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Ward Wilkins

When Ward Wilkins is not farming, he harvests trees from his carefully managed woodlands in Montgomery County and mills them into lumber. Wilkins uses a long-term management plan to keep his woodlands healthy and sustainable for future generations.

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Woodlands property owner benefits from foresters’ advice

Purdue Extension forestry experts say Ward Wilkins is a woodlands owner who does it right — he’s a steward who cares deeply about the natural resource of his property and manages it well so it can thrive for future generations to enjoy.

He has followed the research-based advice of Purdue's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources to effectively nurture his 36 acres of woodlands in Montgomery County to meet his objectives.

That includes selling wood that he cuts from a variety of trees: white and red oak, white ash, black cherry, black walnut, Kentucky coffee bean and hickory. For him, selling wood is an excellent way to "fill in the winter" and make a little extra money after harvesting row crops on 620 acres of family-owned land.

Wilkins has advice for property owners who want to begin managing their woodlands: Seek the help of a professional forester who has expertise in identifying trees, their condition and when they are ready for harvesting. The forester can also help determine if any invasive species are present.

"There's a lot that goes into it," he says. "Get a plan, and spend some time in there with the forester. You will enjoy your woods more."

Wilkins says Purdue Extension is the place to go for that help.

“They are the experts. They have a great resource.”


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