Silviculture

Silviculture is simply defined as the growing and cultivation of trees.

Although the actual process is anything but simple when you consider growing and cultivating species that lifespan can be far greater than that of a person. It requires commitment, planning and contribution from multiple generations to succeed.

Scott and Stewart Forestry has been a leader in Atlantic Canada in silviculture for the past 35 years promoting environmentally sensitive, productive forest practices. We hope our expertise and commitment to always improve makes us your choice for forest management today and for tomorrow.

See our available treatments below.

Site Preparation

Site preparation is typically used to prepare sites for reforestation following harvest. Site preparation is a crucial step in intensive forest management where replanting has been advised.

Site preparation can reduce the risk of insect damage (Seedling Debarking Weevil) to young seedlings and regeneration by creating safe locations for the tree to be planted.

Site preparation also reduces competition from unwanted vegetation, mixes mineral and organic soil layers, rearranges slash to increase the number of plantable locations and reduces hazards to tree planters.

The new lambs in the Field Shelter at Simply Ducky Farm

In shade tolerant hardwood stands another use is to establish microsites for seed tree harvests to regenerate.

One common species that responds well to this treatment is Yellow birch. A canopy of mature healthy trees are left on site creating shade, a site preparation machine then travels underneath the trees dragging chains that over turn small sections of soil creating spots for the seeds to fall and regenerate.

The result is a well stocked site of shade tolerant hardwood regeneration.

Depending on conditions found on the site and the application Scott and Stewart will utilize various pieces of site preparation equipment.

If you are considering this treatment or wish to know if your woodlot could benefit from site preparation, please contact us for further information.

Specialized Tree and Shrub Installation

We also install trees and shrubs for erosion control, artifact protection, and privacy. Working with farmers and researchers we have installed a number of Haskap plantations can offer expertise for your project.

If you have any inquiries to this nature please get in touch with us so we can help you with your project.

Tree Planting

We carry out various planting operations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. For landowners, farmers, government organizations, and industry.

Scott and Stewart had planted over 150 million seedlings since 1985 when our company first began planting trees in Nova Scotia and later in New Brunswick. Reforesting about 90,000 ha or 168,000 football fields!

Planting is used to fully stock a site with seedlings when natural regeneration to desired species or stocking of trees is insufficient. Planting is also used for afforestation (reclaiming forests) that have been lost over time to agricultural practices or urban development.

Most commonly planting is used for the intensive forest management model. This treatment uses various softwood species to mimic the regeneration process of the overstory  that was removed.

We also offer Acadian forest restoration plantations with numerous species being selected based on the surrounding ecology and owners’ requests, we have a wide variety of Acadian forest species available. This treatment is typically funded by the landowner.

The Spring planting season generally runs from late April to July and we also have a Fall Planting season that runs for about 6 weeks starting in early September.

Tree planting is an ideal seasonal job for university students and any others who enjoy working outdoors and the reward of earning money based on their individual efforts while also contributing to the team’s goals.

If you are interested in tree planting we hire between 80-100 planters each season and applications for the new season start to come in late February and are accepted all season. If you are interested, you apply online here.

Manual Weeding

The Sheepies belly up to the feed trough on a sunny day at Simply Ducky Farm

Early Competition Control used to release young crop trees from competing woody vegetation. The crop trees must be no more than 2 meters tall.

This treatment is done by an individual using a brush clearing saw.

It can be done in plantations or in natural stands depending on the aggressiveness of the competition. Most commonly it is done to release targeted softwood species. 

Manual weeding may have to be carried out more than once if vigorous re-sprouting occurs, the timing of this treatment is important to have it completed before the leaves fall from the trees.

Manual weeding may have to be carried out more than once if vigorous re-sprouting occurs, the timing of this treatment is important to have it completed before the leaves fall from the trees.

Please contact us if you have any questions. if you have any questions.

Pre Commercial Thinning (PCT)

Pre Commercial Thinning (PCT) – Softwoods

Pre commercial thinning is carried out in young softwood plantations or natural stands that average two to seven meters in height. Allows the selection of healthy preferred crop trees; Removes competition giving the crop trees room to grow; Like carrots in a garden thinning greatly increases the diameter growth of the remaining crop trees.

Pre Commercial Thinning (PCT)– Hardwoods

Pre commercial thinning in hardwoods is carried out when the desired trees have reached six to nine meters and after some self pruning of the lower hardwood limbs has occurred. High value species are selected to be left according to landowners requests.

PCT allows the selection of healthy preferred trees as crop trees; removes competition giving the crop trees room to grow; like carrots in a garden thinning greatly increases the diameter growth of the remaining crop trees.

