In this system, individual trees of various sizes and ages are periodically removed to provide space for seedling development and to promote the growth of the remaining trees. Although both shade tolerant and intolerant species may regenerate in the newly created gaps (see shade tolerance table, Table 3-1, Chapter 3, p. 28), over time intolerants will die out and tolerants will survive. One major disadvantage of this system is that residual trees of all sizes can be damaged by logging equipment, especially while dragging logs from scattered sites out of the stand.
Under this method, trees are removed in small groups ranging from 1/50th acre ((34-foot diameter circle) up to 1/2 acre (167-foot diameter circle). Smaller openings favor the regeneration of very shade-tolerant species, while larger openings may allow regeneration of species rated intermediate to tolerant of shade. Less logging damage may occur on residual trees than in the single-tree selection system, but such damage is still a concern.