Hardwood Silviculture Notes
Pthe large trees of tomorrow. This assumption has been perpetuated in the diameter-limit harvests that have led to what we call high-grading today. The largest and best trees are repeatedly harvested leaving the smaller, inferior trees to perpetuate the next stand. In reality, the trees being released are probably of similar age as those being cut. The smaller, released trees did not have a chance to prosper in competition with the faster-growing, overstory trees. These released trees are incapable of continued growth with their small, spindly crowns. The consequence of removing only highly valued trees with each harvest is a hardwood resource with ever lower levels of economically valuable trees.
Degraded, low quality or problem hardwood stands generally result from the historic absence of markets for low-value trees. After many years of only harvesting the most valuable trees, millions of acres of degraded stands in the eastern hardwood region have little left to manage. These stands need silvicultural treatment to increase their value and productivity. Recent improvement in the markets for pallets, ties, chips and pulpwood increases the management options available for treating degraded stands. Forest practitioners and landowners should understand why and how these problem stands were created so that fewer of these stands occur in the future. The goal of this publication is to explain why hardwood stands become degraded and to describe corrective measures for improving degraded hardwood stands.
"SP680 Treatments for Improving Degraded Hardwood Stands," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, R12-4910-026-002-06 SP680-1.5M-6/06 06-0335, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexfores/26