Production of quality hardwood timber
Two of the most important requirements for production of quality hardwood are the provision of shelter and the timely management of young plantations to produce sufficient stems for a final crop.
In the absence of shelter, high winds can lead to stem breakage, forking, a reduction in stem quality and reduced growth rates on broadleaved (hardwood) trees such as ash, sycamore, oak and beech.
Timely management of young broadleaf plantations will make the difference between a valuable crop and a plantation of firewood.
Shaping of broadleaves is an essential operation required for most broadleaved species. It involves the removal of defects such as forks and co-dominant shoots and assisting a single main shoot to achieve dominance. It is required a number of times for most species in order to achieve a long straight cylindrical stem. Late shaping will be much more costly and will not give the desired results.
Tending is the removal of a portion of the crop when the tree crowns have come into competition, and is dependent on the height growth and density of trees.
Dr Ian Short, Broadleaf Silviculture Researcher with Teagasc discusses important aspects when growing quality broadleaves. Filmed at TIMBER 2017, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois.