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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. There are two installation packages below.  The first is for any user.  The second is aimed at users working with US Forest Service data collection protocols, Common Stand Exam, and the FSVeg database.  It includes guides for setting up Common Stand Exam to collect SILVAH-compatible data and software to extract a SILVAH data file from the FSVeg database.  A guide to data entry short-cuts for users who enter data directly into SILVAH is also available and quick reference guides for data collection are available below.  The User's Guide to SILVAH may provide helpful background.

More Information

SILVAH, version 6.2 - July 9, 2015 (may require user to obtain administrative privileges to install) exe (self extracting zip file) 3 mb
SILVAH, version 6.2 for National Forest System users -July 9, 2015 (may require user to select "run elevated" to install) exe (self extracting zip file) 19 mb
User's Guide to SILVAH pdf 1.9 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

Tally Sheets



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

Last Modified: 01/28/2016

2016 Training

Registration is not yet open for 2016 SILVAH Training sessions


Brookville, PA
Week of June 20th


Allegheny Hardwood SILVAH -
Kane, PA
Week of August 15th


SILVAH: Oak Training Session
Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest

Week of August 29th

Additional Resources

SILVAH Quick Reference Guides for