Forestry Suppliers, Inc. Shares Forest Restoration & Urban Tree Maintenance Tips for Natural Resource Professionals

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Forestry Suppliers shares tips for natural resource professionals and volunteers working to keep their community’s plants, trees, and forests healthy.

Maintenance and mulching are great for summer, while planting is typically better for fall and spring. ... Don’t be afraid to take the initiative to get the right tools that will get the job done well.

Forestry Suppliers, a leading supplier of forestry, agricultural, environmental and surveying equipment for outdoor professionals, sought tips for forest and tree maintenance professionals from Sehoy Thrower, a summer intern with Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Trees Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.

Originally from Alabama, Thrower is an undergraduate student at Georgia State University working toward a double major in biology and environmental science. She is particularly interested in forest restoration and climate change, with plans down the road for graduate school and a career as an ecologist. This summer, her internship opportunities are providing valuable hands-on experience, encompassing both urban forestry as well as a 60-acre old-growth forest preserved in the heart of Atlanta.

Here, Thrower shares tips for outdoor professionals – including foresters, gardeners, landscapers, and grounds maintenance teams – and volunteers responsible for keeping their local trees and plants healthy.

1. Know your plants. Excellent plant identification skills are critical to cleaning up areas with invasive species. “If you don’t recognize it, don’t pull it,” cautions Thrower. “You have to be careful. If you remove something native, that could be the end of it in that forest. It’s hard for natives to come back and thrive.” Taking the time to research unknown species is important. Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a professional, there are many books, websites, and smartphone apps to assist you in plant identification.

2. Strategize your time and your tools. Managing your time efficiently is key. “Do what makes sense for each season,” advises Thrower. “Maintenance and mulching are great for summer, while planting is typically better for fall and spring.” Figuring out the right tools is also important to maximizing your time in the field. “The people who aren’t doing the handiwork may not know the best approach,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to take the initiative to get the right tools that will get the job done well.”

3. Know your audience. Outdoor maintenance often takes a team approach, including volunteers who may not be professionally trained. If your volunteers are more on the green side, “give them easy patches where there aren’t a lot of intermixed native plants, where it’s less sensitive,” she says. “It’s safer, and they have more opportunities to learn what plants they’re seeing.”

4. Match the work with your passion and develop lasting relationships. Manual labor is physically demanding work, but the right mindset makes a big difference. “I love being outside and learning about the plants, so I don’t think twice about it,” says Thrower. “Being able to see your impact is so rewarding.” While her internships end in August, the relationships she’s developed will continue, as will her opportunities for additional projects and volunteer work. For anyone passionate about the environment, finding the right organization can make the experience even more rewarding and valuable long-term.

5. Economics matter. Every project requires funding. “Understanding the economic component is so critical for the environmental science field,” says Thrower. Being knowledgeable about the economic and political issues at work is useful when it comes to solving environmental problems locally and around the globe.

6. Protect yourself. Plants, insects, snakes, and the weather demand special consideration with clothing, footwear, and repellents. “Take the time,” counsels Thrower, “to figure out what works best for you.” To meet her needs this summer, she favors fast-drying linen shirts and DEET-free insect repellent.

About Forestry Suppliers
Forestry Suppliers, Inc. is a worldwide supplier and distributor of general-use and specialty products and equipment for natural resource professionals. Their annual catalog and website contain a complete selection for a wide range of outdoor industries, including forestry, agriculture, arboriculture, landscaping, horticulture, grounds maintenance, surveying, engineering, remote sensing, vegetation management, construction, home inspection, utilities, wildland fire fighting, geology and mining, archaeology, anthropology, parks and recreation, golf courses, wildlife management, fisheries and aquaculture, earth science education, environmental engineering, hazmat, and remediation.

Founded in 1949 by Jim Craig, former Mississippi State Forester, Forestry Suppliers, Inc. maintains a distribution warehouse and administrative headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. For more information about Forestry Suppliers, visit them online at Technical Specialists are also available at 800-430-5566 to answer questions about product selection and usage.

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Meg Anderson
Forestry Suppliers, Inc.
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