About the Directory

The goal of this directory is to provide Nova Scotia forestry contractors and woodlots owners with a tool to match private silvicultural jobs with people able to do those jobs. There are two parts to this process: forest service provider (contractor) profiles and woodlot owner profiles.

Interested contractors can create a forest service provider profile for themselves or their company which will include information about the services they offer (both manual and mechanical), the counties they are available to work in, the size of jobs they can complete, and how to contact them. Woodlot owners needing work done on their lots can create a profile listing the services they require and the location and size of the job. If woodlot owners do not wish to create an account, they are still able to search the directory for contractors in their area offering the services they need.

Our goal is to create an active community of people providing, requiring, and interested in private forestry work in Nova Scotia. We hope that you will find this directory to be a useful and easily accessible tool, for contractors and private woodlot owners alike.

Forest Service Glossary

You can click on each term to get a listing of service providers offering this service.
Arborists (Urban Tree Care)
Arborists or arboriculturists are urban tree maintenance and care professionals. They focus on managing and cultivating individual trees and shrubs in an urban setting to promote the health and safety of the plants and public. Services often provided by an arborist include: pruning, planting, removal, and emergency tree care.
Boundary Line Work
Knowing where your boundaries are is an important step in woodlot management. Contractors will often mark woodlot boundaries by using flagging tape or painting blazes on trees along the boundary lines and removing brush from the lines to promote line visibility.
Chipping
Chipping is a method of removing brush and branches from a stand after some types of treatment. Branches and small trees are fed into a chipper, which shreds them into small chips. These chips can be left in the woodlot as nutrients or removed and used for other purposes like home heating or livestock bedding.
Commercial Thinning
Ideal for middle-aged stands, commercial thinning removes some of the more mature trees to allow room for others to grow, and to open up the canopy for regeneration. The trees removed are often those that are: damaged or diseased; growing too close to desirable trees; or less desirable species.
Crop Tree Release
This treatment is used to promote the growth of desirable crop trees. The trees around selected crop trees are thinned out to allow the more desirable trees more space and nutrients, which in turn can increase the health and future value of the stand.
Commercial Harvest
A commercial harvest is completed with the goal of harvesting and selling the final timber product (saw logs, etc.). It is the final stage in commercial forest management, taking place several years after precommercial thinning and commercial thinning treatments.
Forest Certification
Forest Certification is a tool that was developed to promote sustainable and ecologically responsible forest management, and has gained considerable popularity over the past several decades. Though certification schemes differ, most require adhering to a set of forest management principles, having a detailed management plan, submitting regular updates to the certifying body, and agreeing to periodic site audits by a third party. The most common schemes used in Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular, are governed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). For small private woodlots in the province, the relevant certification schemes are FSC SLIMF and CSA Z804, and there exist several certifying bodies through which a woodlot owner could certify his/her woodland.
Forest Pesticide Applicator
The term pesticide covers a wide range of substances used for controlling, discouraging or destroying problem pest populations. These include insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Forest contractors are sometimes hired to apply these chemicals to stands in order to limit the growth of or kill undesirable flora or fauna. In many areas, approval is required by the provincial Activities Designation Regulations under the Environment Act before any pesticides can be applied.
Hardwood Management
In forest stands primarily made up of hardwood species, many owners/operators manage for harvesting firewood commercially or for private use.
Herbicide Applicator
Herbicides are a type of pesticide that are sometimes used in the forest industry to control, discourage or kill unwanted or competing plant species in certain kinds of stands and treatments. Forest contractors are hired to apply these chemicals. In many areas, approval is required by the provincial Activities Designation Regulations under the Environment Act before any pesticides (and thus herbicides) can be applied.
Horse/Oxen Logging Contractor
Horse and/or oxen logging offers a minimally invasive, more environmentally friendly option for woodlot owners practicing selection management who would like logs harvested from their forest. It causes much less damage than large-scale mechanized logging, though it requires more time to complete the treatment. Horse and oxen logging represents a return to the traditional methods of timber harvesting.
Management Planning
Having a woodlot management plan is an important tool for effective forest management and is a requirement for most forest certification schemes. Management plans include: the goals and objectives of the landowner, a detailed description and inventory of the woodlot (including a map), and a plan for carrying out silvicultural treatments to accomplish the landowner’s goals. The plan should be reviewed and updated every 5 to 10 years to remain relevant and to stay in line with the landowner’s wishes and needs. While it is very useful to have a registered professional forester create the management plan, it is important that the landowner be involved in the process as well to ensure that it conforms to their own unique needs and values.
Mechanical Site Preparation
Mechanical site preparation is often used after clearcut or partial cut treatments to prepare the ground for planting or natural regeneration. Seedlings need certain conditions to grow properly, and large machinery can sometimes be used to create or encourage the desired conditions.
Logging Contractor
Specializing in managing for, harvesting, and trucking mature logs to sell to sawmills. This can include pulp and stud wood as well.
Lot Clearing
Characterized by removing the forest cover from an area where a land use change is desired by the owner, such as conversion to agricultural, commercial, or residential land. This can include removal of all forest vegetation, stumps, debris, and sometimes top soil.
Pest and Disease Identification
There are a variety of pests and diseases that can affect the health and growth of a woodlot. They can lower the quality and volume of standing wood and can lead to tree mortality and other detrimental effects. The early identification of pests and diseases in a woodlot can help prevent or mitigate these impacts. Foresters can help identify these threats and recommend appropriate treatments and/or mitigation measures to maintain the health and viability of the woodlot.
Planting
