In order to implement forest management systems it is necessary to designate which trees are to be harvested and which are to be retained. This is done by skilled Tree Markers who follow the prescriptions prepared by Registered Professional Foresters in the Forest Management Plan.
The tree marking crew uses paint to designate which trees are to be harvested. While the tree markers are considering the forest management needs of the tree species that they are working with, they are also considering stand levels guidelines for maintaining tree species diversity, wildlife habitat, forest structure and genetic diversity. This may involve retaining trees with cavities for wildlife use, tree species that are rare in the area or mast producing trees for example. After considering all these things, the tree marker makes the decision to harvest or retain each tree in the forest.
As well as marking trees for harvest the Tree Markers also apply the Area of Concern (AOC) guidelines to the values identified in the Forest Management Plan. This may involve marking a line through the forest to designate an area where no cutting is permitted adjacent to a lake or stream, for example. The markers also watch for values in the forest that have not been identified in the FMP such as hawk nests and heronries. The appropriate AOC guidelines are applied to these newly identified values as well.
When the tree marking operation has been completed and approved the area is ready for harvest.