The Value Of Timber On Your Land: FREE Resource

It’s not something I’ve put a lot of thought into. In hindsight, maybe I should have. We hired some arborists to cut down a few dead trees for us a couple years ago. We did keep the fallen timber to use in our fire pit and wood burning furnace. So, I guess we didn’t waste it. But we only live on about an acre. I know a number of people around us have acres of land with lots of trees or fallen timber.

Have you ever wondered about the value of the timber on your land? Penn State Extension has released the “Value of Standing Timber” publication. It helps land owners and loggers learn the economic value of standing timber and how it’s determined.

This 24-page publication describes methods for estimating timber volumes and values in a simple, easy to understand, manner. It will also help landowners and loggers understand how the value of timber is determined and, in turn, provide them with increased opportunities for obtaining a fair market price when selling timber, said Dave Jackson, extension forester and publication co-author.

The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To learn more, visit https://extension.psu.edu/valuing-standing-timber or call 877-345-0691

I looked over this myself. It’s highly informative with helpful illustrations and tables. It covers a number of steps to take to prepare you for getting a good value for your standing timber. As well as information about how it’s valued at more. Education is the best way to make sure you’re not taken advantage of!

This is a great time to start preparing wood for the winter too. It needs to dry out for several weeks to a couple months to make good firewood. I know in my area, there are always people looking for firewood for small things like fire pits to necessities like heating their homes.

If you own wooded acreage in my area another way to make money off your land is to let hunters pay to hunt on your land. Hunter find it appealing as there is exclusivity to it. The land isn’t over-hunted.

About Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension is dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs serve individuals, businesses and communities, while promoting a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment, and a healthier population in Pennsylvania and beyond. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.


Penn State LIFT Program For Adults 40+

LOGANTON, Pa. — Penn State Extension will offer an in-person and group-based strength-training program for inactive to moderately active adults aged 40 and older.

“LIFT,” which stands for Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together, will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 PM to 7 PM from March 17 to May 7 at the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School, 236 E. Main Street.   

Participation may result in improvements in functional fitness or the ability to perform activities of daily living with ease.

“LIFT” sessions are held twice a week for one hour over the course of eight weeks and include an active warmup, eight core strength-training exercises and a cool-down period. The program also encourages participants to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Strength training offers physical, mental and emotional benefits including increased muscle mass and strength; improved bone density; reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures; reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression and obesity; and improved self-confidence, sleep and vitality.

Cost of the program is $60. Some insurance policies may reimburse participants with 80 percent or better attendance; those attending should check with their insurance provider for more information.

To register, visit extension.psu.edu/lifelong-improvements-through-fitness-together-lift or call 877-345-0691.

I suggest checking the site because there are several Penn State extension sites that offer the program. Penn State also offers other health related programs to the public.

About Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization, dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs promote a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment and a healthier population for Pennsylvania and beyond.

Penn State Extension serves individuals, businesses and communities, helping them address problems and realize opportunities through a robust portfolio of educational programs, products and services. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.


Sustainable Energy in Pennsylvania

Living in rural Pennsylvania, there are a few sources for sustainable and renewable energy. Some are more evident than others. Other sources haven’t quite caught on yet.

In Pa, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act of 2004 requires 18% off energy sold to Pennsylvania to be come from renewable sources within 15 years. Personally I’d like to see that number increased but it’s a good start.

If you drive anywhere near Meyersdale, Pennsylvania it would be hard to miss the wind farms. The huge windmills spinning at any given time. You don’t even have to be in Meyersdale to see them as they can be seen from many miles away. Pennsylvania actually ranks 16th in the nation for wind energy generation! The entire state of Pennsylvania has a total of 24 wind farms so far.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is working with wind developers to help minimize the impact of energy sources on the natural wildlife.

