Silviculture Practices

The practice of silviculture, by which stands of trees are tended, harvested and replaced, can improve growth rates, quality, strength and other properties as well as help maintain a healthy, productive and sustainable forest.

Key to the practice of good forest management is knowledge of:

  • how a tree grows (diameter, height, volume) and division of trees into stands (composition, density, stocking)
  • site capability
  • species characteristics such as rooting habit, wind firmness, associated species, preferred growing sites and shade tolerance
  • how stands of trees are influenced by silviculture practices

Silviculture practices include:

  • Selection
    • single tree
    • group
  • Shelterwood
    • uniform method
    • strip method
    • seed tree method
  • Thinning-
    • pre-commercial thinning (PCT)
    • commercial thinning (CT)
  • Clearcutting with natural regeneration and artificial regeneration
    • alternate strips
    • progressive strips
    • patches
    • site preparation
    • planting
    • weeding

Professional advice and expertise regarding silviculture practices is available from forestry consultants, contractors, woodland owner organizations and industry located throughout the province.

Silviculturexassistance opportunities for Nova Scotia woodland owners are available from Registered Buyers with Wood Acquisition Plans and the Association for Sustainable Forestry.


NSDNR Woodlot Management Home Study Program
- Online or Mail
Module 1 - Introduction to Silviculture
Module 2 - Harvesting Systems
Module 3 – Thinning for Value
Module 5 – Stand Establishment
Module 10A - Managing Woodlot Finances, Planning
& Investment Guide