Winter Projects for your Woodland

Tree-of-heaven female with seeds

By Barb Breshock (West Virginia WOW)

Birch and sycamore seeds
Birch (top) and sycamore (bottom) seeds
  • Maintain your property lines 
    • During the dormant season you can see further – thus making it easier to see signs of a boundary.
    • Depending on your confidence of the boundary location (i.e., there are old boundary marks) you can refresh the marks with purple paint if you wish to convey a “no trespassing” message.  See attached purple paint law information.
    • You can refresh with other paint if you just want to maintain the boundary, but don’t wish to deny access.
    • If you “think” this is where the boundary is, and there aren’t any remaining definitive marks, you can hang some plastic ribbon (we forester’s call this flagging - it can be purchased from some hardware stores)
  • Look for seeds on the snow 
    • tree-of-heaven seeds are an indicator that this invasive species is close enough for seeds to blow in – look on nearby ridgetops if it’s not close by.


      Tree of Heaven seed clusters in winter
      Clusters of brown seed pods hang from the limbs of 
      female tree-of-heaven
  • Locate female tree-of-heaven, clusters of brown seed pods hang from the limbs.
  • Locate other areas of interest that are easier to find when the vegetation is dormant. 
  • Lay out potential trails and roads – mark with that same plastic ribbon/flagging.
  • Notice where wildlife is using your woodland – for food, for cover
  • Plan for providing NATIVE food for wildlife – such as hinge cutting some trees that can provide browse. 
  • Some indoor tasks:
    Tree-of-heaven seeds in hand
    Tree-of-heaven seeds
    • make a collage of YOUR image of your woodland
    • read up on programs and management options
    • watch online presentations
    • make a wish list
    • make a to do list
    • If you don’t have a written plan, contact your local forester and make an appointment to walk your property together – invite a friend to join you
    • If you do have a written plan, revisit it and see if you are on track – what needs to be done this year – call your forester if you have any questions