Timber management

  • Category: News
  • Author: Fabrice Feyton
  • Published: April 9, 2020
  • Views: 237

Timber production is still the major use of forestry alongside fuelwood production in developing countries. Many small business use timber as the major raw material in their line of production. With no doubt, timber is a basic raw material used to satisfy wants for a wide variety of services, housing, books, furniture, fence posts, packaging, sanitary papers, chemicals, and so on. These and hundreds of other consumer and producer products are derived from timber. Thus the quantity and quality of timber made available for use is important aspects for forest management.


The term timber is used to mean that part of forest’s vegetative inventory which is available for harvesting and conversion to wood products. The contrast being referred to Non-timber forest or Non-wood forests products like medicinal uses and others. Timber includes merchantable trees ( Which can be cut and processed immediately) and un-merchantable trees ( which are growing towards harvestable size); such timber comprises the firm’s timber inventory, an important determinant of timber growth, mortality and harvest

Timber production

Timber is grown by both public and private firms. Private sector being the primary producer of timber as many private forests are managed to maximize the quality and quantity of timber produced unlike public forests which tend to focus on short term production of fuelwood or long term nature conservation or soil protection.

Characteristics of timber production

The process of producing a timber crop begins with the establishment of a young stand of trees and ends when trees are cut and removed in the form of saw logs, veneer logs, pulp wood, or some other kind raw round-wood.

From this point forward to the ultimate consumer, the raw material may undergo changes in place, form, and ownership


  1. Forest regeneration or establishment
  2. Culture and protection of growing trees
  3. harvesting operations
  4. Conversion to wood products
  5. Marketing, including sale and transportation of wood products to other producing firms, such as builders, or to consumers.

Timber growth

The importance of timber growth in timber management is that ” Only timber that has grown can be harvested”. In the long run, the firm can change its timber output only by changing growth. Tree growth as a function forms an S-shape curve. The growth of tree in height, diameter, and volume follows the same pattern.

3 Stages of timber growth (S- shaped curve)

  1. After establishment, the tree enters a formative stage, when it grows slowly in height and diameter. It may have no measurable volume because volume may be counted only stem wood exceeding specified minimum merchantable diameters
  2. Next comes a strange rapid growth in height and diameter, when merchantable volume appears
  3. In a third and final stage, height growth may be negligible, but because diameter growth continues, there is a slow increase in volume, constrained by decay reaches a peak and decline; the trees dies.

The shape of the tree’s volume- growth curve is largely determined by four factors. These are the factors that the forest manager manipulates in order to influence timber yield. These factors are:

  • Site quality, which is a function of biotic, climatic, and soil conditions
  • Tree species: most species are adapted to particular environmental conditions; in less favorable environments, growth is slower. Further growth is influenced by the species tolerance to competition with other vegetation for moisture, nutrients, and light. Check out our species selection guide and use our tree index cards to choose species that fit with your location
  • Inputs of energy, water and nutrients; this is particularly manipulation through fertilization or mechanical working of the soil through different forest management operations
  • Degree of competition from other organisms: to the extent that tree, even if very tolerant, displays a large crown surface and draws freely from the soil for moisture and nutrients, its growth will be greater, although not necessarily in proportions to inputs. Competition in forest management has two point of view but it’s manipulation will define the quality of your timber. A good pairing of forest management operations like thinning and pruning, all within acceptable timelines will ensure the success of your timber yield.

I am student in Forestry and am happy to contribute to the available knowledge regarding this field. I am interested in use of data and technology to improve how forest sector is perceived and to improve investments in the sector....

Follow me:

Add or View comments

Leave a comment

Be the first to comment