Forest Terminology

Confused about the terminology used in forest management? Check out these definitions of words and phrases you may commonly see across this website or while working with a forester.

Best Management Practices (BMPs): regulations or guidelines to protect the environment and ensure sustainable management practices and the long-term health of the forest

Clearcut: a regeneration or harvest method that removes essentially all trees in a stand

Forest Management Plan: a plan with a specific statement of the objectives you have for your land, followed by a series of activities you will do to meet those objectives

Invasive Species: an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in an area where it is not native, typically grows and reproduces quickly and spreads rapidly

Releasing a Plant: freeing a tree from undesirable, usually over-topping, competing vegetation

Salvage Cutting: the removal of dead or damaged trees as a result of something other than competition in order to recover the value that would otherwise be lost

Sanitation Cutting: the removal of trees in order to improve the health of the stand by stopping or reducing the actual or anticipated spread of insects and disease

Seed Trees: trees that are left after reproductive cutting to provide seeds for natural forest regeneration

Shelterwood: a method for regenerating an even-aged stand which includes an establishment cut to establish a moderated micro-environment, prepare the seed bed, and create a new age class, and a removal cut to release the established regeneration from competition with the mature, older trees

Silviculture: the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests and woodlands to meet landowner objectives in a sustainable way

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI): management practices, including deadening grapevines, releasing crop trees, killing cull trees, and thinning trees that are overcrowded, in order to create a healthier, more productive forest and meet management objectives

Working Forest: a forestland that is carefully managed in order to supply a stead, renewable supply of wood for lumber, energy, paper and packaging, and other forest products