The stand will be select cut to retain 70-90ft2/ac (16-21m2/ha) (>5” DBH (12.7cm)) by crown releasing the highest quality dominant and co-dominant trees on a minimum of two sides. If stocking and canopy space allows, 7’ (2.1m) of open space will be provided around released crowns.
Order of removal: Diseased or damaged, high risk, release crop tree, low vigor, merchantable species, and spacing. All things equal, preference will be given to releasing sugar maple, red oak, basswood, red maple, hemlock, yellow birch, and white ash (in that order). Where pockets of high risk or poor quality trees occur, canopy gaps can be cleared. In canopy gaps all non-merchantable hardwood stems, >2” DBH (5cm), will be removed. Canopy gaps should average a 60’ (18.3m) diameter opening to promote regeneration of mid and intolerant species. A minimum residual BA must be maintained outside canopy gaps in order to gain extra tree height.
In areas of hemlock/hardwood (southern boundary) with basal areas >200ft2/ac (46m2/ha), no more than 1/3 of the basal area will be removed. In fully stocked hemlock areas averaging <200ft2/ac (46m2/ha), residual basal areas of no less than 120ft2/ac (27.5m2/ha) will be maintained. Since hemlock does not require the growing space that hardwoods do, residual stocking recommendations are greater. By managing hemlock at these recommended basal areas the residual stand will be better protected against growth loss, increased mortality, and wind-throw. The stand has a few small patches of hemlock and will be marked to these recommendations to reduce the risk of wind-throw. The order of removal will be as stated above however, preference will be given to releasing hemlock, white pine, red oak, sugar maple, and yellow birch (in that order).
All other trees (>5” DBH (12.7cm)) considered “suppressed understory” will be removed. The potential for survival and progression into valuable crop trees is low. Removal of these trees will increase operable space for harvesting equipment, reduce ground competition, and can help to reduce the presence of diseases (like cankers, etc..) that may persist in a stand as long as infected trees remain as hosts. The exception to this rule is hemlock: all healthy hemlock (outside of canopy gaps) should be left to provide ‘color’ and some residual under-story structure. Alternately, all ironwood and balsam fir stems (>3’ (0.9m)) will be removed if it does not jeopardize a crop tree.