Forest Types of Michigan: Silvicultural Systems (E3202-13)

This bulletin describes the three main silvicultural systems employed in Michigan forests: selection, shelterwood and clearcut.

Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis. It’s also the heart of forest management. A silvicultural system is a planned series of treatments for tending, harvesting and reestablishing a forest stand. “Forest management” is a broader term that includes biological, social and economic factors. For the forest owner, the terms may be interchangeable when a forest management plan is developed.

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