Land & Forestry Services

Forest Stand Improvement

Timber stand improvement (TSI) and forest stand improvement (FSI) are both sets of practices aimed at improving the health, productivity, and biodiversity of forest stands. While both practices share some common goals and techniques, there are some key differences between the two.

The main difference between TSI and FSI is their primary objective. TSI is primarily focused on improving the growth and quality of trees for commercial timber production. This typically involves techniques such as thinning, pruning, fertilization, and selective harvesting aimed at promoting the growth of high-value tree species and improving the quality of the timber produced.

In contrast, FSI has a broader objective of enhancing the overall health, biodiversity, and ecological function of a forest stand. This may involve similar techniques as TSI, such as thinning and pruning, but with a greater emphasis on promoting the growth of a diverse mix of tree species, creating wildlife habitat, and enhancing the resilience of the forest ecosystem to disturbances.

Thinning is one of the most common FSI practices and involves selectively removing trees to reduce competition for resources such as light, water, and nutrients. This not only improves the health and growth of the remaining trees but also creates forest canopy openings. These openings enable more sunlight to reach the forest floor, resulting in a higher diversity of plant species in the understory layer, and creates a mosaic or patchy forest structure that provides a range of ecological niches and habitat conditions that support a wide variety of species, from insects to large mammals.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are a major concern in most woodland and grassland systems. Invasive species are non-native species that are introduced to an ecosystem and have negative impacts on the environment, economy, or human health. Invasive species can outcompete native species, reduce biodiversity, alter natural habitats, and cause ecological damage to prairies, forests, and aquatic systems. Controlling invasive species is crucial for maintaining the health and productivity of natural ecosystems. 

By reducing competition from invasive species, native plants and animals have a better chance of surviving and reproducing, which can lead to healthier and more resilient ecosystems.  It is crucial to implement effective management strategies to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species and to promote the removal of existing invasive populations. 

We work with landowners and stakeholders to conduct surveys that identify invasive species and their abundance on a property, develop a realistic action plan for control, and implement management practices to meet the goals of the property. Follow-up monitoring is a key component to successful invasive species control programs, as it allows us to identify areas that need additional attention before they are a larger issue.