Sapling and Poletimber Stands

For general woodland health, consider these options and others:
  • Refer to recommendations in your management plan.
  • Retain tree species best suited for your site.
  • Retain a diversity of tree species as a hedge against serious pest problems.
  • Remove trees with serious insect and disease problems.
  • Remove trees with severe damage to bark or crowns.
  • Thin the stand to sustain vigorous growth on the best trees, thereby helping them resist insects, diseases, and weather extremes.
  • Remove invasive, exotic species that may take over the stand and suppress the regeneration and growth of desirable native species.
If timber production is your goal, consider these options and others:
  • Determine what products you wish to grow (e.g., fuelwood, pulpwood, sawtimber, veneer)
  • Learn what tree species, size, and wood quality are required for those products.
  • During woodland improvement, encourage growth of potential crop trees that:
    • Are desirable species in the marketplace.
    • Have tall, straight stems.
    • Have few branches on the main stem.
    • Have healthy crowns in dominant or codominant positions in the canopy.
    • Are relatively free of insect and disease problems.
    • Show no signs of bark damage or wood decay.
    • Thin stump sprouts on desirable species when they are 3 to 5 years old.
    • Thin sapling stems with a motorized brush saw, leaving 1-inch diameter stems 3 feet apart.
    • When thinning dense sapling stands and small pole-sized stands, consider removing whole rows or swaths of trees.
    • In stands with pole-sized trees, selectively harvest, leaving the best and largest crop trees in dominant or codominant positions in the canopy.
If wildlife habitat is your goal, consider these options and others:
  • Remove trees or prune off lower branches to provide a pleasing vista.
  • Save trees with beautiful flowers, fall leaf color, or interesting bark.
  • Protect trees with interesting shapes.
  • Save large trees.
  • Encourage species diversity, especially a mix of hardwoods and conifers.