FOREST MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP MANUAL
The Woodland Inventory is the first step in developing a
management plan, what is there to work with. Land is evaluated
for its woodland productive potential based on a number of site
factors and with the economics of woodland management as they
are today, it is good management to identify the better sites
and begin management efforts on them. There are several factors
which influence the productivity of a site. They are:
These two variables can go a long way in making a
determination about site productivity. Other site factors to
- This is probably the single most important factor.
Different soils have different levels of natural fertility,
depth, moisture holding capacity, slopes, etc. Moisture
holding capacity and fertility have obvious influences on tree
growth. Soil depth is a limiting factor only when its less
than 4' deep. Tree roots rarely go deeper than 4' and most
feeder roots are in the top 6". Slopes are limiting factors of
equipment usage and water infiltration rates. As part of a
Conservation Plan, these factors are taken into account and
soils are evaluated as to the productivity potential for
- This is probably the second most important factor. Aspect
is the direction a hillside faces. Generally speaking, north
and east facing slopes are more productive than south and west
facing slopes. The reason for this is that south and west
facing slopes get direct sunlight and are hotter and dryer than
north and east facing slopes. This causes trees on south and
west facing slopes to experience stress which open them to
insects and diseases because of reduced vigor. Northeast facing
coves are the best sites in this area for growing trees.
- This can limit equipment usage, water infiltration, and road
- Slope Position
- Usually toe slopes are more productive than ridgetops mainly
due to availability of water and soil depth.
- For most part in forest management, it is best to suit a
tree species to a site rather than fit a site to a tree species.
Different types have different site requirements. Some need wet
soils, some need well drained soils.
In inventorying his land, the landowner will want to take
into account the site classification and determine species best
suited to those sites present. (See Appendix, "Mountain Site
Classification", and "Major Timber Species Checklist).
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Last revised August 14, 1995.
Please send comments to: Duane Bristow (firstname.lastname@example.org)