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Silviculture is the science and practice of controlling the establishment, composition, structure and growth of forests and woodlands. Applied silviculture includes a wide array of vegetation management techniques and tools (e.g., thinning, harvesting, planting, prescribed burning) developed through generations of research, experimentation and field practice. Forest practitioners use these techniques to achieve a variety of landowner goals such as wildlife habitat, timber, water quality, natural community restoration and aesthetics. Ultimately the practice of silviculture maintains healthy forests to meet societal needs and is the foundation of sustainable forest management.

Wisconsin Silviculture Guide

The Wisconsin Silviculture Guide (WSG) is designed as a technical resource or toolbox for Wisconsin foresters and resource managers to assist with the development of forest management plans and stand-level silviculture prescriptions. The guide presents information on the predominant silvicultural systems and methods applicable to Wisconsin's forest cover types and is based on the best available research and field practice. The former Silviculture Handbook is being converted into the new Wisconsin Silviculture Guide, so both formats are provided during this transition period.

Training and Events

  • SilviCast [exit DNR] – A podcast about all things silviculture; created by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's Wisconsin Forestry Center and hosted by Wisconsin DNR silviculturists.
  • Wisconsin Forestry Center (WFC) [exit DNR] – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Wisconsin Forestry Center provides continuing education workshops and trainings related to silviculture.

Silviculture Trials and Research

The Wisconsin Silviculture Trials is a directory of silviculture case studies conducted by foresters to test novel and innovative silvicultural treatments. Silviculture trials are an effective way to document and share new approaches to silviculture. Foresters and resources managers are strongly encouraged to document the results of new treatments and methods in this directory so that others can benefit from this shared knowledge.

Wisconsin Stewardship Demonstration Forests

Learn more about this unique network of demonstration forests designed to provide students, landowners and professionals with an opportunity to view sustainable forest management firsthand.

Additional Silviculture Guides and Resources