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Compass Issue 9
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Compass is a quarterly publication of the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station (SRS). As part of the Nation's largest forestry research organization -- USDA Forest Service Research and Development -- SRS serves 13 Southern States and beyond. The Station's 130 scienists work in more than 20 units located across the region at Federal laboratories, universites, and experimental forests.

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Issue 9

What is Silviculture?

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. Silvicultural prescriptions or treatments are specific, science-based steps designed to achieve specific forest management objectives. For example, if the management objective is to maintain an oak component in a mixed stand, the silvicultural prescription may include reducing the midstory to encourage the development of oak seedlings. Removing the overstory to regenerate a new age class of trees is also a silvicultural prescription, as is thinning in an established stand. The combination of all planned silvicultural treatments is called a silvicultural system.

Back to: A Burning Question: Can an Old Tool Reshape Upland Hardwood Forests?

What is Silviculture?
(Photo by Rod Kindlund, U.S. Forest Service)

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