Timber Stand Improvement
Timber Stand Improvement, or TSI, is a term used to identify forest management practices that improve the vigor, stocking, composition, productivity, and quality of forest stands. The improvement is accomplished by removing poor trees and allowing crop trees to fully use the growing space. The chief goal of TSI is continued production of more and better timber products.
TSI practices can be used to convert assorted hardwood and pine stands into productive forests of desirable species. TSI can speed up the growth and improve the quality of the trees in your forest. Different practices may be needed at different times during the life of an established stand—from the start of a new crop of trees until the final harvest.
Some basic TSI practices include:
- Prescribed Burns: A prescribed fire benefits forest land by preparing the seedbed, reducing the potential for wildfires and improving wildlife habitat.
Cull tree removal: A Cull tree is defined as a rotten or unusable tree. Removal of these trees is essential to make growing space available on areas currently occupied by deformed, defective, and undesirable trees. Some cull trees may be cut and sold, however, most must be killed with herbicides.
- Thinning: Removal of individual branches or entire trees to relieve over-crowding and increase the growth rate of crop trees. Pre-commercial thinning in young, un-merchantable stands is a cost practice. Intermediate thinning or improvement cuts in older stands produce some income for the landowner.
Sanitation cutting: Removal of trees that have been damaged by insects, diseases, wind, or ice.
- Release: Pruning of select trees by overtopping and removal of competing trees to benefit young, vigorous crop trees for faster growth and better quality.