Early Successional Forest

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Young, early successional forest maintained on DNR lands


Why Is This Important?

Young, early successional forest is defined in DNR planning as aspen, jack pine, and birch cover types that are 30 years old or less. Early successional forests develop following disturbance (e.g., fire, timber harvesting, windstorms). Aspen, jack pine, and birch are “pioneer” species that readily establish after disturbance and are characteristic of early successional forests. These forests support many associated plant and animal species, and contribute to future timber production.


What Is DNR Doing?

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Young, early successional forest is defined as aspen, birch, and jack pine cover types 30 years old or less.   Image 1 of 1 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)

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The DNR’s efforts to maintain young, early successional forest through timber management contribute toward representation of all forest age classes across Minnesota. Ensuring that early successional forests are adequately represented in appropriate landscapes will help meet targets for important wildlife species (see Ruffed Grouse indicator).


Target: Target to be established at the landscape level.

The amount of young, early successional forest on DNR administered land is determined through implementation of the sustainable timber harvest level. The current sustainable timber harvest level was established as a result of the Sustainable Timber Harvest Analysis in 2018.