Crop tree release options for young hardwood stands in North CarolinaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Harvesting southern hardwood forests using even-aged reproduction methods commonly regenerate new stands with 20,000 to 50,000 stems per acre. Overstocking and an overabundance of non-commercial tree species are considered major constraints to growing productive and valuable hardwoods. Crop tree release practices have been promoted as an efficient way of thinning young, overstocked stands since only select individuals are released. Efficiency is gained by releasing only those trees to be carried through to the end of the rotation, leaving areas with no desirable crop trees untreated.