The benefits of having trees and woodlands on your small acreage are numerous. Not only do they improve aesthetics, they can also benefit the landowner financially, provide privacy, and improve wildlife viewing opportunities. A variety of options are available to meet your needs when it comes to trees. For example, windbreaks and shade trees can be used to help minimize home energy costs, while fruit and nut trees can help feed the family and attract wildlife.
On the other hand, poorly placed or poorly selected trees can also pose a danger to small acreage owners. Trees and shrubs that are planted too close to a building and not fire resistant can endanger life and property while providing fuel for oncoming wildfires. Although the risks to your property cannot be completely removed, with proper planning you can create a firewise landscape and minimize the threats of a wildfire.
Several publications are available if you are interested in learning more about trees and woodlands. Pruning Landscape Trees: An Overview is a fact sheet that describes where to make pruning cuts to avoid stubs and flush-cuts, and describes why wound dressings should not be used. To find out more about the benefits of windbreaks and the important aspects of windbreak design see the Windbreaks Benefits and Design fact sheet. For those interested in creating a firewise landscape, we have two publications available: Firewise Landscaping for Utah and Firewise Plants for Utah Landscapes. When the time comes to plant these trees, see the articles on Selecting and Planting Landscape Trees, Tree Planting Considerations, and The Best Way to Plant Trees.
For more information on trees and forest management, visit the USU Forestry Extension website at forestry.usu.edu