contact our office at 330-674-SWCD for more information.

Michelle Wood oversees the day to day operations of the district and the diverse activities offered to promote clean water and healthy soil. With a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a background in communications, she appreciates the conservation district grassroots model which enables the local board and staff to create programs that meet the conservation needs of Holmes County.  Michelle is a member of several statewide committees, including the ODNR Parks Advisory Council and the Clean Ohio Fund Natural Resources Assistance Council.  Contact Michelle at 330-674-2811 or at