Timber Cruising Simply stated, timber cruising involves walking a forest in order to measure the trees and collect other information about the land. In today’s sustained yield forestry management programs, most trees are often harvested selectively rather than in a single cutting. In order to maximize the timber harvested during forestry operations, an accurate assessment or estimate of the forest’s species composition, density and tree size is necessary.

Timber Thinning Thinning removes the small, overstocked, and poor quality trees. This allows the remaining trees to take advantage of water and nutrients, so they grow into larger sawtimber size trees. It will increase the amount of sunlight reaching the forest floor, stimulating the growth of herbaceous plants used by wildlife. Thinning also increases potential mast production (acorns, nuts, etc.) as the crowns of the residual trees expand to fill the space once occupied by the harvested trees.

Timber Sales Landowners, both those familiar with forestry as well as those unfamiliar with logging or road building, often engage a professional forester to determine the value of proposed sale of all or portions of their timber. The forester makes recommendations on what elements should be included in the timber sale, such as road and log deck station, or length of time to harvest. Timber can be sold at either sealed bid auctions or as negotiated sales.

Timber Marking Removing trees is the major tool by which a forest is managed, but it must be controlled to be effective. Controlled cutting is best accomplished by marking the trees to be cut. The trees are marked for cutting when their removal will create additional growing space for nearby trees of higher quality.

Forest Management Plans Forest management is providing a forest the proper care so that it remains healthy and vigorous and provides the products and the amenities the landowner desires. It is a process to develop and execute a plan integrating all of the principles, practices, and techniques necessary to care properly for the forest. The planning process includes careful identification of landowner objectives, inventory of resources, development and implementation of the management strategy to be used, and periodic re-evaluation of the implemented strategy.