Forest Health Checklist                                         back to page
  © 2003 G.W.F.P.


1. Diversity in tree and shrub types.  (Circle all that apply)

a.  Tree sizes 

       

Small Trees

 All

Some

None

Medium Trees

 All 

Some

None

Large Trees

 All 

Some

None


b. Tree species

     
 

Pine

 All 

Some

None

 

Fir

 All 

Some

None

 

Spruce

 All 

Some

None

 

Aspen

 All 

Some

None

 

Juniper

 All 

Some

None

 

Oak

All 

Some

None

Other

All 

Some

None


c. Shapes and “layers”

     
 

Tall Trees

 All 

Some

None

 

Low Trees

 All 

Some

None

 

Shrubs

 All 

Some

None

2. The following best describes my forested property. (Check all that apply)

3. Forest Fire Hazard and Defensible Space

4.  Indicate specific activities performed either by you or a forest management company.

5. The following best describes the status of your forested property.  (Check one)

6. How do you perceive the neighboring properties adjacent to your own?

7.  If your subdivision or community has an active management program, it is best described by the following:

 

Guidelines for Interpreting Your Responses.


Question 1:
 Forest diversity, in terms of size, species, and shapes & "layers", is healthy and desirable.  Variety in size indicates a healthy mix of trees by age.  No property will have an equal quantity of several different species of tree, and some species common to the region may not be present at all.  For example if your property is in a relatively hot and dry area, trees that prefer cool and wet conditions may not grow there.  However, a healthy mix would include one or two dominant species, with a smaller quantity of other species.  If you have circled "All" or "None" several times, you may want to consider planting several trees of the species you are missing.  Greenleaf's Foresters can give you more exact advice about how many trees of what species you should plant.

Question 2:  Each of the things listed in this question is a sign of an unhealthy forest or a potential disadvantage.  
If your forest is excessively dense, trees won't have room to grow properly.  Additionally, excessive density presents a fire hazard, as do standing dead trees.  Thinning is an important part of maintaining forest health, and standing dead trees should be removed.  
If tree foilage turns yellow or brown out of season, your trees may be diseased or infested by insects.  It is important that you contact a forester regarding proper methods of removal, so that the disease or insects are not allowed to spread to other trees.
If your views are blocked or limited by vegetation, you may simply be missing out on some of the greatest advantages your property has to offer!  Foresters can cut trees selectively to create "view corridors" without damaging the natural appearance of your forests.  
If you have noticed a change in the appearance of your property, such as gambel or scrub oak encroachment, you may be losing species diversity.  Greenleaf's Foresters can help you to limit the presence of these less-desirable trees.
If there is vegetation immediately adjacent to your home or other buildings, this may prevent a fire hazard.  Question 3 will give you more information about fire hazards.

Question 3: This question lists steps for fire hazard mitigation.  These are some of the most effective things you can do to keep your home safe from wildfires while preserving your forest in a fairly natural state.  Of course, the fewer trees and vegetation surrounding your home, the better your chances a fire will leave your home intact.  Yet there may be nearby trees you enjoy and would not want to remove.  Greenleaf's Foresters can help advise you how to keep the trees you want while making your property safer.  See our 
wildfire defense page for more information.  

Question 4: This question is a list of some of the most commonly performed forestry operations; operations from which most properties can benefit.  These operations can be performed by Greenleaf's Foresters, or after their assesment, you can do the work yourself!

Question 5: Your answer to this question should give an indication of your level of involvement in managing your forest lands.  Our recommendation?  "I have conducted a self-assessment of my forest land and perform forest management activities," and  "I have had a professional assessment of my forested land and forest management performed."  We always hope that you, as the property owner, are also taking an active role in forest care!  By completing this checklist, you have already done a self-assessment!  And of course, it's important not only to assess, but also to perform managment.

Question 6: You know where your property boundary lies, but your trees don't.  Problems in the adjacent forest can easily affect yours.  Once you are aware of the nearby hazard, Greenleaf's Foresters can advise you about how to protect your trees.  For example, if neighboring forests are excessively dense, you may want to thin the bordering forests on your property to help mitigate the possibility of fires spreading.  Nearby diseases or insect infestations may soon infect your trees without prevenative action.  

Question 7: These are proactive measures subdivisions can take in managing forests. Taking action at the subdivision level is particularly important because each piece of forested property is affected by the surrounding pieces.  If your subdivision does not implement any of these practices, you may want to consider taking the initiative in organizing a committee!  Greenleaf's Foresters are available to assist you with this.