Tree Farm Field Day: Colorful Autumn Tradition
Woods Without Gile shares nearly 2.5 miles of boundary with the 6,725 acre John F. Gile Memorial State Forest. In 2007, Ann and Marc placed a conservation easement on 470 acres of their property in Springfield and Wilmot with the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. They plan to protect an additional 30 acres they purchased in 2016 with a conservation easement in future. They welcome the public to hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, hunt and fish at the property.
Ann and Marc are enthusiastic Tree Farmers. Their property is managed for forest products with an emphasis on diversifying wildlife habitat opportunities and re-opening views and protecting water quality of the Meeting House Brook. Ann writes: "much of the trail network and all of the views are the result of timber harvests in 2004, '07, '10 and '16."
They hired mowing contractors using a "brontosaurus" to mow and maintain openings for wildlife in 2010, 2021 and 2022.
At Tree Farm Field Day, Ann hosted a wildlife tour along the "Otter Point Loop Trail" from the main timber landing, named in honor of forester, John O'Brien and along a mowed trail to Meetinghouse Brook and an overlook over Morrill Pond, a five acre area of open water created by a beaver dam impoundment within the 50-acre wetland complex. The Davises named the marsh for the last residents, the Morrill Family, who had lived and farmed on the property until 1930. UNH Forestry Educator Dode Gladders and Wildlife Specialist Matt Tarr helped to interpret forest and wildlife features along the route.
Marc Davis hosted a tour from the landing to visit the site of an historic sugarhouse ruins and the Morrill Family farm cellar along the Fowlertown Road. The Woods Without Gile has eight historic sites, part of the remants of historic "Fowlertown" where Ann Davis writes "Hardscrabble hill farmers had lived from the early 1800's until 1930 when the last residents, the Morrill family, moved to Danbury, NH." At the former Morrill farm site, a mowed meadow with half left fallow for pollinators offers views north to Fogg Hill, Ragged Mountain and Eagle's Nest. The view east includes the summit of Mt. Kearsarge.
Kyle Lombard, State Forest Health Specialist with the NH Division of Forests and Lands led a walk to a protected white ash site and demonstrated pesticide treatment via injection of insecticides into a white ash trunk to combat Emerald Ash Borers (EAB). Lombard discussed the long term potential for biocontrol of EAB via the introductoin of wasps which parasitize eggs or the larvae of EAB boring under the bark of Ash trees.
The day's events included a traditional pig roast or roasted chicken lunch, awards ceremony and remarks by Ann and Marc and some of the 4 sponsors of the NH Tree Farm Program, which include The Forest Society, NH Timberland Owners Association, UNH Cooperative Extension, and the Society of American Foresters Granite State Division.
Congratulations to Ann and Marc Davis, the NH Outstanding Tree Farm Award recipients for 2022!