1 Definition of a Silvicultural System 4 The Decision Process Appendix 1 Answer Key
2 Major Types of Systems 5 There's More to Learn Appendix 2 Advantages and Disadvantages
3 Variations of Major Types 6 Implementation Appendix 3 References

What are Stand Structural Objectives?

Generally, silviculture achieves specific resource objectives by translating these objectives into stand structural objectives. These stand structural goals can only be set after becoming familiar with and blending stand and site conditions with planning objectives.

Stand structural objectives include objectives for:

  • age-class structure
  • site occupancy and preferred species mixtures
  • the spatial distribution of trees (e.g.,"clumpy" or"uniform")
  • the maintenance or creation of desirable special structural attributes (e.g.,wildlife trees).

Man thinking about harvest.

Note: These objectives must be dynamic according to the silvical characteristics of the individual species and the ecological relationships that integrate the species mix to the site.

These stand structural objectives are not easily created. The objective, immediately post-harvest, for a given harvesting entry may be easy enough to prescribe and achieve. However, due to the dynamic nature of forest ecosystems the silviculturist must account for growth and ecological changes to design a long-term vision for stand structure over the life of the stand.

For example, an ungulate winter range may dictate that a certain percentage of crown closure be retained. This management objective may be easily satisfied by some type of commercial thinning in the initial entry. However, it is much more challenging to integrate this objective into a long-term design that incorporates timber management and other objectives, while accounting for the dynamic nature of the stand.

Once stand structural objectives are clearly defined as a long-term vision, the manipulations necessary to achieve these objectives can be described as silvicultural systems.

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Stand structure is the physical and temporal distribution of trees and other plants in a stand.
Chadwick Oliver and
Bruce Larson (1996)

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