Selecting Trees to Harvest

Select the trees to be harvested with advice from a forester to ensure that the harvest satisfies your management objectives and maintains the woodland in a vigorous and productive condition. For example, the harvest could range from a light thinning that stimulates the growth of the remaining trees to a selection cut, clearcut, or shelterwood cut aimed at harvesting mature timber and regenerating a new stand. The type and amount of harvesting depends on your objectives and on stand conditions. For additional guidelines on selecting trees to harvest, refer to Chapter 6: Managing Important Forest Types.

Your forester will clearly mark with spray paint the timber sale boundaries and either the trees to be harvested or those to be retained so the logger can easily identify them, reducing the chance of harvesting beyond the sale boundary. If all trees in an area are to be harvested, as in a clearcut, only the boundary trees will be marked. If most trees will be cut but some will remain to grow longer, provide seed for regeneration, or offer wildlife habitat value, then leave-trees (the trees that will not be harvested) will be marked. If most trees will remain standing and only scattered trees or groups of trees will be cut, then the trees to be cut will be marked. To avoid confusion, your forester will mark leave-trees with a different color of paint than was used on the sale boundary. Because timber sale boundaries are not legally recognized lines between adjoining property owners, discuss the location of property boundary lines with your neighbors before cutting begins.

After selecting the trees to be harvested, estimate the wood volume or number of products that will be cut, by species. Products commonly produced in a timber sale include sawlogs, veneer logs, pulpwood, fuelwood, posts, and poles. Local mills or buyers will determine the specifications for each product they purchase.

Information about measuring wood volumes can be found in Chapter 2: Conducting a Woodland Inventory.