Timber sales should only be done in a sustainable fashion with an eye to the next century. Much of our timber resource has been hygraded ("take the best and leave the rest") due to either a lack of knowledge on the part of the landowner and logger or due simply to greed. Unfortunately this practice referred to as "Diameter Limit Cutting" continues today. While a great deal could be said here, one of the primary things to know is that not all small diameter trees are young trees. Often a small diameter tree is just as old as a tree twice its size, but it is of poor genetic stock or has not competed well or is diseased, etc. Leaving small trees in a timber harvest due to the mistaken impression they are "young" will result in a very poor forest in the future.

Often I will mark timber during the first thinning in such a manner as to reduce or eliminate crooked, diseased, and low quality trees. Primarily this will result in pulpwood quality trees being removed. Wherever suitable, I will also select crop trees (according to the landowner's goals) and remove all trees which compete with them. This will typically yield a variety of trees which range in quality from pallet lumber to veneer and make it worth a logger's time and effort to conduct the harvest.

After letting the crop trees grow for a period of time (seven to twelve years) the next cutting may be a shelterwood. Here again, the lower quality trees and undesirable species are removing leaving only the very best trees on the site to produce seed.

Depending on the landowner's goals, species involved and the particular site, the final harvest may be a clearcut which promotes the growth of light-loving tree species such as cherry, poplar, ash, oak, walnut, etc. An alternative to clearcutting would be a deferment harvest which would leave enough trees to resemble a park-like stand.


Reynwood Forest Management can provide:

  • Assurance of adequate advance regeneration (enough desirable seedlings) for the future forest prior to harvest
  • Estimated board feet to be removed and approximate market value
  • Selection and Marking of trees to be removed
  • Layout of haul roads and log landings
  • Sediment and Erosion Control Plan
  • Timber Sale Contract
  • Regular inspections
  • Timber basis for income tax returns

Timber sales should only be done in a sustainable fashion with an eye to the next century.