Skip to main content

Step 3: Setting Up the Harvest

MFL and FCL Harvesting

Approximate time to complete step #3: Six to 12 months.

The third step of the harvesting process is setting up the harvest, which involves in part marking property boundaries, harvest area boundaries and individual trees to be cut or left on-site.

Marking property boundaries, harvest area boundaries and individual trees to be cut or left on-site helps to ensure that only those trees that are supposed to be cut are cut during the harvest. Marking is most often done by placing a mark of paint of a certain color on trees at breast height and at the base of the tree. Sometimes, trees will not be marked but designated for harvest by other methods.

The way in which the trees are marked or designated must take into account the information obtained when the harvest area was assessed, including the incorporation of best management practices (BMPs) for water quality and invasive species and the mitigation of impacts to threatened and endangered species as well as archaeological, historical and cultural resources.

The way in which the trees are marked or designated must be consistent with the landowner’s management plan and sound forestry practices. But because forest conditions can and do change over time, it is important that the person marking the trees assesses the current forest conditions and makes adjustments as necessary, consulting with the DNR forester along the way.

After the trees are marked, the landowner, working with their forestry professional, must sell the timber in order to ensure it is harvested. The forestry professional will estimate the value of the trees to be harvested. From there, the sale of the trees will be advertised for bids and a bidder will be selected. Bids can differ significantly because different bidders have different markets and needs for wood. In selecting the winning bid, the operator's skill and professionalism are as important as the dollar amount. Learn more!

Additional resources