How do I know when my forest might be ready for harvest?

When is a tree mature?

A tree trunk diameter of 18″ or more is preferable. Lower limbs starting at 30′ or above are desirable, but not necessary. Occasionally, there may be a shorter tree that needs to be removed to provide more space. Continual sustainable growth is key. Waiting until your woodlot has a majority of overdeveloped trees and tiny trees does not promote a healthy growth cycle. The best scenario is a forest with all levels of growth: young, medium, and mature. The point being, when it is time to harvest mature trees, the “next generation” will already be in a positive growth pattern, followed by smaller trees.

What defines a poorly developed tree?

Several conditions might indicate less than prime growth. Short bodied trees with low limb growth can be caused from crowding by over-mature trees. If left unmanaged, older trees block sunlight and slow new growth. At harvest, a “management cut” to remove stunted trees may be recommended to promote overall health of the woodlot. Multi-stage growth is key. Planned interval harvesting equals steady, continued growth.

What percentage of the lot needs to contain mature trees in order to consider a harvest?

Acreage can vary, however, 10 acres or more are preferred. Timber quality will be the determining factor. Perhaps you have slightly less acreage and a higher quality of mature trees that should be harvested to support the continued health of your woodlot. Contact your Tri County Logging timber procurement professional for information and an estimate of value. With proper care your woodlot can be a source of income now and in the future.

Download the What you should know before selling a woodlot brochure