Dedicated to the management of nature’s renewable resource—trees—The Lester Group takes pride in striving to maximize the economic return of the company’s timberlands while protecting all aspects of nature, including soil, water and wildlife. Our expansive forestlands span over 18,000 acres and are located in the counties of Franklin, Halifax, Henry and Pittsylvania County in Virginia; as well as Rockingham County in North Carolina.
Over the years, the management of the timberlands has shifted from selective harvesting to clear-cut harvesting methods. This allows genetically superior trees to dominate the forests and increases the overall productivity of the forest. Once a tract is harvested, the land is either allowed to regenerate naturally back to mixed hardwood stands or regenerated artificially through site preparation and planting with loblolly pine seedlings.
After planting, the stands are thinned at regular intervals (approximately age 18-20 and again at age 28-30). Thinning helps a pine stand by reallocating the growth potential of the harvested trees back into the remaining crop trees. Normal pine plantation rotation in our geographical region is from 35 to 40 years from planting to final harvest.
In addition to managing the forestlands for timber production, the hunting rights for the properties are leased out to hunting clubs. A lot of the hunting clubs use the forests for year-round enjoyment of hiking, horseback riding, fishing and other recreational pursuits. The hunting leases are three years in length and gives right of first refusal to the current lessor.