The next step in handling a timber sale is to determine what exactly you are going to sell. The choice of trees to be harvested should be made with a professional forester's guidance to ensure the harvest will meet your objectives and maintain the forest area in a strong, healthy, and productive condition. The type and amount of harvesting needed will depend entirely on your objectives and the woodland's type and condition.

The trees to be cut are usually chosen by operator selection, or if necessary, trees can be marked about chest high. 

After deciding which trees to cut, the forester will evaluate the volume to be harvested, which is generally called the "merchantable volume." This volume is described in board feet (one board foot is equal to a 1-inch thick using a 12-by-12-inch board) and is calculated using the tree's diameter at breast height (dbh) and the harvestable height of each tree.