Thinning & Crop Tree Release
Many woodlot owners are reluctant to thin trees out of their woods. This is understandable given that it takes considerable time and additional management to correct poor thinning practices. However, without thinning or harvesting trees, many woodlots become over-crowded, stressed, and more vulnerable to insect pests, diseases, and wildfire. A woodlot thinning done the right way can improve woodlot health, wildlife habitat, and can even provide renewable resources like timber and firewood.
Thinning Improves the Health of Crop Trees
Crop-tree-release is a method of thinning that is suited to large and small woodland parcels. This method involves selecting the most desirable trees on your property to keep as “crop trees” and then thinning out trees that directly compete with that crop tree for light, water, and nutrients.
Find a Professional Forester
For beginners, it is important to obtain guidance from a professional forester before thinning to minimize potential mistakes and ensure that woodland benefits are protected. Wise management of woodlots is needed to help maintain a healthy overall forest and the benefits and services the forest provides. This is especially true in fragmented environments where our forests face threats like invasive plants, exotic insects, and diseases that can significantly alter the mixture of tree species and natural reforestation processes.