Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Forestry (MF)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment



First Advisor

Dr. John M. Lhotka

Second Advisor

Dr. G. Andrew Stainback


Patch clearcutting can be put to effective use for landowners with relatively small stands of timber. This project was designed to determine how clearcut opening size and mid-rotation crop tree release affects the value and volume of sawtimber at the end of rotation. In 1960 patch clearcuts were established in three different diameters, 50ft (.05ac), 150ft (.41ac), and 250ft (1.13ac). Current stand data (2011) was collected to determine trees per acre, basal area, average tree diameter, volume, and value. These data were input into a growth simulator to determine future trees per acre, basal area, average tree diameter, volume, and value with a crop tree release treatment and a control to 2061. The 50ft openings yielded little merchantable volume at mid-rotation and were primarily composed by shade tolerant species. In the 150ft and 250ft openings, there was better species diversity and an increase in sawtimber volume and value. Using openings of 150ft or greater, landowners can regenerate commercially important species and manage their forests to produce valued timber and maintain aesthetics.