CCF shelterwood system
Schematic representation of a CCF/group shelterwood systemSchematic representation of a CCF/group shelterwood systemIntroduction
The Shelterwood System has been for centuries the main silvicultural system across continental Europe for the production of sawlog.
Under this system, and following decades of progressive re-spacing and thinning, the trees in the stand are brought towards a uniform target sawlog size. At this stage and usually over a period of 10-15 years, the stand is felled over a number of interventions while a new cohort of trees is regenerated in the partial “shelter” of the remaining trees.
The removal of the canopy trees can be carried out as follows:
- uniformly – “uniform shelterwood”
- by groups – “group shelterwood”
- by strips – “strip shelterwood”
The new trees in the resulting new forest can range in age somehow but eventually merge into a uniform structure and the cycle continues.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Prescriptive, fairly straightforward management
- Most sawlog production harvested towards the end of the rotation
- Tree cover maintained over time
- Can be expensive to manage / replace early regeneration and tending
- Susceptible to deer browsing in the early stages
- In general, offers limited forest biodiversity features due to its uniform nature
- Lag time in timber production following canopy removal