As part of normal operating procedures, a timber harvest supervised by a qualified natural resource professional includes erosion and sedimentation controls and safeguards to protect residual timber. From a purely financial perspective, it pays to have a forester prepare a comprehensive management plan and, if a harvest is scheduled, to oversee the sale of timber. Selective harvesting, however, should not be confused with the term selection method. Although the landowner still had a valuable resource, the woodlot offered little income potential for the immediate future. It is often used to mask high-grading. As illustrated by the shaded area, the larger trees are those of faster-growing species. Shelterwood System - An even-aged silvicultural scheme in which a new stand is established under the protection of a partial canopy of trees. If so, sooner or later you may want to sell timber from your land. Although this study was conducted in Missouri, the underlying principles apply anywhere. Many forest landowners inadvertently use a diameter-based harvest because they believe selective logging or some form of partial cutting is the least disruptive way to harvest timber. Remember that the reverse is true--the trees in this stand are all of the same age. Especially when combined with all of the other techniques mentioned above don first. Harvesting to salvage dead or dying trees can reduce fire risk and contain outbreaks of insects and disease. Marshall recognized that he had some good timber, but he was more interested in opening the area around the house and clearing the underbrush for a better view of the woods. Silvicultural treatments to regulate light and moisture for timber production can also be used to manipulate vegetation and create openings, increase edge (the boundary between open land and woodland), and improve browse for wildlife. Landowners may choose to cut trees on their property for many reasons. The benefits of harvesting does early season outweighs waiting until it's nearly over. Before conducting a timber harvest, discuss your concerns with your forester and incorporate into your stewardship plan those practices that best meet your objectives. Hollow den trees and nut-bearing trees like oak were left for black bears and small mammals. For more information on incorporating wildlife considerations into your logging operation, refer to the Pennsylvania Game Commission publication Timber Sales and Wildlife or the Penn State Extension booklet Woodlands and Wildlife. Sustainable forest management balances the needs of the environment while conserving our forests for future generations by ensuring their continued regeneration (growth) and overall health. Without any other controls, a diameter-based harvest may eliminate trees with superior genetic potential and disregard nontimber values, such as seed source or mast (tree-borne nuts and berries) for wildlife. The bell curve in Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of trees by diameter that would be found in an even-aged stand composed of only one species. A timber harvest can provide multiple benefits to a landowner. Selected dead trees or snags may be left as den trees for cavity-nesting species or as perches for raptors and other birds. Research has shown that active forest … A Timber Harvest can also benefit wildlife. In addition, the merchantable volume in the residual stand was twice as great for the forester-assisted sales. Thinning in even-aged multispecies stand. Make sure your requirements are in concert with safe logging practices.). The production of wood and paper products are the result of and completely rely on the harvest of timber. Made a Timber* Sale • Expenses of sale * The term “timber” includes the parts of standing trees that could be used to manufacturer lumber, pulpwood, veneer, poles, piling, crossties, chip-n-saw, and other wood products. In some places, a thinning was prescribed; in others, there was nothing to do but start over with a series of patch cuts. The distribution of trees by diameter class for each species in the stand would appear different from that of the even-aged stand. Figure 3 is more representative of the distribution in a stand composed of several species. We have written this bulletin for private forest landowners who don't intend to use their forestland primarily for timber production, but who may be considering a timber sale now or in the future. Sustainable Forestry- What Does It Mean For Indiana? The result is a stand poorer in species diversity than the original stand. Foresters influence growth of individual trees and the overall stand by manipulating stand structure. As Figure 3 shows, the stand would contain many slow-growing individuals with a small average diameter, and a smaller number of fast-growing individuals with a larger average diameter. Other disturbances, such as prescribed burning and herbicide application, can greatly improve wildlife habitat for many species while benefiting timber production. On advice from a neighbor, he contacted a forester to help plan a timber sale. Instead of a large partial cut, their forester suggested a series of small patch cuts. We must balance our growing demand for timber and fiber with the realization that our forest resources have other benefits and values. While a decision to harvest may be motivated more by finances than a sense of forest stewardship, no inherent conflict exists between realizing income from your woodlot and practicing forest stewardship. Disruptions from careless logging practices have environmental impacts that go beyond one landowner's boundaries. Are you one of Pennsylvania's many thousands of woodland owners? Your decision to harvest trees from a tract of forestland may be the most consequential you will make during the forest's life. By practicing sound forest