In stands where natural regeneration is lacking, it is often advantageous to plant seedlings. This can be done after both even-aged management treatments (like clearcutting) and uneven-aged management treatments (like selective cutting). Desirable species are planted at specified intervals to fill in the gaps in forest vegetation and provide a continuous forest cover. Both softwood and hardwood species can be planted.
Portable Mill
It is becoming increasingly more efficient for some contractors to provide portable milling services to customers rather than shipping logs greater distances. Portable mills are smaller, lighter, and easier to move between locations than stationary models. They generally use either a band or circular blade and can provide custom milling services to woodlot owners, often being able to cut lengths and widths of logs that larger industrial mills cannot or will not take.
Precommercial Thinning
Precommercial thinning (PCT) is done in overstocked stands of younger trees to free up space and resources for selected trees and improve overall stand quality. PCT treatments are done in both natural stands and plantations. The goal is to remove less desirable trees (like non-crop species, or damaged and diseased trees) as well as create appropriate spacing in the stand for healthy, higher quality trees to grow. PCT work is generally done manually with clearing or thinning saws.
Pruning
Pruning is a minimally invasive method of improving the quality of crop trees in a stand. Lower limbs are removed manually from selected trees to decrease problematic knots in the lumber and make them easier to harvest later on.
Road Building
Roads are useful when doing silvicultural harvesting and other treatments, as well as for recreational and other purposes. Often, woodlots will have old roads that need to be maintained or will require the construction of new ones. This can include lot clearing and chipping (harvesting poorer quality wood for biomass energy).
Seed Collection
In stands where good seed trees are relatively far apart, it can be useful to collect seeds and grow your own seedlings. Some foresters provide this service and can also advise woodlot owners on how to go about collecting and germinating their own seeds.
Selection Harvesting
Selection harvesting is a treatment used in uneven-aged forest management in which either single trees or small groups of trees are harvested at a time. The goal is to maintain the canopy of a forest stand while still being able to continually harvest timber. This is done by diversifying tree age classes, encouraging regeneration, and leaving some of the best trees as seed trees.
Silviculture Contractor
Silvicultural contractors provide a variety of woodlot management services, not just harvesting. These can include selection harvesting, thinning, road building, wildlife management, management planning, boundary line work, and many others.
Timber Appraisal
A timber appraisal is meant to give woodlot owners an idea of what volume and kind of timber they have on their woodlot and how much it is worth. Factors considered in calculating this are tree density, species, and timber quality. Timber appraisals are useful for woodlot owners planning to sell or purchase woodland, or for those just trying to get a sense of what they have on a woodlot. It is generally necessary to hire a professional forester to complete a timber appraisal.
Tree Marking
Tree marking is a useful and cost-effective tool for stand improvement. Trees can be marked using paint or flagging tape, and can either be marked to be cut or not to be cut. Often, contractors will mark crop trees to be harvested in a selection management treatment to avoid damage to other trees. Another method is to mark trees that should not be cut or damaged during that treatment, like dead trees left for wildlife, new regeneration, or younger trees that could be left to increase their value until the next harvest. Proper usage of this tool can help to reverse negative effects from past intensive or damaging treatments (like high-grading and indiscriminate cutting).
Tree Removal
Tree removal generally refers to the removal of a single tree or very small group of trees, often in an urban setting, that is/are causing safety concerns or is/are diseased, dying, or dead. Tree removal is a service offered by arborists.
Trucking (Logs)
Providing trucking services for hauling logs from woodlot to mill.
Trucking (Float)
Providing trucking services for transporting heavy machinery such as tree processors, porters, chippers, and skidders.
Watercourse Crossing
Due to the ecological sensitivity of the riparian habitat along watercourses, it is very important that proper care be taken when planning and constructing watercourse crossings in a woodlot. Construction of these crossings should only be done by certified contractors, and needs to be approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment.
Weeding
Weeding refers to the trimming or removal of small, herbaceous plants in a stand, as well as non-crop tree species, which are competing with desirable tree species. Plants like raspberry bushes can out-compete seedlings and limit their access to nutrients, sunlight, and other necessary factors for growth.
Wildlife Habitat Management
Woodlot owners who value wildlife and consider wildlife when planning silviculture and harvesting treatments should think about incorporating wildlife habitat management into their woodlot management plan. One can focus on managing for one or two species, or managing for several. Wildlife habitat management can include maintaining wildlife corridors, modifying silvicultural activities to decrease negative impacts on wildlife, leaving snags as nesting trees and downed woody debris for habitat, and putting up nesting boxes.
Woodlot Mapping
Having a woodlot map makes planning silvicultural treatments easier and gives you a better idea of what you have in your woodlot. Woodlot mapping is often done by a registered professional forester when developing a woodlot management plan, though it can be created on its own. A woodlot map shows where your boundary lines are and generally displays the different stands existing on your woodlot. Aerial photos can be useful to include with woodlot maps.

Qualifications and Certifications

You can click on each item to get a listing of service providers having this qualification.
Liability Insurance
Has current Liability Insurance.
BMP Training
Have completed Best Management Practices training relevant to the Acadian Forest Region.
FSSNS Core Program
Have completed the Core Program of the Forestry Safety Society of Nova Scotia.
Watercourse Alteration
Have completed a Watercourse Alteration Certification course recognized in Nova Scotia.
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
Have completed the required training to offer, handle, or transport dangerous goods and have received the relevant training certificate.
Chain Saw
Certification for chain saw use, safety, and maintenance.
Clearing Saw
Certification for clearing saw use, safety, and maintenance.
3rd Party Audited Safety Program
Has safety program reviewed by 3rd party auditing.
Registered with WCB
Registered with the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.
Atlantic Master Logger Certification Program
Holds an Atlantic Master Logger Certificate.
FEC Certification
Holds certificate for completion of the NS Forest Ecosystem Classification course.
Registered Professional Forester (RPF)
A member in good standing with the Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia.