Preparing to harvest

If your forest is over 20 years old, you should think about getting ready for harvest.

Planning your harvest

Being harvest ready means you can respond quickly when you decide you want to harvest. This involves:

  • deciding how to manage the harvest, such as selecting a harvest manager 
  • mapping the forest or woodlot
  • harvest planning and engineering
  • estimating the volume and grade of logs in the forest
  • obtaining consents and permits
  • resolving any access issues.

Complete a pre-harvest inventory

A pre-harvest inventory will assist you with making an informed decision on when your trees are ready to harvest. Inventory provides:

  • an estimate of total wood volume
  • the log types likely to be produced
  • the size of the trees and logs.

Get help from a professional

ed van duijn 2uTjeMfeVEU unsplash
Quick tip
It's recommended you hire a professional to complete your inventory assessment.
Learn more about It's recommended you hire a professional to complete your inventory assessment.

Managing pre-harvest and harvest activity

Once you have decided when you will harvest, you need to decide how the harvest will be managed and your level of involvement. Options include:

  • engaging a harvest manager
  • sell the standing timber (stumpage sale)
  • manage the harvest and log sale activities yourself.

Engage a harvest manager

This is the most common option for small forest owners who are likely to harvest only occasionally. It provides access to existing industry knowledge, as well as health and safety and environmental expertise. This method usually provides opportunity for the highest return but can result in more exposure to fluctuating log markets.

Harvest managers:

  • have access to experienced harvesting and cartage contractors
  • have access to domestic and export log markets
  • will plan and coordinate harvest and log sale activities.
Engage a harvest manager Sell the standing timber Manage the harvest yourself