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Group Selection Method of Harvesting White Pine

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In our local landscape, which typically contains different land uses and soils in close proximity, white pine frequently forms nearly pure stands on recently abandoned agricultural land and dry sites, whereas hardwoods dominate moister and more fertile soils.

If we wish to encourage white pine to persist, clear-cutting large areas of white pine is not only wasteful of the smaller trees, but undesirable from the standpoint of the next crop of trees. Where there are approximately even-aged small stands in proximity to other somewhat different-aged stands, a partial cutting system known as "group selection" is possible. This approach is based on the ability of a stand to naturally reseed a nearby area.

Barely visible on the left, a mature group of trees, about 60 years old, is being clear-cut. This small cleared area will be well seeded by the oldest neighboring group in the center background.

The still younger group on the right margin, about 30 years old, was also seeded by a nearby stand; it will not be ready to cut for several decades.

In the center foreground is the very youngest age class: seedlings that grew up after a group cutting about 10 years earlier.