Your forest is bursting with value beyond the trees!
Our Northwest forests are home to an abundance of fruits, floral greens, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and other natural materials. Many people gather these gifts of the forest for personal use and enjoyment.
Non-timber forest products, commonly referred to as NTFPs, can be a creative byproduct of stewardship activities – such as limbing up trees or clearing a trail, intentionally cultivated, or grow abundantly all on their own. NTFPs can provide supplemental income or augment household resources. (And frankly, we think they’re also just plain cool.)
What are Non-Timber Forest Products?
A working definition of non-timber forest products broadly includes any forest products or services aside from commercially harvested timber that have potential personal or commercial value.
NTFPs range from foraged berries and mushrooms, to holiday wreaths and essential oils, to firewood and agricultural soil amendments, and on and on.
Sometimes commercial services like tourism are considered NTFPs. Here are some examples of NTFPs harvested, used, and sold throughout the Pacific Northwest, and resources to help forest owners cultivate NTFPs in their own woodlands.
General Information About NTFPs
- Non-timber forest products resources for small forestland owners & businesses
- Special forests products: species information guide for the Pacific Northwest
- Managing the “other” forest: collecting and protecting non-timber forest products
- Non-timber Forest Products and Forest Stewardship Plans
- Opportunities for conservation-based development of non-timber forest products in the Pacific Northwest
- Income opportunities in special forest products: self-help suggestions for rural entrepreneurs
- Managing small woodlands for diverse value
- Value added programs for small woodland owners
- Inventory and mapping: a beginner’s guide to basic inventory and digital mapping of non-timber forest products on small private forestlands
- Books about non-timber forest products
Edible & Culinary
Berries, mushrooms, seeds, nuts, and greens are some of the best known and most widely harvested NTFPs and most appreciated by culinary enthusiasts.
- Edible Berries of the Pacific Northwest
- Huckleberry –A Brief Introduction to Harvesting and Marketing from Small Private Forestlands in the Pacific Northwest
- Cultivation and Propagation – Powerpoint on Edible PNW Berries
- Foraging in the Pacific Northwest, Season by Season
- For fun: an elderberry wine recipe
- Mushrooms: From Forest to Plate
- Non-timber Forest Products for Small Woodland Owners: Shiitake Mushrooms
- Oregon Native Truffles – A primer for commercial production on small forestlands in the Pacific Northwest
- Wild Mushrooms – Harvesting and Marketing Wild Edible Mushrooms for Commercial Use from Small Private Forestlands in the PNW
Other forest edibles
Floral greens are one of the fastest-growing non-timber forest products categories in the Pacific Northwest. Salal, huckleberry, and sword fern are beautiful additions to bouquets, and usefully have a long shelf-life when refrigerated.
Secondary wood products
Firewood, small poles, and biochar are creative uses of byproducts that come out of restoration treatments and other management activities. Clearing some downed wood (remember it’s also important wildlife habitat and food for decomposers) or fully using the cull logs and slash materials left at the landing after a commercial harvest are ways to turn “nothing into something”.
Firewood & small poles
- Harvesting Firewood from Your Woods
- Opportunities for making wood products from small diameter trees in Colorado
- How to Dry Firewood
- How to Stack Firewood
- Oregon Woodland Co-Op: Premium Firewood from Local Family Forests
- Woodworking Project Tips – Making Rustic Furniture
- Forest Health and Biochar Study Results
- Woody Biomass Production Methods
- Biochar Production Photo Essay
- Restore Char – a website dedicated to the manufacture and sale of biochar
- Charcoal: the Intersection of Sustainable Farming and Forestry
- Oregon School of Forest Medicine
- Forest Medicinals – Harvesting and Marketing Medicinal Plants from Small Private Forestlands in the PNW\
- Medicinal Plants of the North Cascades
- Cascara Bark: A Brief Introduction to Harvesting and Marketing for the Medicinal Herb Market from Small Private Forestlands
- Oregon Grape Root: A Brief Introduction to Oregon Grape as a Medicinal Herb from Small Private Forestlands in the PNW
Tourism & experiences
- Forest Transplants: A Brief Introduction to Marketing Understory Plants from Small Private Forestlands in the Pacific Northwest
- Farming the Woods
- Native Seeds: Income Opportunities from Native Seed Gathered from Small Private Forest Lands