Forest owners are very involved in managing their woodlots.    Proper training emphasizes safe and efficient methods of directional felling when doing selective harvesting.  The forest owner has the long term commitment to make the best future oriented decisions when thinning a woodlot.  Owning the land creates a strong incentive to protect the timber from damage during the logging

High quality, healthy, vigorous trees are grown to maximize the long term income from the timber.  A good crop tree is protected until the time it begins to lose its' vigor due to crowding or any other factor.  In the mean time, lesser value trees are removed on a "worst-first" basis to capture the annual production of the forest resource.  At Timbergreen Farm, the annual growth is about 400 board feet per acre - the volume represented by this 22 inch diameter red oak tree.  There is no predetermined age or size that will cause this tree to be cut - just maximize the growth of each tree, right where it grows in the forest.

The diameter growth of the tree tells the forest owner when to thin the woods.  This white oak grew slowly for 60 years.  A harvest of the red oak around it gave the tree light and space to grow quickly for 20 years.  As the forest became crowded, the annual growth rings again    became close together.            A  managed forest produces trees with steady growth.

Growth rings that are between 1/8" and 1/4" wide, producing a tree diameter growth of 1/4" to 1/2" each year, are optimum.  This rate maximizes the annual income from the combination of volume and wood quality.  Growth rings are observed every time a tree is cut, whether for Timber Stand Improvement or for harvest.  Growth rates for standing trees are harder to determine. 
Bark characteristics, access to sunlight, and tree shape are important factors    in estimating the vigor of standing timber.  The diameters of a sample of crop trees are measured each year to chart the diameter growth of the forest.              Individual crop tree management fine tuned with diameter growth monitoring produces over
double the annual growth
of traditional forest management systems.                                          next