Part 1 : Parts of a Tree

Step 1: Learn more about the Parts of a tree

Step 2 : Effects of Tree Characteristics

Step 3 : Genetics

Step 4 : Live-Crown Ratio

If the live-crown ratio is too big (say 60%), that may mean the stand is fairly young and the crowns have not begun to compete.  You may need to allow the stand to continue growing.  Or to produce high quality wood on potentially valuable trees, you could consider clear-stem pruning to eliminate limbs and encourage more knot-free wood in the main stem (see Chapter 5). 

If the live-crown ratio is too small (say less than 30%), tree growth may be too slow.  Thinning the stand will provide more space for crowns to expand and thus stimulate growth of your best crop trees (see Chapter 5).

Step 5 : Shade Tolerance

If the canopy is very dense, the seedlings and saplings will likely be shade tolerant tree species.  Depending on your objectives and the site conditions, these may or may not be the most desirable species.  If these are desirable species, a harvest will release them to produce your next stand.  If these are undesirable species, you may need to control them and open the stand to give adequate light to desirable species.  Planting trees or seeds is another means to regenerate desirable species, but they must have appropriate amounts of light to sustain growth.  Regeneration systems are explained in Chapter 4 and regeneration systems appropriate for each forest type are explained in Chapter 6.

Step 6 : Effects of Site Characteristics

Step 7: Effects of Climate

Part 2 : How Woodlands Grow

Step 1: Read: How Woodlands Grow

Read How Woodlands Grow Why Harvest Timber (Adobe PDF icon PDF version; page 104)

Step 2: Evaluate the natural ecological trajectory of each stand on your property

Ask your forester to evaluate the natural ecological trajectory of each stand on your property.  Consider that information when choosing goals for each stand on your property. 

It usually is appropriate to choose management practices that encourage tree species that are best adapted to your sites. Sometimes management practices can interrupt the natural ecological trajectory to encourage a different species mix that better meets your goals for a stand, but this may come at a higher cost and with ecological tradeoffs. 

Step 3: Different Management Options for Each Stand

Ask your forester to recommend different management options for each stand that considers its ecological condition and your management goals.