Biomass is a generic term for any type of plant material that can be used to generate electricity, heat, or gasoline substitutes such as ethanol.

Residual woody biomass, comes from trees that have traditionally been used for firewood or other low–economic-value products, as well as portions of trees
(e.g., tree limbs and tops) not able to be used commercially for products such as lumber.

A typical timber harvest in Massachusetts provides a number of different wood products, including sawlogs, that are turned into boards, firewood, and pulp (which is used to make paper products). Harvesting biomass from your land simply means adding another wood product to a typical harvest.

All of these products are usually harvested in one timber operation and done by the same logging crew. Therefore, in most ways, a timber harvest
that includes biomass is like a typical timber harvest; however, there are some differences.

Perhaps the biggest difference of adding biomass into your harvest is the reduced amount of logging residue or slash (e.g., tree tops, poor-quality logs) left on the ground after the harvest is complete. Learn more about the important considerations regarding slash as it pertains to aesthetics and privacy, soil health, and wildlife.

Since biomass is another product from a timber harvest, following standard advice for having a good timber sale will address most issues and ensure that
landowner responsibilities, such as meeting the requirements of the Wetlands Protection Act, are met.

A professional forester can provide this advice and help you develop a strong timber sale contract that outlines the specific standards of your harvest. Find a professional forester working in your town.