Should I Harvest My Trees?

Deciding if and when to harvest your trees can be a big decision. Timber harvests may seem detrimental to some, but when done ethically and sustainably, they can have a wide range of benefits. While providing a way to keep ecosystems healthy, timber harvests also provide us with many pulp and timber products that we use and rely on daily!

One of the most noticeable benefits for us is the aesthetics. However, harvests can also remove trees that are damaged, struggling, or ridden with diseases or pests. Removing these trees will cut down on competition and allow for the remaining trees to remain healthy and grow faster (while also allowing for forest regen to develop). Even with harvests continually being performed, forested land continues to increase in Wisconsin each year.

As a landowner, it is important to keep those factors in mind. When assessing your own forested land, think about what the condition and value of the timber may be while also keeping in mind your own personal reasons for owning that woodland. It is important to understand the value of the trees you own through forest inventory. This will help to assess what the forest cover is, the growth rates, diameters, and heights of your forest cover. Deciding whether to harvest your trees depends entirely on what your goals for the land are. While a harvest can generate a source of income, it can also provide habitat for wildlife and improve the future of the forested land. Working with professional foresters can help you understand your land better and will help you meet whatever goals you may have while deciding if a harvest is right for you.

Austin Schoen, Forester