Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis.
Many people think that clearcutting is the only way to harvest timber. That’s not the case. Although clearcutting is an efficient and effective system, it is by no means the optimal harvest system for every situation. Among other things, the optimal silvicultural system depends on site characteristics, forest type, and landowner objectives.
Silvicultural systems can range from single-tree selection up to clearcutting. Any treatment (such as a thinning) designed to enhance growth, quality, vigor, and composition of the stand after establishment or regeneration and prior to final harvest.
Intermediate treatments such as woodland stand improvement can improve the stand’s vigor and value. Improving the quality of a stand through pruning, girdling or removing undesirable species, applying herbicide, or other treatments. TSI treatments are generally precommercial.