Tree Planting

Thousands of trees are planted each year with focus on walnut, red oak and white oak.  Other species such as hickory, elm and hackberry regenerate more easily in our forest and don’t need to be planted.

The residents of the Amana Colonies also contribute to our forest by collecting walnut seeds that we plant in a small nursery, mature for 3 years and replant into the forest. Acorns are also collected and grown in our nursery.

Timber Stand Improvement

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) is work we do to improve our forest resource. The growth and health of our forest is based on specific forest measurements, soil type, and topography.

Decisions are made to remove particular trees that will help our forest growth. By removing invasive, poor quality, and trees that compete with more desirable trees we can increase the growth and health of the trees better suited for a particular area for financial return and wildlife benefit.


Amana Society Inc, a privately held company, owns about 26,000 acres or 40 square miles.

This is broken up by roughly 7000 acres of Timber reserve, 6800 acres of pasture, and 8000 acres of row crop. 21,800 acres is about what is managed by the Farm and Forestry.

Amana Colonies Nature Trail

The trail start is located at the junction of Hwy 151 & Hwy 6 near Homestead, IA.

The Amana Colonies Nature Trail winds through the hardwoods, along the Iowa River, and reaches its turnaround point on the scenic bluff overlooking the Indian Dam on the river. The trail is open to the public for hiking and cross country skiing at no charge. Closed during Iowa’s shotgun deer hunting season.

Invasive Insects & Diseases

We work with State and Federal Agencies to monitor forest health issues that could impact our forest. We trap for Gypsy Moth and keep informed on pest management we can apply to our forest management practices.

We are a member of the Tree Farm System and The Society of American Foresters, Iowa Woodland Owners, and Walnut Council.

Photo credits go to


The volume of the harvesting is based on forest inventory data. Harvesting is done to improve the resource by removing poor quality, damaged or dying trees. Harvesting is usually done in the Fall or Winter to prevent any insect and/or disease problems. Consideration is always given to wildlife by leaving “snag” trees and ground conditions.