Forest Management

Photograph of foresters

Native hardwoods make up 97 percent of Illinois forests, with the remaining 3 percent in native and artificially established conifers. Illinois forest types range from dry to semi-dry oak-hickory, shortleaf pine, and oak-pine forests; moist, well-drained mixed hardwood forests of sugar maple, beech, yellow-poplar, basswood, cherry, walnut, and red oak; to bottomland hardwood forests of silver maple, ash, elm, cottonwood, sycamore; and swamps (oak-gum-cypress). In order to accommodate the full complement of wildlife habitat and plant species, a proportionate amount of forest types and successional stages are required. Simply put, young forests, middle-aged forests, and mature forests of the types adapted to specific niches in the landscape need to be represented accordingly to accommodate social and wildlife needs, landowner goals, and biodiversity. Our native forests are quite diverse, and as such, management and stewardship must be individually crafted to each type of forest and to each form of ownership.

Forest management is “the practical application of biological, physical, quantitative, managerial, economic, social, and policy principles to the regeneration, management, utilization, and conservation of forests to meet specified goals and objectives while maintaining the productivity of the forest.”
- The Dictionary of Forestry

Helpful Links

USDA Forest Service Links



U of I ACES U of I Extension