A timber harvest should be designed to help you accomplish your management goals and objectives. Therefore, decisions such as the location of roads and in-woods skid trails, the specific equipment selected, what to do with limbs and tops and where processing occurs all should relate back to those goals.

Most timber harvesting is done by professional loggers who have the equipment, knowledge, and experience necessary to conduct an effective and safe operation. The work and time your forester spends in planning your timber harvest will reward you with higher profits, a better quality residual stand, and protection of the environment.

Select trees to cut based on your management objectives, stand conditions, and the silvicultural principles described in Chapter 6: Managing Important Forest Types. Local or temporary market opportunities may play a role in the timing or design of your sale. This chapter provides basic information on the harvesting process, including safety, forest management guidelines, the infrastructure needed to create access to and within a timber stand, harvesting equipment, and harvesting systems. Your forester will be able to help design the harvest to fit your management objectives.