CORVALLIS - Owners of small backyard woodlands can learn how to protect their property from wildfire, turn it into a lush haven, or improve their property's health with help from a new publication by the Oregon State University Extension Service.

"Backyard Woodlands: A Landowner Resource Notebook" offers information, ideas, options and planning tools that can help owners of backyard woodlands make informed decisions about tree planting, tree thinning, treatment for health problems and other forest care options.

Among the useful information in the 73-page notebook is how woodland owners can:

  • Plant, clear and prune to protect a woodland from wildfire;
  • Recognize and treat forest diseases, infestations, compacted soil and animal browsing, as well as other forest health issues;
  • Identify, collect and market ferns, seeds, cones, moss and other forest vegetation;
  • Identify, thin and plant trees to achieve long-term goals of size, species and density;
  • Enhance the woodland to attract wildlife.

Additional books, pamphlets, information bulletins and work sheets are packed into clear plastic sleeves between the workbook's pages. These publications come from OSU's Forestry Extension program, the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and other Pacific Northwest Cooperative Extension forestry bulletins.

Stephen Fitzgerald, an Extension forestry agent from Deschutes County and leader of the Backyard Woodlands project, said the publication represents an expansion of the services that the OSU Extension Forestry program has traditionally offered.

"In the past, the Extension forestry program worked primarily with larger forest owners or landowners who are more oriented toward timber production," Fitzgerald said. "But a growing number of landowners own small forest parcels of one to 40 acres. They are more interested in growing trees for aesthetics, wildlife and personal use, and may not know where to ask for that sort of information."

In addition to Fitzgerald, nine Extension foresters and an OSU Extension leadership educator contributed to the year-long project. For more information about the publication, contact Fitzgerald at 541-548-6088 or e-mail him at

"Backyard Woodlands: A Landowner Resource Notebook" is available by mail for $54 per copy. Send your request and check or money order payable to OSU to: Publication Orders, Extension & Station Communications, OSU, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119. You may fax a request to 541-737-0817 or send an e-mail to



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Stephen Fitzgerald, 541-548-6088 ext. 16