The uniform shelterwood system will be applied in the hardwood dominated areas with the intent of encouraging yellow birch, red oak, and sugar maple depending on site conditions. Target a canopy closure of approximately 50-60%. This should be achieved at a residual basal area of 9-10m2/ha.
This will be a thinning from below following principles in the Ontario Tree Marking Guide. Smaller diameter stems will be removed during harvest with larger diameter stems (where available) spaced uniformly to provide shade and seed. Scattered AGS poles will be encountered throughout the stand and they will be removed since they would not only develop poorly in the surrounding low BA conditions, but will also interfere with the regeneration and growth of seedlings and saplings. Exception: concentrations of AGS poles or small sawlogs with a basal area greater than 12 m2/ha. In such situations, the poles may be released and permitted to develop as standards – they will be removed as larger diameter stems when the regenerating stand is ready for its first thinning.
Regeneration objectives and related crown closure targets will be adjusted to accommodate stand variability – the majority of the stand is dominated by tolerant and mid-tolerant hardwood species, however conifer areas including hemlock, cedar, white pine and white spruce will be encountered and maintained where they occur. Productivity and total BA declines on shallow ridge top areas so markers will need to be aware of site protection requirements and simply walk through areas that are obviously marginal.
Directly competing tolerant and mid-tolerant trees of equal quality will be retained based on the following priority:
- Or, Cb, Aw, Bd
- Mh, He
- Other hdwd
- Other conifer
After further discussion and investigation the prescription for a portion of the block was modified to include group selection with 0.2 ha openings (~50m diameter) spaced an average of 115 meters apart occupying approximately 15% of the area and placed to capture the best opportunities (existing regeneration, mature seed producers, etc). The goal of the groups was to promote yellow birch and mid-tolerant regeneration. The area between groups was very lightly thinned to capture volume in declining stems and improve quality and growth potential of the poles and small sawlogs.