Wednesday, 04 August 2021 11:21

Uneven Aged Forest Management

In the article I wrote in the last newsletter, I discussed how a forester knows which trees to mark in a forest’s hardwood stand. One of my main points was that we manage a hardwood stand similar to that of a backyard garden. We mark trees for harvest that are the weed trees, allowing the good quality, healthiest and best formed trees, which forester’s call crop trees (or the vegetables in this example), to grow at their fastest rates over the life of the tree. Growing trees at their fastest rates is an important part of forestry and economics. The above actions are what most people call thinning a woodlot.

I have been assisting landowners with the management of their woodlots for over 25 years. As foresters at Kretz Lumber Co. Inc., we spend most of our time within northern hardwood stands marking timber for harvest and setting up timber sales for the landowners we serve. We do this while producing timber products that are used in our industry as well as sawlogs for our hardwood sawmill located in Antigo, WI. We also harvest other timber types but for the context of this article, I am going to keep the focus on northern hardwood thinnings.


In my initial meeting with woodland owners I have been asked many times, “How do you know which trees to mark for harvest within a thinning of a woodlot?” I answer this by first asking them, what are your objectives and goals for your woodlot? Is it good forest management, wildlife viewing, hunting wildlife, income, recreation, or something else? By knowing the landowner’s goals, I am able to gel these goals within the setup of the timber sale and what trees to mark or not mark.

If you want to see Dave Marsceau, it is not very hard to find him. You see, Dave is retired and he loves spending time at his woodlot at the old home farmstead. To bump into Dave, all you have to do is get out to his property mid morning and you will find him in the woods cutting firewood, working on the sugar shack or the homestead.

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