management, you can reap great benefits from your forests: clean water, forest products, wildlife, aesthetic enjoyment, and a sense of stewardship. Some trees develop larger crowns and increase in diameter more quickly. Without consideration for the distribution and composition of the residual stand, the remaining trees, which are usually of lesser quality and value, are thus unable to efficiently use the nutrient and light resources made available by the harvest. Sometimes income from the timber sale may be reduced in exchange for little or no out-of-pocket roadbuilding expenses. But as a forest steward, you need to define your ownership objectives and develop a long-term management plan before you decide to log your woodlot. For each species present, the graph of the distribution would be similar to that shown in Figure 4: an "inverse J-shaped curve," indicating a large number of very young seedlings and saplings and a small number of the largest mature trees. Silviculture's goal is to establish forests while controlling stand structure. Selective cutting is a vaguely defined term that has little meaning. Properly harvesting trees will also speed up the rate of growth to residual trees allowing for more frequent harvesting. Diameter-based cutting, or some variation of it, is the most widely used harvest method in Pennsylvania. Others are crowded or overtopped by dominant trees; their crowns are smaller and their diameter growth slower. Yes. Most of the overstory was made up of defective beech or sugar maple and multiple-stemmed red maple (originating from stump sprouts) and scattered pine--so badly deformed by white-pine weevil that it had little or no commercial value. The process of cutting trees and transporting them through a forest will disrupt a forest watershed, but you can use Best Management Practices to minimize that disturbance and protect your waterways and wildlife habitat. Timber harvesting is just one of many management practices--not an end in itself, but part of an integrated, long-term management plan. In contrast to a diameter-limit cut, thinning improves the stand and retains species diversity. A Timber Harvest Plan (THP) is a document which details planned logging operations and the steps that will be taken to minimize environmental impacts of these operations. (Please remember, timber harvesting poses a risk of injury to the logging crew. A recent study of mixed hardwood forests in the Midwest confirms these facts. Our resilient forests are renewable resources that have withstood past abuses. But being well informed and working together is a giant step in the right direction. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Download PDF Save For Later Print Purchase Print. Throughout the area, there were dense patches of timber, probably trees too small to have been cut 25 years ago, alternating with brushfields. Consulting foresters are educated and trained on sustainable forest management and proper silvicultural practices and techniques. The Brookses are now considering further treatments to encourage wildlife. When tree cutting includes harvesting the older trees, the forest becomes a safer place for everyone. It also keeps fossil fuels underground. Where the fire hazard is high, roads act as firebreaks and provide access for fire-fighting equipment. In the more complex even-aged stand shown in Figure 3, the diameter-limit cut could change the stand's species composition. For more information on protecting the visual value of your woodlot, see A Guide to Logging Aesthetics: Practical Tips for Loggers, Foresters, and Landowners. Pennsylvania’s forests.Tracts of forest land of all types and sizes are important to our communities. The impacts of a diameter-limit harvest on forest structure and species composition had persisted for decades. This can block a road, destroy vehicles, hurt someone walking through the woods, or damage a home. Once this new forest is established, the saved trees can be removed at a profit. Since colonial settlement, Pennsylvania's forests have supplied the Commonwealth with the raw materials it needed to grow and develop. In the end, the forester recommended a thorough inventory of the entire parcel and developed a plan for a stepwise rehabilitation of the degraded stands through timber stand improvement and fencing, and herbicide treatments to exclude deer and control competing vegetation. Good forest management includes periodic review of timber harvest levels and their impact on the greater forest ecosystem and economy. Throughout the bulletin we stress the importance of long-term planning. Prepared by Yuriy M. Bihun, stewardship project associate; James Finley, assistant professor; and Stephen B. Jones, associate professor; and Ellen Roane, stewardship coordinator, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. The Society of American Foresters defines selective cutting as "a type of exploitation cutting that removes only certain species (a) above a certain size (b) of high value. In the sections that follow, we encourage you to consult a forester or other natural resource professional to develop a management plan for your woodlot. A major portion of the practice of forestry silvicultural systems is timber harvesting methods designed to ensure successful and succeeding forest stands for the future. Thereby significantly increasing productivity of the stand. It may generate the highest immediate cash flow, but it does not take other costs, such as potential environmental degradation and future timber values, into consideration. Diameter-based cutting and selective cutting are two common forms of high-grading. The extent of damage caused by high-grading varies according to: High-grading often produces a residual stand that contains low-value, undesirable species, trees of poor form, and little, if