Rhododendron State Park Forest Management Project

October 1, 2019

Since the last update in April the foresters have marked the sale, hosted a community site walk and contracted the project. This week the contractor moved forestry equipment onto the property and will build the log yard and upgrade an old farm road on the Old Meserve Tract to provide access. One piece of equipment being used is a feller-buncher which cuts trees and piles them in bunches. The trees are then be skidded to a log yard where they are process before being loaded on trucks.

Work on Unit 1, the western 2/3rds of the project area, has started and will continue as long as weather and ground conditions allow. Unit 2, including the cutting around the parking lot and Park access road, will occur after December 15th. Public access will be restricted when Unit 2 begins.

For more information on this this project and timber harvesting in State Parks and State Forests, contact Project Forester, Inge Seaboyer at 603-464-3453 or Regional Forester, Scott Rolfe at 603-227-8741.

April 10, 2019

The Division of Forest and Lands is in the planning stages of a forest management project to improve forest health, wildlife habitat and reduce high risk trees on 84 acres of Rhododendron State Park starting in the fall of 2019.  Foresters will soon be marking the trees to be removed.  

Much of the forested area is in poor health due to the high density growing conditions, needle cast disease, blister rust fungus as well as broken tops.  The results can be seen in the poor crown densities and small crown size throughout the area.

The goal of the harvest is to remove unhealthy trees individually as well as in groups.  This will create gaps of light that will allow new tree seedlings to establish as well as existing trees more crown space to thrive.  It will also improve species diversity within the project area thus increasing forest resiliency to insects and disease.  

The area along the Park entrance road, and in the “island” of the cul-de-sac will also be treated as many of the trees are at high risk to breakage, windthrow or diseased.  The project operations in this area will be restricted to winter only and the area will be closed for a short time during the winter while the crew completes the work.

(Above left - Group Selection cut from the 2012 timber harvest in the area north of the Rhododendron Stand, off Rockwood Pond Road.)
(Above right - During the 2012 harvest many stems showed interior deflect like the red rot in these white pine logs.)

(Above left - Lightning struck white pine in the upcoming project area.)
(Above center & right - Poor crowns in the white pine along the entrance road.)

(Above left - Old farm road into the “Meserve Lot” where most of the upcoming harvest will occur.)
(Above Right - Shelterwood cutting between groups in the 2012 harvest.)