Effective timber stand improvement (TSI) can deliver a big payoff in tree health and marketable timber. TSI involves taking measures to concentrate soil nutrients, moisture, and solar energy on the trees you have selected for enhanced growth.
Redstart generally employs one of two types of TSI: pre-commercial thinning and crop trees release. Pre-commercial thinning involves removing smaller, less perfectly formed, and suppressed trees of the target species, which reduces competition for the remaining trees and allows them to flourish. In crop tree release, the same goal is pursued through the identification of key crop trees and releasing them from competition by cutting trees of other species around them.
Most commonly, the trees selected for growth are prime timber trees, but trees can also be selected based on other criteria, such as their value for wildlife and their historic or aesthetic significance. Selected trees might include hardwoods for veneer or lumber, maples for sugaring, black cherries or oaks for cherries and acorns, and perfectly shaped trees along a woodland path.
Most timber stand improvement work is conducted by foresters with chainsaws, which minimizes impact on the landscape. However, mechanical removal is also an option.