Single tree selection: Terra Del Fuego (Douglas Cty, WI)

State or Province
Nearest city or town
Summit, WI
Describe the location
Near southern line of Summit Township
Douglas County, WI
Cover type
Plant community detail and growth stage
AVCl Acer/Vaccinium-Clintonia. See "A guide to forest communities and habitat types of northern Wisconsin, 2nd Ed." by John Kotar for detail
Forest health threats
Adaptive silviculture options
Silviculture system
Brief silvicultural objective
The silvicultural objective for this area (unit 1) was a crop tree release, improvement thinning with regeneration gaps.
Site preparation method
Soil details
Pesabic-Newood-Capitola complex, 0 to 3 percent slopes, very stony
Stand area
39 acres
Treatment area
52 acres

46.422387, -92.01315


This is a 2005 crop tree release in a 52-acre northern hardwood stand dominated by sugar maple. The stand most likely was established after a fire around the turn-of-the-century with paper birch and sugar maple being the primary species to reestablish on the sale area. The sale was divided into three units. This case refers only to unit 1, a crop tree release treatment, and excludes units 2 and 3, both clearcuts.

Silviculture Objective(s)

The silvicultural objective for unit one was to use a crop tree release approach to grow high-quality sugar maple while retraining retaining species diversity through the use of regeneration gaps. 

Pre-treatment stand description and condition

Stand establishment and management history: 

Pre-treatment stocking was 120 square feet per acre basal area, dominated by sugar maple. 

Figure 1: Approximate boundaries of the Terra Del Fuego crop tree release treatment

Figure 2: Leaf-on aerial image from Bing Maps / Wisconsin PLSS Finder

Silviculture Prescription

Crop tree release focused on growing high-quality sugar maple while retaining species diversity through the use of regeneration gaps. This unit was limited to shortwood operations only to reduce damage to residual trees. Starting basal area was 120 square feet/ac. Prescription was to reduce that to 70 square feet/ac.

What actually happened during the treatment

Due to a very wet fall in 2004, the main skid trail was heavily compacted. Utilization was good throughout the sale.

Post-treatment assessment

Harvesting was completed in January 2005. Basal area was reduced by almost half, from 120 square feet/ac to 64 square feet/ac, slightly under the target of 70 square feet/ac. August 2014 Growth Monitoring Project gave a Periodic Annual Increment estimate of 1.50 square feet/ac/year.

Sept. 2015 Regeneration Status.
Stocking BA 77 Sq. Ft.
11,833 Seedlings per acre: 

  • Hard Maple 3,333 seedlings/ac
  • Ironwood 2,000 seedlings/ac
  • Red Oak 1,333 seedlings/ac
  • Basswood 1,333 seedlings/ac 
  • Red Maple 1,000 seedlings/ac
  • Yellow Birch 833 seedlings/ac
  • White Birch 833 seedlings/ac


  • Stocking seems adequate. Many single stem Maple and Birch seedlings. Diversity is still present.
  • Regeneration still within browse height of deer though.
  • Ironwood regeneration is problematic throughout County.
  • Stand has heavy sedge/sod layer that may impact continued regeneration.

Plans for future treatments

Based on growth measurements, next entry (at 120 BA) projected out another 29 years in 2044.