Timber Stand Improvement

Non-Commercial Forest Improvement For Timber and Wildlife

It is advised that “Timber Stand Improvement” (TSI) activities be conducted on ownerships to help ensure regeneration of species such as Oak, Cherry, Ash and Maple for wildlife and future timber harvests. TSI involves cutting small diameter trees of poor form or species to assist in developing new seedlings and saplings of better quality species and value. TSI can be implemented by either commercial (timber sales) or non-commercial means, depending on the age and quality of the timber. In traditional non-commercial TSI, trees can be used for firewood or merely be left to deteriorate. Decaying biomass will increase the organic and nutrient content of the soil, while also protecting regeneration from deer browse.

TSI provides an excellent opportunity to channel limited forest resources into establishing quality growth of intolerant species, which are less ‘tolerant’ to shading by the forest canopy. Releasing intolerant species such as Cherry, Ash and Oak ensures these valuable species will become a predominant part of the mature stand. Managers should focus on intolerant species because the intolerant species are more susceptible to mortality through competition and over-shading. Intolerant species grow up to 2-3 times as fast than shade tolerants, yielding greater harvest frequencies.