One of the programs I manage provides landowners access to a Forester who will provide you with a Forest Management Plan at no cost to the landowner. Part of the Management Plan usually involves Timber Stand Improvement (TSI).

What is Timber Stand Improvement?

It is a term used by people involved with Forestry to identify practices and activities that will improve the vigor, composition, stocking, productivity and quality of forest stands. TSI results in the removal of lower quality trees an allowing crop trees to use the available growing space and resources. The goal is to continue increasing growth of the quality trees to promote more and better products from the timber. Over time, a timber stand can go from lower quality timber into growing healthier, more desirable species. TSI is sometimes called intermediate thinning that occurs between harvests.

If Timber Stand Improvement is part of your Forest Management Plan, the following practices should be employed:

  • · Determining the basal area (what grows there) to see if TSI is necessary. If so, improve conditions for the young, vigorous crop trees for faster growth and better quality by removing overtopped and competing trees.
  • · Thinning to prevent overcrowding and increase the growth rate of crop trees.
  • · Removing cull trees. Cull trees are live trees that are unsuitable for the production of some roundwood products. Cull trees can include those with decay, poor form, splits, or lots of limbs.
  • Sanitation cutting to remove trees that have been damaged by insects, diseases, wind, or ice.
  • · Prescribed burning to remove undesirable hardwoods, to prepare seedbeds, to reduce the potential for wildfires, and to improve wildlife habitat.

Trees to Keep in your Timber Stand:

  • · High-quality healthy trees of a desirable species
  • · Fast-growing trees of a desirable species
  • · Mast-producing and den trees for wildlife
  • · Crop trees where all available growing space is used efficiently
  • Trees that should be removed include the following:
  • · Suppressed trees that will not live until the next thinning
  • · Trees too crooked, forked, or limby
  • · Trees with fires scars and injuries from insects, disease, wind, or ice
  • · Trees that are mature and slow-growing or financially mature
  • · Any tree that will not contribute to the net value of the stand at the next thinning
  • · Wolf trees are cull trees with large crowns that occupy a large amount of growing space or shade out a large about of desirable species

If you have questions or are interested in a Forest Management Plan, contact me, Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at 715-478-1387 or by e-mail at lcc@co.forest.wi.us.