Types of Management and Timber Harvesting

Many different management regimes can be used when managing timber-land.  Site management varies according to a site’s past history, its physical elements (such as soil types, winter temperatures, snowfall/ice etc), and the objectives of the landowner.  Here you will find a few of the possible management options available..



Clearcutting is a method of harvesting and stand regeneration that mimics nature's catastrophic disturbances. Some species need this method regenerate properly. It cleanly removes all trees in the given area.

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Pine Thinning

Thinning pines is a cutting procedure in which the smaller trees are removed to let the bigger trees grow to become more valuable in the future. This also allows for an earlier income for the land owner.

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Pine Seed Tree Cut

This is a method of harvesting such that the management area is cut to about 9-12 trees per acre. These trees are used to seed the next stand and planting is not necessary.

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Pine Shelterwood Cut

A pine shelterwood cut is a process in which the mature pine trees are harvested to around 40-60 square feet of basal area per acre (~25-40 trees per acre depending on tree diameter). This leaves the stand of timber fairly open, but with an overstory. This is a cut more often used for wildlife management and short term gains.

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Hardwood Shelterwood Cutting

This management option is one such that the hardwood trees are cut enough to open up the management site but not so much that a lot of light gets in. This is a regeneration method for most valuable hardwoods.

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Reserve Cutting


 This can be a broad type of cutting regime. A reserve is a tree, group of trees, or many trees that are left standing undamaged after a timber harvest.

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