Understory response was studied for 4 years following thinning in 44 cove hardwood stands in the mountains of western North Carolina and northern Georgia. Stands were in the pole and small-sawtimber stages, raning in age from 20 to 56 years. Understory vegetation increased from 334 kg/ha before thinning to 574 kg/ha the 1st year after thinning. Peak production of 777 kg/ha was reached in the 3rd year and began to decline slightly by the 4th year. Implications for deer, grouse and songbird management are discussed.