Determining Seasonal Timing of Harvest Operations

Seasonal timing of harvest operations can be critical to maintaining land productivity. These factors can affect the marketability and price you receive. Your goal should be to maintain the productivity of the land and forest in the future.

Will your soils support logging equipment throughout the year, only during dry seasons, or only when the ground is frozen? Some soils are more susceptible to compaction and rutting by operating equipment. These operations occur across the site with the felling and skidding of trees, on the skid trails and landings and on any temporary haul roads needed to get the cut products to main roads for transportation to the mills. Soils maps and Ecological Classification System, or ECS, ratings and on-site visits to your forest will help you and your forester determine the answers these questions. There can be disease or insect issues, such as bark beetles, that can be mitigated by seasonal timing of harvests. There can be wildlife issues such as nest trees of protected species that would limit operations during the nesting seasons. The bark on many hardwood trees is easily damaged and knocked off during the spring growing season. This tree damage significantly reduces the future value of the trees to be left after the harvest. All of these issues should be considered in the process of setting up a timber harvest.