TSI Highlights -
Dave Moorhead, Professor-Silviculture
Warnell School of Forest Resources
University of Georgia

Timber stand improvement (TSI) treatments are used in developing stands to regulate stocking, growth and quality. One of the most common treatments is the removal or deadening of undesirable vines, shrubs, and other trees in the stand. Cutting, girdling, and frilling along with the application of herbicide can be effective TSI treatments.

Selected Timber Stand Improvement Techniques (From Randall B. Heiligmann)

Girdling and frilling are methods of killing standing trees that may be done with or without an herbicide. A groove or frill is cut completely around the stem through the bark to a depth of to 1- inches deep. This disrupts the sap flow from the crown of the tree to the roots. An ax, hatchet or chainsaw can be used for girdling while frills are made by axes or hatchets. Applying a herbicide to the frill or girdle can enhance control.

Tree injection involves introducing an herbicide into the undesirable tree through spaced cuts made around the trunk of the tree with an ax, hatchet, or tree injector. Unlike a continuous frill or girdle encircling the stem injection can be a faster less labor intense operation. Applications are commonly made using a hatchet and spray bottle to apply the herbicide mixture.

The lower or basal 12 to 18 inches of the trunk portion of small diameter stems can be treated with herbicides. The herbicide in an oil carrier penetrates the bark to kill the tree and basal buds that might sprout. The technique is effective on trees less than 4 to 6 inches in diameter. As bark becomes rougher and thicker, basal treatments become more expensive and less effective.

This is a common treatment that is used to prevent sprouting when a stem is cut. Treating the sapwood ring just inside of the bark immediately after cutting the stem is the most effective treatment. If the herbicide application is delayed after cutting the entire stump, including the bark and exposed roots, must be thoroughly sprayed with a herbicide in an oil carrier (a modified basal spray treatment).

Contact your Extension office for current herbicide use information and always read the entire label before using any herbicide and. The label contains complete instructions for use, along with other valuable information such as personal and environmental safety considerations and procedures. The labels also list information about the effectiveness of the herbicide in controlling different species of trees, shrubs, and vines.




Heiligmann, R.B. 1998. Controlling undesirable trees, shrubs, and vines in your woodland. School of Natural Resources - Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet F-45-97. Available at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0045.html

Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative plants of southern forests: A field guide for identification and control. USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62 Available at: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/srs/

Moorhead, D.J. 2003. Wide-space injection with Arsenal AC herbicide for control of undesirable hardwood stems. Warnell School of Forest Resources, Bugwood Network. Available at: http://www.bugwood.org/weeds/arsenal.html