KWOA members were introduced to the new HealthyWoods app and more at the 2020 Annual Meeting webinar.
Ellen Crocker, Assistant Professor, Forest Health UK Forestry Extension walked webinar viewers through HealthyWoods, a new mobile app that provides woodland owners with a convenient tool to scout the health of their woods. A collaborative effort between forest specialists from Kentucky and other hardwood-producing states in the Appalachian region, the app makes receiving research-based woodland management information as easy as reaching for the phone.
Users answer a series of questions and can upload pictures from their phones. Questions deal with such things as how the canopy looks, how healthy the trees are, what the understory looks like and whether invasive species are present.
After completing the questions, the user immediately receives a report geared to their management goals, whether that’s timber production, recreation or attracting wildlife. It also provides contact information, if the owner wants to bring in a professional to help guide management. The user can save the report as a PDF that can then be emailed.
Crocker hopes the app will function as a good starting-off point for extension agents and professional foresters who are working with woodland owners. “We hope that this new tool will be a way for landowners to set their woodlands up for success in the long-term.”
HealthyWoods is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
The virtual meeting attendees were also introduced to Dr. Jacob Muller, new UK Assistant Professor of Hardwood Silviculture and Forest Operations. Muller joined the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in the spring semester 2020. His extension and teaching interests include the development of continuing education programs for woodland owners and natural resource professionals. He is also interested in helping to develop and advance educational tools to better inform landowners of current and future management challenges.
Brandon Howard, the new Kentucky Division of Forestry Director, introduced himself to viewers. He is a 16-year veteran with KDF in the areas of fire suppression and environmental control.