Monday, June 4, 2012

The Impacts of High Grading Your Forest

High graded forest with inferior
 quality oak left following harvest
What is high grading?  High grading is harvesting only those trees that will give the highest immediate economic return; harvesting those trees with the highest economic value.  It is also often referred to as select cutting or diameter limit cutting where all trees above a specified diameter are harvest.  Whatever you call it the effect is the same....a decline in long term forest health and productivity.  High grading removes important seed sources and decreases long term income potential.  No concern is shown for the species composition, quality, and density of the remaining forest.

Extension has been telling this message for years, yet the practice continues.  I just came across an article that was published on-line by the University of Missouri Extension.  The article provides information on the impacts of high grading and how we need to be marketing low value, small diameter trees from our timber sales.  The author also provides valuable input on how to select a reputable forester and logger to guide you through the timber sale process.

High Grading Brings Down Health, Value of Woodland
by Hank Stelzer, University of Missouri Extension
May 25, 2012
Unsuspecting woodland owners selling timber often fall victim to a practice known as "high-grading"—cutting the best trees and leaving the rest.  "It’s like a rancher selling a prize-winning bull and keeping the losers for breeding," said Hank Stelzer, University of Missouri Extension state forestry specialist. "You’re cashing in your best assets and investing in your worst."

To read the full story click here.

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