Reserve Cutting

What is reserve cutting?

Reserve cutting is when an area of trees or a bunch of trees is left and not cut. These trees are left to meet the objective of the land owner.

Reserve cutting Purpose

The purpose of reserve cutting is to leave the trees that the land owner wants to meet a certain objective.  This can be done to meet many different objectives and different trees are left.

One of the objectives that people leave trees standing is aesthetics.  People like the way their property looks with a few trees standing. With the public views against clear-cutting, leaving a few trees standing per acre can make the cutting go over easier with the community. Some areas have restrictions that land can not be clear-cut and this is a way to abide by the rule while effectively harvesting timber.

Another reason that people leave trees is for wildlife purposes. Many times people will leave a few oaks and other mast producing trees to standing after the cutting to provide food and increase the quality of wildlife. This is effective with white tailed deer which have become an important species with hunting and the economic gain due to hunting leases.  A pine stand that has about 40 square feet of basal area per acre with a good spring/summer time burning plan is a great way to increase the quail populations.

People also leave a few trees standing per acre to increase the value of their land. A lot of the time it is easier to sell land with a few trees per acre standing than a clear cut.  Many times people call this a real estate cut where they take the best trees and leaves the small ones standing. This is used often when a housing development is going to be put in because people like to have some trees around their houses.

For whatever reason that a tree is left standing, the main purpose of a timber harvest is to meet your objectives. If the cut meets your objectives then it is a success, whether it be economics, wildlife, aesthetics, or for any other reason.