Rural Forestry FAQ
Who is my local Kansas Forest Service forester, and how can I contact them?
There are eight district foresters that provide services to Kansas landowners. You should contact the forester whose district includes the county where your property is located here.
Are there programs that will provide financial assistance for forestry projects?
A variety of programs can provide financial assistance to landowners to implement forestry projects. The most popular ones in Kansas are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Forestland Health, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
How much are my trees worth and how do I sell them?
The best way to determine fair market value for trees is to invite several timber buyers to bid on the trees. Timber markets can be extremely volatile and different buyers have access to different markets. Sometimes there are thousands of dollars of difference in the bids offered by timber buyers. The Kansas Forest Service recommends establishing a contract prior to timber sales and receiving payment upfront before any harvesting begins. Detailed information about conducting timber sales and a sample contract is available in the publication Marketing Kansas Timber. Kansas Forest Service also maintains a current list of Kansas Timber Buyers. Kansas Forest Service foresters are available to assist landowners with timber sales. However, foresters do not represent landowners during sales, mark trees for sale or provide volume estimates. Those services may be provided by a Forestry Consultant.
Someone has damaged or destroyed my trees, how can I appraise their value?
The appraisal value of damaged or destroyed trees should be determined by a Forestry Consultant. There are a variety of appraisal methods that establish value. Kansas Forest Service foresters do not offer tree appraisal as a service due to the litigation that often accompanies such requests. A list of Forestry Consultants is made available to landowners at the bottom of the Services & Landowner Assistance page of our website under "Resources."
My trees have been damaged by off-target herbicide, what should I do now?
Unfortunately, off-target herbicide damage to trees is not an uncommon problem in a state where crop and grassland dominates the landscape and herbicides are often used as part of those agricultural systems. If you suspect damage to your trees from an off-target herbicide application the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Pesticide Use Division should be contacted immediately at 785-296-4179 or 785-296-3786. Also, it may be helpful to register your tree plantings or tree farm at the KDA Sensitive Crop Registry. It is always a good idea to let neighbors know that you value your trees and appreciate their consideration during herbicide applications. The Kansas Forest Service does not offer off-target herbicide damage appraisal as one of our services due to the litigation that often accompanies such requests. However, we do provide a list of Consulting Foresters that can provide appraisal services.
How can I identify the trees on my property?
Being able to accurately identify trees on your property is the first step to becoming a good steward of your forest, woodlands and windbreaks. There are a variety of excellent web sites to check out and some good handbooks that can be taken to the field. Below is a partial list of helpful web sites and references.
- Virgina Tech’s Tree Identification Web Site
- Missouri Department of Conservation Trees and Forests Web Site
- National Arbor Day Foundation’s “What Tree is That?” Field Guide
- Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines in Kansas, H. A. Stephens, University Press of KS, ISBN 0-7006-0057-4
- Tree Finder, May T. Watts
- The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees Eastern Region, by E.L. Little.
What type of trees should I plant?
- The type of tree you choose to plant should depend upon the function or objectives of the planting (wildlife, windbreak, timber production, aesthetics), the available space and the type of site (soil conditions) the tree will be planted in. Matching the right tree to the right site is critical for a successful planting. Foresters can help make these decisions and checking out the Conservation Trees section of the web site will provide some helpful ideas. Also check out the list of Preferred Trees for urban and yard tree plantings for your region of Kansas. The "Right Tree for My Soil" provides the general public access to an interactive Kansas soils map including suggested tree and shrub species to plant.
What does a forester in Kansas do?
This question often arises because of the scarcity of forest resources in Kansas compared to other states. However, Kansas foresters perform similar job responsibilities compared to other foresters in more heavily forested states. Job responsibilities include forest inventory, preparation of long-term forest management plans, conducting tree planting, thinning timber stands and timber harvests are all normal duties of Kansas foresters. What does make Kansas foresters and other Great Plains foresters unique is their knowledge of agroforestry which is most commonly applied as windbreak, shelterbelt and riparian forest buffer practices. Integrating trees and shrubs into agricultural systems to maximize production and conservation benefits is an important part of practicing forestry in Kansas.
My tree is sick, what do I do?
Positive identification of the problem is the first step in forest health. This can be done a variety of ways. Taking tree samples into K-State Research and Extension, County Extension Office is a good first step. If these people are unable to identify the problem, they can often submit the sample to K-State’s diagnostic lab for observation. Another great way to identify the problem is to take a digital photo of the tree and e-mail it to foresters or diagnosticians. Kansas Forest Service foresters can provide on-site visits to diagnose forest health problems in windbreaks and woodlands. However, foresters do not provide site visits to diagnose forest health problems regarding yard-trees for individual residents in the cities and towns of Kansas.