In my opinion, there’s a few reasons why there’s not a bigger shift towards more sustainable energy catching on in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania, especially rural Pennsylvania, tends to grip onto coal since it a job source that pays well. Recent promises for political figures have only encouraged residents to tighten the grip more.
  • The start up cost of installing solar panels in PA can be tens of thousands of dollars on the average home. Something not within reach of many Pennsylvanians.
  • Geothermal is becoming more popular but again, the start up cost of installing geothermal energy in a home can be out of reach for some.

That being said, Douglas Healy explains how energy companies can weather the shift to sustainable energy. While sustainable energy is a better option for the environment, until it improves, it’s not always reliable.

Some states however, have found success in using sustainable energy sources. In states where solar power is popular and more residents have solar panels installed, it can eliminate the customers energy bill all together. In some cases, those customers actually get paid for the energy they produce. My husband’s aunt lives in Massachusetts. She had solar panels installed on her home. She said it cost about $70k to install but she no longer had an energy bill. Unless you’re paying several hundred a month of electric and plan on living in your house for many years, the pay off may not be evident to some home owners. However, it might be a big selling point should you need to sell your home.

There are also some tax incentives. According to the IRS website, there are even tax credits for making your home more energy efficient to include new window installation, renewable energy equipment, etc. If you are unsure if you improvements you’ve made would qualify, you could always as a tax professional. Often times, the company installing your improvements will have that information as that is a selling point for them.

I’m also hopeful in the development of biofuels for vehicles. I’ve recently read that there is a company trying to make fuel from algae. Then I’ve heard about a company trying to make tires from recycled materials. I’d also like to see better ways to recycle or repurpose junk cars.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Happy Cornerz Sticky Trap Review and Set Up

It’s December in Pennsylvania. Most people wouldn’t think bugs would be an issue right now. Outside that might be true but inside is a different story. There’s still flies buzzing in the house, fruit flies that seem to pop up every now and then, occasionally lady bugs that found their way in from the cold. We always have house centipedes and spiders in the basement and garage. We tend to not mind them and the lady bugs so much because they eat some of the other pests. Even though the house centipedes are super creepy looking.

The one pest that drives me crazy though are the stink bugs. We started getting stink bugs in our house about 3 years ago. See, they were brought over in a ship from Japan that docked in Allentown. Not on purpose, they just hitched a ride on a cargo ship. Since then they’ve made their way across Pennsylvania and other states. They have no natural enemies and they multiply quickly. Creatures that typically eat bugs like birds leave them along for the most part because of their stink secretion. They’re sort of like the skunks of the bug world. Other than being creepy you can’t just step on them or squish them in other ways because the omit this terrible smell that seems to last forever. I thought I was being smart one day when I vacuumed up a bunch of them. Two problems with that is, the stink bug smell lasted in my vacuum forever and every time I turned it on it would omit that smell. The other, if I didn’t empty the canister outside right away they didn’t die and would find their way out. They can creep through minuscule cracks including window sills.

Sure we tried the bug traps marketed specifically for stink bugs. We even tried bug bombing but it didn’t work. They’re resilient little suckers. The only thing that somewhat helped was to make a spray bottle up with water and a tablespoon of Dawn dish liquid. When you see one just spray it. It couldn’t omit its terrible smell then, it would eventually die from suffocation.

Do they bite? No they don’t but they have no regard for personal space. They’ll sit on your pillow, they’ll fly into your hair (yes they fly), they’ll chill out on the outside of your cup, they don’t care. They make this buzzing sound when their wings beat too that creeps me out. Oh and they smell bad when you try to kill or swat at them.

If we’re not talking about my own personal annoyances with stink bugs they also eat crops and trees. I think that’s one reason we have such an issue compared to our neighbors. We have huge butternut trees that tower over our house. In the fall you can see them in droves climbing up the sides of the house to get to the attic for the winter. I don’t even like to go into the attic anymore. Those nasty things are everywhere.

Introduction to the Happy Cornerz Sticky Trap

Happy Cornerz sticky traps comes along and we decide to give that a try. It’s not poisonous, can use it almost anyway, easy to install, when it’s full just take it down and throw it out.