Carried out by workers with saws all material that is cut is left on the ground to supplement the soils and support wildlife.

If you have a lot and are considering this treatment please contact us for more information.

Commercial Thinning

Commercial Thinning Softwood and Hardwood

Commercial thinning is an important step in intensive forest management. Commercial Thinning is a silviculture treatment that is done using harvesting machines.

This treatment is performed in even aged stands where the trees are all very close in age and size. Poorer quality trees or short-lived species such as balsam fir are removed leaving trees with better quality stems to grow and produce saw logs or veneer logs. Commercial Thinning mimics the natural disturbance regime where single trees would die off due to disease or age. The remaining trees have more access to resources and will grow at an increased rate.

Commercial thinning removes some merchantable volume from a stand and the landowner will be compensated for their products that are removed.

We offer ghost trailing services for commercial thinning using smaller machines and harvesting heads to maneuver between the remaining trees resulting in fewer extraction trails for wood products and more wind firm stands.

If you have a wood lot, you think will benefit from this treatment or are unsure if it fits your situation let us know and we would be happy to assist you with your questions.

Selection Management

This is a wood harvesting treatment is designed to support or create different age classes in a forest stand increasing biodiversity and promoting ecological forestry. This treatment can be carried out in a variety of stand types and requires knowledgeable operators and staff to complete.

Selection Management of an Uneven Aged Stand

Here is an example of this treatment in a stand of sugar maple and yellow birch.

In this picture you can see targeted trees for harvest are marked, in some stand types marking is not required. They are typically the lower quality in the stand in terms of straightness, rot, or they are the oldest and over mature trees. Special trees such as cavity trees and unique trees are left untouched as to promote biodiversity in the stand.

Everyone loves a good snack!

In the second picture a specialized machine TC822 with a fixed processing head is used to only harvest the selected trees and create narrow trails for the removal of the forest products. This machine can safely bring the largest hardwood to the ground with minimal damage to the surrounding regeneration or younger trees, something not traditionally possible. Once the tree is safely down this machine is also capable of processing wood products meaning fewer machines required to move across the ground reducing soil compaction. Finally with its small overall profile and zero tail swing this machine reduces the footprint needed to operate in.

Everyone loves a good snack!

In the third picture you can see the final product many straight large mature healthy trees remain creating shade and producing seeds, encouraging young saplings to continue to grow and sprout as offspring of the healthy trees creating an over all improvement in quality of the forest. Intermediate sized trees are left undamaged by felling to grow and continue the cycle for future generations their growth rate will be increased with the access to new available resources.

Finally the wood products are removed creating revenue for the woodlot owner and leaving harvest options in future. This treatment can be repeated as needed once the stand has had time to respond and the stand has regrown the volume removed. Making this a perpetual sustainable treatment for Nova Scotia’s Forests.

If you are considering this treatment for your woodlot, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Intensive Forest Management Harvests

Shelterwood Harvest

Shelterwood harvesting is an even-aged system used to establish and develop desirable natural regeneration. By removing a mature stand in two to three cuts over a period up to 20 years. This allows increased sunlight reaches the forest floor to stimulate seedling development. At the same time the overstory provides seed and shelter for seedlings that can grow under partial shade (red spruce is a common target species).

Increased sunlight and the protective overstory give existing or new regeneration a better chance to grow and develop. The shelter encourages water to remain in the organic layer, reducing the risk of drying for the young seedlings.

The stand is thinned using equipment, targeting poor quality species and trees for removal eliminating them as a seed source. This provides space for the remaining better-quality trees to increase crown and seed production and their growth rate.
This harvest produces wood products that the woodlot owner will be compensated for.

For information or to see if this treatment is right for you please contact us.

Overstory Removal

Overstory removal is an important treatment in regions of Nova Scotia. It is carried out in even aged mature or over mature softwood stands. Particularly in the eastern part of nova scotia we have many old farmers fields that have grown up in white spruce and balsam fir (Short lived species).

These trees are all similar age and size, once they reach maturity and over maturity they will begin to die and blow down. Fires and insects can then become a problem in some cases and woodlots become difficult to navigate. Selection management at this point is not an option as the trees remaining would not have the vigour required and would blow down.

Not all stands need to be harvested but If you are considering your woodlot as an economic resource, then the timely removal of these trees is key to ensure they remain sawable timber and have the greatest return as if they show rot at the base they will become pulp wood, or a bio product resulting in reduced returns for the landowner.

For over story removal the marketable trees are removed and sold the woodlot owner is compensated for their products. Regeneration is left undamaged with proper harvesting techniques. After a year we assess the treatment area for appropriate and adequate regeneration. If it is not found, we restock through planting the appropriate species for the ecosite.

Contact us for any questions