Forest Management: What is it?

A forest management system is a process in which forests are tended, harvested and regenerated. The biological characteristics of the forest being managed help to determine the appropriate forest management system.

Tree species growing in Algonquin Provincial Park range from shade tolerant (maple, hemlock, beech, balsam fir), intermediate shade tolerance (white pine, yellow birch) to shade intolerant (poplar, white birch and jack pine). Shade tolerance influences how tree species have ecologically adapted to their environment and therefore also influences the choice of forest management system under which they are managed. Their tolerance of shade means that the new forest may be established in the shade of the mature forest. Species that are intolerant of shade need to be regenerated in full sunlight.

Forests may be managed in two ways:

• As even-aged forests where most trees in a stand are of generally the same age.
(eg. Shelterwood, Clearcut with Standards)
• As uneven-aged forests where trees of many ages are present within a stand.
(eg. Selection)