Sticky traps are versatile in that, you can use them as flat sticky traps or corner traps. they can go in cupboards, on wall joints, shelves, where you need little creepy pests taken care of. If you’re not sure what kind of pests you’re dealing with IE your cereal is disappearing in your cupboard, Happy Cornzers sticky traps are also great for insect and pest monitoring.

Happy Cornerz has been university tested at the Texas A & M Department of Entomology in the Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology facility. They’ve also been tested by a few pest control companies. The hope is that Happy Cornerz sticky traps will be a helpful addition to both pest control experts and private consumers as well.

Installation and Use

I created a video talk to you about the Happy Cornerz glue traps. The video will give you a better look at how you’ll receive the traps, how to use the traps, and where you can use the traps.

Opinions on the Happy Cornerz Sticky Trap

I’m intrigued with how well these worked in the winter time in PA. I’m eager to try these in the spring and summer for ants, mosquitos, etc. I can see where these could also be helpful in sheds, barns, garages, and other buildings. Do you have an ant problem in the cupboard? Use a Happy Cornerz sticky trarp as a flat trap and catch those little buggers. I’m betting you could catch loads of them in that way.

If you’re dealing with a cockroach problem they like to gather in the corners which made the corner placement option fo these idea. They can be set up at ground level or the upper wall corners. They can be placed in the back corner of a cupboard. Wherever you’re dealing with your pests.

Because they’re glue traps, there’s no concerns about safety with pets or children. Worse case scenario is it getting stuck to a pet’s fur. I have 3 cats though and they haven’t bothered with the traps.

They could even be cut if you wanted a better fit in a certain corner or shelf if necessary. Using them as a flat trap would work out nice for the top of refrigerators or high kitchen cupboards. The could also slide easily under microwaves stands, couches or beds.

I was happy to see that at least one of the traps we set up did capture a stink bug. That’s my #1 pest issue so if this trap can do that I’m happy to have it in my home.

I received free samples of the product in order to complete this review and video. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Confession: I Own A Piece Of Land In The Poconos But I’ve Never Seen It

Several year ago…I don’t know maybe 7 years ago, (I’d have to check the paperwork) I participated in a LandCentral.com sweepstakes to win a piece of land. It was fairly low entries and there were several pieces of land to choose from. I figured I’d never win but if I did I’d pick one I’d think I could sell.

I participated in a twitter party for LandCentral and I was announced as the grand prize winner. I freakin’ won the piece of land!

** note my twitter handle was @angiewith3 then. That was before baby #4 came around and I decided to change it to something more geared to my blog, IE @LuvSavingMoney **

So I was given a few choices none of which were prime-time land (which I could only assume is why the were giving it away). One was 2 acres of desert land in California. Another was a small area in some swamp-type land in Florida, …I can’t remember the others but my choice ended up being a small piece of land in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. See, I live in Pennsylvania so I figured it would be easier tax-wise and for the selling process.

I had to sign a few e-docs with LandCentral and before long I had the deed and a bunch of information in the mail. So I immediately tried to sell it. I started trying to contact realtors in that general area. The one guy I talked to said they didn’t find a piece of land in the Poconos in my name. At that point I thought I was in some weird scam. Then about a month or two after that I got a bill from the tax person for that county for my piece of land and it was in someone else’s name. I thought, what is going on?!

So I call the tax lady She kindly explains to me that the bill would be in the other person’s name until I paid the taxes. I paid the taxes and then the tax bills started coming in my name.

I was a little timid still so I held off on trying to sell it for a while. Each year I got the tax bill for the land and each year I paid it. I finally decided I was going to try selling it again. I live about 4 hours from the Poconos so emailing is the best option for me. I’ve yet to get someone to get in-touch with me via email to help me sell my land.

So here I am 7 years later still paying on land in the Poconos that I’ve never seen, will never use, and who knows if I’ll ever sell. lol So that’s my weird confession.