The Hellshire Hills are an extensive area of tropical dry forest over limestone, located on the south coast of Jamaica. Despite being a protected area, they are subject to encroachment and clearance by charcoal burners, leaving a relatively pristine core within more disturbed areas of forest. Future management requires a consideration of the forest's resilience to such disturbance, and this study reports on seedling dynamics before and after different intensities of disturbance. The study was conducted within twelve 225-m2 plots comprising four blocks and three treatments. The treatments were removal of all trees (≥ 2 cm dbh), removal of 50% of stems (> 5 cm) and an uncut control plot. Seedling dynamics were monitored before and 3, 8, 13 and 20 mo after the application of treatments. The study indicates that regeneration by seed was not severely affected by this small-scale disturbance. However, the density of some species was affected by the environmental conditions created by partial and clear cutting, and seasonal effects were more pronounced after disturbance. Biomass recovery by seedlings was negligible in comparison with coppice regrowth which clearly offers considerable resilience to disturbance in this dry forest where successful regeneration by seed is highly susceptible to rainfall seasonality. This will likely affect long-term species diversity if the present rate of clearance continues.