Logging is the most common method used by large-scale logging companies to harvest wood. This felling system involves removing all trees from a designated area, usually a forest. Logging is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain wood, but it can also have negative environmental impacts, such as destroying wildlife habitats. The Shelterwood system is another felling technique that is used in some cases.
This method only takes trees of similar age and size, leaving mature trees to support growth from seed-bearing trees. It also incorporates a silvicultural system to control the species and growth of the forest. Protected wood cutting is another tree cutting method that involves removing trees from the harvest area in a series of two or more cuttings. This allows new seedlings to grow from the seeds of older trees, producing a uniformly aged forest.
This method is used for various reasons, such as improving the health of the forest, controlling the types of trees that grow on the site, attracting certain species of wildlife, providing a source of income for the landowner, and producing paper and other forest products. The most intensive harvesting method is selecting a single tree. This eliminates individual trees that are ready for harvest, of low value, or that compete with other trees. This method can improve the quality and character of the forest by eliminating at-risk trees and leaving those with the greatest potential.
Wildlife benefits from seed-bearing tree crops in the same way as it does from a felled crop, except that it also derives the benefits of seed-bearing trees themselves.