|"Select" cut oak stand|
To read more about "Select" Cutting here is a one page article from Cornell University.
Just Say No to High-Grading, Selective Cutting, and Diameter-Limit Cutting
This past Ag Progress Days I had the pleasure of spending much of one day with Allyson Muth, Penn State Forest Stewardship Program Associate. And yes, we heard the "select" cut comment numerous times. All those questions and comments prompted Allyson to write the next issue of the Forest Stewardship News around this very topic and she uses a great analogy to help folks understand the concept. I have provided the article below.
The Farmer and His Prize Bull: A High-Grading Analogy
Posted: August 28, 2015
Many landowners allow the woods, which they love so much, to be “select cut,” as some call it. In reality, they are confusing what they think is a good practice with what is actually negatively impacting the health of their woods. No, this is not a farming story. We don’t have the answers to improving lines of beef or milk cattle. Someone may, but not here. Sorry. This is a story about forests, about the trees, about forest history, and about the actions we take in the woods.
As a forester and an educator, I get to talk with many passionate people--people who care so deeply about their woods that they work at it beyond rational economic decisions and into their love. These aren’t all longtime woods-owners; they are also people who just inherited or just bought woodland because they love it. Very often they have woodlands because they want to care for it in a way that makes it better. Yet whether long-tenured or short-, many landowners allow the woods, which they love so much, to be “select cut,” as some call it. In reality, they are confusing what they think is a good practice with what is actually negatively impacting the health of their woods. What is often incorrectly described as a “select cut” is known to foresters as high grading or diameter limit cutting – different names for the same practice. Unfortunately, the misconception that select cuts are a good thing persists.
|What happens to the species and trees when a high grade is impose?|
So what is high grading, select cutting, or diameter-limit cutting? The quick and dirty answer is, “It’s taking the best and leaving the rest.” High grades remove the biggest trees (assumed to be the “oldest” or “most mature”), or trees above a certain diameter (hence, diameter limit). Landowners often think they are doing the right thing, in efforts to thin a stand, make a little income, or “give the little trees a chance to grow up and become big trees…”
To read the rest of the story click here.