any, advanced regeneration of desirable species. But the average diameter of more slowly growing species, such as sugar maple or beech, will be smaller than that of faster-growing species, such as red or black oak. Creating small openings in dense forest can provide habitat for different wildlife species and may create a vista for you and your family to enjoy. Communication is necessary for a successful timber harvest. We also describe forestry practices that can improve your forest's value and your enjoyment of it. The long-term detrimental effect is severe when only less competitive individuals are left in the stand. Harvesting can remove poorly formed trees, lower-value species, damaged trees, and mature trees that will provide more growing space for residual trees. Silviculture is a term used to describe the practice of controlling and enhancing the establishment, growth, composition, health, quality, and vigor of a forestland through the implementation of a variety of management strategies such as thinning, harvesting, and planting. Both publications are available from your county extension or Bureau of Forestry office. Timber openings that occur in conjunction with harvest operations also offer opportunities for the establishment of supplemental food … The large deer herd in the area had eliminated most of the regeneration in the understory. Based on this plan, they contacted a local forester to help them find their boundaries and assess the value of their timberland. The present value of the diameter-limit cut stand in real dollars adjusted for inflation is $378.23 per acre. High-grading removes so many trees of a merchantable diameter that it simplifies stand structure. Harvesting timber can bring you income; it can also have a lasting, positive impact on your forest. (260) 668-9977, Timber Marking & Marketing – How it Works. Grapevines were left along the jagged edge of the cut, and log-loading areas were seeded to grasses and legumes to attract turkeys, ruffed grouse, fox, deer, and rabbits. Dead trees compound the risk. Figure 4. Most loggers are skilled professionals who do a careful job of extracting timber, but they may not maximize the return on your timber. The report of the Pennsylvania Twenty-First Century Environment Commission, published in 1998, highlighted the value of forests as an asset of the Com… Although twice as much timber is growing in Pennsylvania's forests as is being harvested, mounting demands on a productive but limited resource means we need to manage our forests more intensively to meet future needs. To manage a forest, we need to understand a little about forest ecology, the study of life in the forest--how the forest grows and how it interacts with its surroundings. These openings can be created by harvesting out over mature, unhealthy, poor form, or low quality trees, and releasing higher quality trees. As a landowner, you should be aware that any decision to harvest, whether a partial cut or a clearcut, can incorporate special considerations for wildlife into the operation. An uneven-aged stand contains a wide range of diameter classes, from seedlings to mature trees, at all times. Selection is a regeneration method designed to create or perpetuate an uneven-aged forest. Figure 5. The shaded area of Figure 2 represents those trees that are removed by the indicated diameter-based treatment. Others are uncertain what is involved or how much it will cost. Figure 1. This curve resembles the curve in Figure 3; the difference is in the stand composition. Benefits of Timber Harvesting Guidelines Many benefits come from using proper harvesting techniques. Thousands depend on the timber industry for employment; in the U.S. alone, it was estimated in 2019 that wood products provided over 91,000 people with jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics). CWD provides habitat for a variety of insects which are a vital food source for a variety of wildlife such as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. These were some of the techniques used, and the Brookses noticed a surge in the number and species of animals they saw shortly after the cutting. There are BMPs that can be applied to many phases of timber harvesting including: shutterstock_140250655.jpg Credit: Shutterstock planning cutting creation In a strict diameter-based cutting, called diameter limit, trees to be harvested are selected solely on the basis of diameter at stump or breast height--without regard for other values. Save some of the best trees and remove the rest. This misleading term--selective cutting--refers to a practice that has no basis in scientific forestry. What is known as an uneven-aged stand may look like a complex even-aged stand. When done properly, timber harvesting is a great way to encourage the growth and regeneration of desirable tree species in your forest for the future. Without timber stand improvement, repeated high-grading diminishes the proportion of healthy growing stock and reduces the stand's capacity to produce sawtimber and provide suitable wildlife habitat. Keeping the Forest Healthy and Productive, Part 6. Properly harvesting trees will also speed up the rate of growth to residual trees allowing for more frequent harvesting. The forest is a complex natural system. That vegetation is important for providing inputs of coarse woody debris and fine litter to water bodies; retaining nutrients, sediment … On the other hand, the properly managed stand, where two thinnings were made prior to the final harvest, is valued at $579.05 per acre, a difference of more than $200.00 per acre. Harvesting mature timber for income is very beneficial. