University of Maryland Extension

"The Woods in Your Backyard" Guide Now in Second Edition

The Woods in Your Backyard 2nd Edition cover

The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home was first published in 2006. Since that time, over 8,300 copies have been sold. The 2nd edition was released in January 2016 with new content and a downloadable PDF workbook. This hands-on guide promotes the stewardship of small land parcels for the owner’s enjoyment and for improved environmental quality. Written for educators and owners of 1 to 10 acres of wooded or unmowed natural areas in the eastern United States and for land owners that want to turn mowed areas into woodlands.

By reading this guide, completing the activities, and reviewing the resources, you will achieve a better understanding of your land and develop a plan to achieve your goals. This includes:

  • Understanding the benefits of managing your land;
  • Mapping your property, assessing why you own it, and what you hope it will become;
  • Understanding how your place functions in the larger landscape; Identifying habitat units on your property;
  • Learning basics of tree identification, forestry, and habitat management;
  • Assessing and improving your property’s water resources, recreational possibilities, and aesthetic appeal;
  • Choosing a few backyard projects to help meet your goals;
  • Setting a timetable and marking your progress

The 2nd edition of The Woods in Your Backyard was authored by Jonathan Kays, Adam K. Downing, Jim Finley, Andrew A. Kling, Craig Highfield, Nevin Dawson, and Joy Drohan. Foreword by Doug Tallamy.

For more information about The Woods in Your Backyard, visit

Publication information:

The publication is available from PALS Publishing, Cooperative Extension, 34 Plant Science Building, Ithaca NY 14853. Go here to order online.

Phone: (607) 255-7654; Fax: (607) 254-8770; E-mail:

Publication Number: PALS-2
Cost: $23.00
Length: 108 pages
ISBN: 978-1-933395-23-4

Quantity Discount Policy

1-9 copies                   List price
10-49 copies               10% discount
50-99 copies               20% discount
100 or more copies     30% discount

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