The most critical time in the life of any stand is just before and during the establishment of regeneration. This period often defines the future composition and productivity of the stand. To actively mitigate conditions to favor landowner objectives, techniques classified as site preparation are often applied prior to the establishment of seedlings. Foresters use site preparation to control competition on the site, prepare the site for planting by removing brush and litter, and prepare the planting beds for seedling establishment.
There are three classifications of site preparation: chemical, mechanical and burning. All three can be used effectively in any combination given the economic constraints of the landowner. Cost-share programs may also be available to help offset the costs of these early operations.