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Undisturbed by human activity, a forest changes; like all living systems it cannot remain static. Pennsylvania's forests are our true common wealth. Part 3. The intent of the cut shown in Figure 5 is to improve the residual stand, encourage regeneration in the gaps created, and, most important, retain trees in all size classes, especially some larger trees. With the right technique, a logging company can determine which species of tree will flourish. Harvesting can remove poorly formed trees, lower-value species, damaged trees, and mature trees that will provide more growing space for residual trees. A poorly planned and executed timber sale can cost money and peace of mind. There is no indication of how and why the trees are selected or what the objective of the cutting is. With proper management and care, they will thrive well into the twenty-first century. In some cases, thinning a stand can improve recreational access as well as stand appearance. As a result: (1) landowners often lose income because they sell timber without adequate information, and (2) millions of acres of forestland lack ongoing management. If trees marked are selectively chosen and the harvest is conducted sustainably, timber harvests can occur at regular intervals as often as every 10 to 15 years! We have a choice--to repeat past errors at the expense of our woodlands' productivity or work together to sustain our forest resources into the future. The distribution curve for the entire stand would look like that for the individual species, with many young trees and fewer mature trees all present in the same stand. From an economic standpoint, the benefit of this approach is that humans can harvest maximum timber with minimal energy and cost. While the remaining trees will benefit from the increased resources, they are inferior to those removed and will not perform as well. Timber harvesting is a forest management tool that can be used to achieve a number of different objectives for your woodland property. Unfortunately, fewer than 20 percent of all timber harvests in Pennsylvania involve the services of a forester or natural resource professional. 6 1. First, you serve your own best interest by understanding your forest resources and the options for managing them. Within each species a range of size classes will exist, and the distribution of each species will approximate a bell curve. When performed in a mindful manner, clearcutting is a beneficial timber harvest technique. Why Invasive Species Management is Important, Timber Stand Inventory: What it is & Why it’s Important. By practicing sustainable forestry it ensures high quality timber both now and in the future. Coarse woody debris (CWD), which are fallen dead tree remains, enhance wildlife habitat by providing additional sources of food and shelter. During a Timber Harvest, the dead, dying and diseased trees are removed, thus preventing the spread of the fungi or bacteria which may damage other parts of the forest. One of forest stewardship's challenges is to improve interactions among these players. These treatments mimic changes that occur naturally. There are legitimate uses for diameter-based harvests. Silvicultural treatments like thinning are not used just for timber management. Even in an uneven-aged stand where the size of trees actually does correlate with the age of the trees, a diameter-limit cut can negatively affect stand structure. Timber is one of the few natural, renewable building materials. Technical assistance and cost-sharing is available through the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program. Indeed, the income you get from selling timber will often pay for a number of other woodland management activities. Diameter-based harvest treatments can incorporate good forestry, but they seldom do. 5.Growing & Harvesting Timber Introduction If you are interested in generating supplemental income from your property’s natural resources, it may be worth considering growing and harvesting timber. Consider the large impact it would have on our every day lives, as well as the economy, if we suddenly began harvesting less timber. The sad result is often a lower price for the timber and a reduction in their forestland's value. Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you. RIL procedures reduce the volume of timber wasted in harvesting operations, thereby increasing the volume of timber supplied from a fixed resource base (Pulkki 1998). The Bureau of Forestry compiles a list of forest stewardship resource professionals who have completed stewardship training and are authorized to write forest stewardship plans. Trees may be removed singly or in small groups. By removing the larger, low-grade material, you can convert a previously unmanaged, overmature stand to a productive, thrifty one. One should never harvest timber for income (commercial harvesting) without doing something to ensure regeneration of a quality new stand of healthy trees. Many even-aged stands are more complex than the stand represented in Figure 2 and contain a wide range of species with varying growth rates. Shelterwood Logging - Method of harvesting timber so that selected trees remain scattered throughout the tract to provide seeds for regeneration and shelter for seedlings. Variations in size classes are more a result of differences in growth rates among species than differences in age. When marking and harvesting timber, favorable trees can be left to continue growing and act as a seed source for reproduction and regeneration. Promotes biodiversity. This was a difference of $37.17 per acre--an attractive proposition if you're only looking at the short-term gain (see table below). --can bring additional profit without adversely affecting stand biodiversity and productivity. The same roads can serve as nature trails or as travel lanes for observing songbirds and other wildlife. Throughout this bulletin, we've identified the benefits of timber harvesting as a tool of forest stewardship. Plan your timber sale carefully--the long-term impacts of poor logging practices, such as repeated high-grading, threaten a rude awakening to the vision of sustainable forest management. