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Early Treatment of a Hardwood Stand

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This diorama shows two early treatments to improve the quality of a hardwood stand following the cutting of an old-field pine forest.

On the far left is the edge of a 60-year-old white pine stand about to be clear-cut for lumber. Just prior to logging, seedlings and small saplings of hardwood species in the understory are being cut off close to the ground. After cutting, the very small stumps will send up well-formed sprouts that will grow rapidly and will be straight enough to form good timber. Therefore, this pre-cutting will actually ensure better young crop trees in the future.

In the center foreground is an area where the mature pines were logged six years earlier. Workers are cutting away the smaller stems among the multiple-stemmed hardwood sprouts and are removing the short-lived pioneer trees wherever they dominate and threaten to crowd out more desirable trees. This treatment, also known as weeding, selects the most desirable trees for the future stand at an early age. This treatment concentrates and speeds up wood production on a smaller number of the most desirable trees.