Regeneration Harvests

Types of regeneration harvests:


Another common method of regeneration is known as clearcutting. Probably no other method has generated the bad public opinion that clearcutting has. This method, as the name implies, results in the complete removal of the forest, which is then replanted or regenerated naturally by seeds and sprouts.

Clearcutting is well-adapted to tree species that are intolerant of shade, due to the open conditions following the harvest. It is designed to mimic natural disasters like wildfire, insect defoliations, and windstorms. And of course it is a cheap method to apply since it does not involve individual tree marking, rather, only the boundaries of the cut need to be marked. Clearcutting also works well with large, mechanized operations since there is not a danger of damaging residual trees. Clearcutting also looks disastrous. Often clearcuts are not designed to fit into the landscape, logging slash is not dispersed, roads and skid trails are cut and not seeded, etc. Some of these problems can be overcome by careful operations, using visual screens and buffers, etc.

Clearcutting results in desirable regeneration most of the time, since so many desirable tree species in our hardwood forests are intolerant of shade, and grow rapidly in the open conditions of a clearcut. The pines, of course, are also intolerant of shade, and thrive in open conditions. Earlier we talked about forests that have been high-graded in the past. Sometimes forests may be so badly damaged that they must be clearcut in order to start over with a new stand. It is important to note that here in the humid east, clearcutting any forest results in a rapid proliferation of natural regeneration that quickly takes over the site. It is not deforestation, rather, it is simply replacing an older forest with a younger forest.

VT Forestry Department