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again and that the tender branch there of will not cease. Nonetheless, forests are living communities of plants and animals, and they will not remain productive and healthy if continually mistreated. To use it rationally requires a broad understanding of the biological processes involved as well as an appreciation for the economic, social, and personal pressures that influence woodlot management decisions. The study compared two stands: one an unmanaged stand that was cut using diameter limit and one a stand managed over time using a series of thinnings before its final harvest with a seed tree cut. These are trees of a set diameter and larger--in other words, the biggest and often genetically superior of the stand. A recent study of a 40-year-old stand of upland, mixed oak-hickory type in southern Missouri (Dwyer and Kurtz 1991) points out the potential loss of income from diameter-limit cutting. An experienced log cutting company can clear a patch of forest to help foster new growth. In fact, these practices can degrade the forest and subsequently reduce its future value for timber and other benefits. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Details about the Forest Stewardship Program and the Stewardship Incentive Program's (SIP) cost-sharing activities are presented in Forest Stewardship 1: Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship: Our Link to the Past, Our Legacy for the Future. The understory of a forest refers to the vegetation growing beneath the overstory and midstory canopy. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. The shaded area of Figure 5 represents those trees that are removed by the indicated treatment. Theoretically, all ages of each species are present in the stand. Forested landscapes, whether publicly or privately owned, provide many essential economic, environmental, health, and recreational benefits for residents and visitors alike. However, a consulting forester conserves the long-term health and vitality of your forestland by managing and overseeing timber harvesting operations. Come January your friends and family may have decided to call it a year. In the single species, even-aged stand, those removed would be within the shaded area in Figure 2. If a timber stand is dominated by less desirable species (such as species providing little wildlife benefit or low monetary value), they can be selected against to increase the productivity of more desirable species, such as oak and hickory. The shaded area of Figure 6 represents those trees that are removed by the indicated treatment. Most woodlot owners have no written management plan; they don't see how a plan can add to their profits or the enjoyment of their forestlands. Removing high-risk or infected trees can maintain forest health and vigor, thereby reducing the stand's susceptibility to outbreaks. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement, Note: BF = board feet, MBF = thousand board feet, CD = cord, they may still be increasing in diameter at an acceptable rate, they provide a seed source for regeneration, and mast for wildlife, they act as a "nurse" crop by providing protection for shade-loving seedlings, they give the stand aesthetic appeal and structural diversity, they have been suppressed so long, they may not respond to release, they are poor-quality trees that interfere with the growth of desirable species, they may be undesirable species and have little timber value in the future stand, they may suffer from surrounding soil compaction or their stem may be damaged during harvesting, original age, size, species composition (structure). The art and science of tending a stand of trees based on ecological principles is called silviculture. There is concern that, because of its prevalence, diameter-based cutting may be contributing to a broad-scale decline in forest resource quality. However, if a stand is thinned by the use of a sustainable timber harvest, the trees left behind are granted more space to grow and better access to nutrients. Proper timber harvesting promotes biodiversity of tree species and wildlife because it allows for the selection of which trees to be removed and which to be favored. A strong wind or storm can easily knock over a diseased tree. Timber harvesting is often associated with poor logging practices and therefore has managed to gain a bad reputation in the eyes of some. Sound forestry practices are designed to control stand density and species composition, to allocate site resources, and to encourage selected trees, known as "crop trees," to regenerate and grow. Figure 3. In December 2016, Governor Dayton requested the DNR analyze the sustainability of harvesting one million cords of timber per year from DNR-managed forest lands. They also risk a reduced return from lower-quality growing stock on future sales and a longer period between harvests. However, clear-cutting destroys habitats and landscapes in the process. Take a Look at our Demonstration Properties! Tends to remove the slower-growing trees in a continual source of revenue from timber treatments, as as. Species will approximate a bell curve persisted for decades and other benefits or even-aged, resulting extensive. Hence its universal appeal the woods, or damage a home our resilient forests are living communities plants! Two common forms of high-grading assistance and cost-sharing is available through the woods, or events of interest you. Production of wood and paper products are the result is a vaguely defined that... 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