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Why do we harvest Trees?

Landowners may harvest trees from their forest for many reasons. Make a better place for wildlife. They may want more light on the forest floor. They may want to give trees more room to grow. They may need money. These different objectives require landowners to think about many things before they decide to cut trees.

Harvesting a forest allows more growing space for the remaining trees and tree seedlings. A well-planned harvest focuses on the trees that are to remain rather than on the trees that are to be cut. These “residual” trees and seedlings will provide the forest benefits that future generations will enjoy, so it is important to choose them with care. Harvesting can lessen competition for soil nutrients and sunlight. Trees grown bigger and more rapidly when their trees do not crowd them. Given enough space a tree can increase its crown or treetop and size. Large crowns allow trees to capture more sunlight and, through photosynthesis, produce more sugars to grown faster. Nature thins a forest on its own. Good harvesting mimics nature, but speeds the process.

Harvesting also promotes the forests good health. Trees can get sick. If trees get infected with insects or diseases, harvesting them is the best way to prevent the illness from spreading and to protect the healthy trees that remain.

Landowners must make many choices about their forestland and how they want to improve it for the future. Lake Ann Hardwoods, Inc. can help landowners make decisions. A Timber Buyer will measure trees for volume, quality and growth rate. A Timber Buyer must also make careful observations of not only the trees, but also the soils, wildlife habitat, stream and other important features in the area. Together the information collected will formulate a possible action plan for future timbering.