Photos: forester Charlie Moreno, a cherry tree, cherry boards, a cherry bureau in-the-making, and Charlie speaking to workshop participants; photos courtesy of Charlie Moreno and Kate Wilcox.

MMRG and Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust (BHF/CSFCT) will offer two forestry workshops led by consulting forester Charlie Moreno. The first, ‘Restoration of a Forest’, has been re-scheduled for Saturday, November 4, from 10 am to 12 pm in the Jones Brook East forest of Branch Hill Farm in Milton. The second, ‘Wood: From Forest to Workbench’ will take place on Sunday, November 5 from 9 am to noon in Branch Hill Farm’s Branch River West forest on Plummers Ridge in Milton.

The Jones Brook East forest was severely ‘high–graded’ before BHF purchased it, meaning that nearly all the high value trees had been removed, a common problem in NH. In the Saturday Forest Restoration workshop, Moreno will show how various forestry practices implemented over the last nine years have begun to improve the forest’s health and its value for timber. He’ll also discuss the economics of doing nothing versus active restoration practices and talk about how to deal with the problem of beech taking over after high-grading. The workshop will entail less than a mile of walking with several stops for discussion, and is appropriate for woodlot owners, forestry students and professionals, and anyone interested in the health of our forests.

The Sunday Forest to Workbench workshop will be of interest to woodworkers and wood enthusiasts. Charlie’s goal is to make the connection between wood that woodworkers love to use for woodworking and the forests that it comes from, such as wood grown here in our own backyards of NH and Maine. He’ll walk participants through the sustainably-managed Branch River West forest, showing the high quality timber that can come from this mixed-age forest and how it is being grown for the future. He’ll talk about the products and values that come from trees, the common tree species and their wood qualities for use in different projects, and the process of milling and drying your own wood.

As a consulting forester, Charlie Moreno manages over 30,000 acres of forests for private landowners, conservation organizations, and communities in southern New Hampshire and Maine, including the forests of Branch Hill that are the sites for these workshops. In addition, he is a long-term hobbyist woodworker, learning ‘everything he knows’ at the Homestead Woodworking School in Newmarket. When speaking of his own woodworking, Charlie claims to just fool around. But he adds, “I love wood. For my projects, I never buy the wood. I always get the logs and cut them, dry them and use them to make something such as a piece of furniture. That way, I always know where a piece comes from.”

These workshops are free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, please call MMRG’s Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. Please do not bring pets to these events.

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. Throughout the year, MMRG offers many educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, visit www.mmrg.info.  Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchillfarm.org.