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Tools & Applications

SILVAH - Decision support for managers of Allegheny hardwood and mixed oak ecosystems

Scott Thomasma and Susan Stout

[image:] Allegheny Hardwood ForestSILVAH (short for Silviculture of Allegheny Hardwoods) is a computer tool for making silvicultural decisions in hardwood stands of the Allegheny Plateau and Allegheny Mountain region. It is an "expert system" in that it recommends appropriate treatments based upon user objectives and overstory, understory, and site data provided by the user. SILVAH also contains a forest stand growth simulator, provides the ability to test alternative cuts, enables development of a forest-wide inventory database, and facilitates other forest management planning functions.
SILVAH is the computerized implementation of a systematic approach to silviculture, in which current conditions are identified through a systematic inventory of overstory and understory.  These conditions are evaluated using an objective set of research-based standards and the constraints and objectives of the land-manager.  Then a prescription is recommended to move the stand closer to the manager’s objectives. The silviculture behind the SILVAH system in Allegheny, northern hardwood, and mixed-oak forests is described in two publications titled Prescribing silvicultural treatments in hardwood stands of the Alleghenies and Prescribing regeneration treatments for mixed-oak forests in the Mid-Atlantic region  

SILVAH, Version 6.2, is available for download from our web site! SILVAH is in the public domain and was developed on official US Government time. A guide to data entry short-cuts is also available and a quick reference guide for data collection are available below.  The User's guide to SILVAH may provide helpful background.

Silvah system requirements
Starting in January 2008, SILVAH installations were built on top of the Microsoft Windows Installer Service for software installation and updates.  This allows us to take advantage of newer technologies but results in incompatibilities with older versions of Microsoft Windows.  In order to install Silvah 6.2 (or newer), you need a computer running Microsoft Windows 2000 sp3 or newer, or Windows XP.  In addition, the Silvah 6.2 installation requires Version 3.0 or newer of the Microsoft Windows Installer Service, which ships with Windows XP.  If you need to update the Windows Installer Service, it is available as a free redistributable application from Microsoft.

More Information

SILVAH, version 6.2 - July 6, 2012 exe (self extracting zip file) 3.6 mb
SILVAH Allegheny Hardwoods Quick Reference Guide pdf 643 kb
SILVAH Oak Quick Reference Guide pdf 645 kb
SILVAH Overstory Data Entry shortcuts pdf 21 kb
Silvah 6 Users Guide pdf 2.1 mb

Tally Sheets



(Some documents on this page are in PDF format. You may obtain a free PDF reader from Adobe.)

Last Modified: 04/30/2013

2014 Training

Oak SILVAHBrookville, PA
June 16-20, 2014


Allegheny Hardwood SILVAH - Kane, PA
August 18-21


For more information please contact Barbara McGuinness

Additional Resources

SILVAH Quick Reference Guides for