Forest Products - Timber

Nova Scotia's forest is one of its most valuable resources. As owners of nearly 70% of the province's productive woodland, private woodlot owners play a major role. Approximately 50% of this woodland is owned by about 33,000 small private woodlot owners.

The province has 30 native tree species and about 15 introduced species. Each belongs to one of two major groups: needle-leafed softwoods (also known as conifers or evergreens) and broad-leafed hardwoods (also known as deciduous trees).

Major products include pulpwood, sawlogs, stud wood, veneer logs, panel products, boltwood, posts and poles, pallet wood, firewood and fuelwood.

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:

Professional advice and expertise regarding timber on your woodlot, management planning and marketing is available from Forestry Consultants, Contractors, Woodland Owner Organizations and Industry Groups located throughout the province.

Silviculture assistance is available throughout Nova Scotia from Registered Wood Buyers with Wood Acquisition Plans, and the Association for Sustainable Forestry.


NS Department of Natural Resources Library

  • Forestry Field Handbook
    - Online
    NS Department of Natural Resources
  • Trees of Nova Scotia
    - Gary L. Saunders
    1996 (revised), 102 pages. $9.95
    Descriptions of native and exotic species, their uses, pests and where they grow. Illustrated, metricated.
    Also available from local bookstores
  • Selling Standing Timber
    - Online
    Info Leaflet DNR-3
  • Manuals
    Tree Planting
    Shelterwood Harvesting
    Merchantable Thinning - Softwoods
    Hardwood Thinning
  • NS Forest Practices Folders
    #4 - Precommercial Thinning
    #5 - Commercial Thinning
    #6 - Harvest Cutting
    #7 - Planting Forest Trees
    #9 - Thinning Mixed Hardwoods
    #12 - Shelterwood Method
    #13 - Clearcut Method
    #14 - Selection Method
    #15 - Seed Tree Method
    #16 - Release Method

A Handbook of Maritime Trees
- Online
by Geoffrey A. Ritchie
Natural Resources Canada

Images of Tree Species
- Online
Faculty of Forestry & Environmental
University of New Brunswick

Contractors & Operators
- Online
Best Management Practices Manual

NSDNR Woodlot Management Home Study Program
- Online or Mail
Module 1 - Introduction to Silviculture
Module 2 – Harvesting Systems
Module 3 – Stand Spacing
Module 5 – Stand Establishment
Module 8 – Wood Utilzation & Technology