Site preparation is often a required silvicultural treatment to regenerate the forest to desirable species such as pine, spruce, oak and yellow birch.
Mechanical site preparation can immediately reduce competition for a short period of time while moving slash (logging debris) and the duff layer (leaves, twigs, moss) to facilitate planting and/or to create a seedbed for natural regeneration. Seeds of species such as pine, hemlock and yellow birch germinate with root systems that cannot penetrate much litter on the forest floor.
Chemical Site preparation is often carried out instead of mechanical site preparation or in conjunction with mechanical site preparation. Soils in the forest are prone to competing vegetation quickly dominating the site so that natural germinants or planted stock simply are not able to secure the light, water, space, and nutrients they need to survive and grow.