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Soils & Forest Types

Forest Type, Vegetative Cover, and Soils

UNH Cooperative Extension Grafton County Forester Dave Falkenham, a member of the Stewardship Team, gives this report on the condition of the forest:

Although this property has been heavily logged in the past, there are three distinct forest cover types that are regenerating on the property. The northern third of the property consists of sapling and pole sized northern hardwoods, with some softwoods mixed in, with the hardwoods being the dominant cover type. Tree species consist of yellow birch, American beech, paper birch, aspen, red maple, sugar maple and some white pine, balsam fir and red spruce mostly as inclusions throughout the stands. Average diameter is 4-6 inches for all species. Slopes on the property are Northeasterly and range from 8% to 25%.

The central third of the property is the most steep and generally the highest elevation of the property. Slopes go in all directions from the summits of the hills and range in steepness from 8 to 60 percent. Forest cover type here is a softwood mixture of balsam fir, red spruce and some white pine in the sapling to pole size classes There are areas of dense, young softwood mixed with scattered pockets of hardwoods. The hardwoods consist of striped maple, red maple, paper birch and yellow birch that are all well suited for this higher elevation. Most of the hardwoods have been heavily browsed by moose and will likely not contribute to overall future timber stand.

The Forest has distinct growing areas.

The Forest has distinct growing areas.

The southern third of the property is the most recently logged area, thus stand development is in a regenerative state, with some residual pole sized trees. The mixed vegetation of high elevation hardwoods (yellow birch, paper birch, red maple and striped maple) has been heavily browsed by moose. There are also small areas of spruce, fir and pine in early stages of development. Over time the moose browse will allow the softwood species to flourish as it has in the central portion of the property. Slopes are generally northwest ranging from 8-25 percent

Soils on the property are very good for forest stand growth with the only limitations for forestry and recreation being steep slopes. The entire property has either group IA or group IIA soils, the most fertile forest soils in New Hampshire. The only major differences in these two forest soils groups are elevation and slope which create some limitations for equipment use in forest operations. Almost 85% of the property is covered with the Tunbridge-Lyman soil series (Group IIA) and 15% of the property is covered with Marlow and Peru soils (Group 1A). Future growth of high quality/high value tree species is likely as this growth and regeneration is already happening.

A comprehensive natural resource inventory is being completed as part of management and stewardship planning.