Broadleaf Silviculture Project (RMIS 0139)
This Teagasc-funded project is led by Dr Ian Short and is developing previous broadleaf silviculture work by Teagasc. It continues to investigate the establishment and management of broadleaf crops, utilising sites established in the previous CoFoRD-funded B-SilvRD project as well as new trials.
To build upon the medium- to long-term trials established during the 6-year B-SilvRD project, to continue their management and monitoring, to establish a new remedial silviculture fully-replicated trial and fully-replicated shade-tunnel trial, and to disseminate the results (some 10-year results) to industry and stakeholders, increasing broadleaf silviculture knowledge of the Irish forest industry.
Rationale / Methodology
Broadleaf planting has increased over the last two decades yet broadleaf silviculture knowledge has been limited. Many of the planted stands have limited potential to produce high quality timber or have lacked timely management. The B-SilvRD project (2010 – 2016) established some broadleaf silviculture trials, designed for medium- to long-term use, to help fill some knowledge gaps. This project continues the management and monitoring of these trial sites and dissemination of results and broadleaf silviculture knowledge. Some additional new trials have also be established for medium- to long-term use.
With the advent of Chalara ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), pre-emptive management on ash plantations is prudent, facilitating a change of species and ensuring that a second crop is established in the eventuality that a stand of ash must be felled for sanitary reasons prior to full rotation age. This project has established a shade-tunnel experiment to investigate the impact of shade on the growth of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and birch (Betula pubescens) bareroot transplants.
A new fully replicated trial related to remedial silviculture of poorly performing pole-stage oak has also been established in Oak Park. The site, planted approx. 1982/3, had extensive damage caused by grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) which resulted in few trees with potential to produce high grade timber. The trial involves a stumping back / coppicing intervention, a process that the B-SilvRD project initiated in ash and sycamore on a pilot basis and which is showing very promising results. In Oak Park the intervention involved also included the retention of existing oak and hazel coppice stools.
In addition to the two new trials aforementioned, B-SilvRD sites being monitored include:
- 2 oak:birch nursing trials
- An oak:Scots pine shelter-in-advance establishment trial
- An oak:Scots pine thinning trial
- A network of broadleaf thinning demonstration sites
- A spacing trial incorporating a mixture of ash and sycamore
The project is also developing previous B-SilvRD work that investigated the management of poorly performing broadleaf crops using sites established during that project. These include:
- Systematic thinning with underplanting and/or coppice regrowth
For further information, contact Dr Ian Short.
- Spazzi, J., O’Connell, J., Sykes, J., Short, I. and Garvey, S. 2020. The Hardwood Focus Group: Exploring utilisation potential of Irish broadleaf forests. Forestry & Energy Review 10(1): 24-29.
- Spazzi, J., Garvey, S. and Short, I. 2019. Developing new hardwood markets for Irish timber. Irish Forestry 76 (1&2): 60-72.
- Pach, M. et al. 2018. Silviculture of mixed forests: A European overview of current practices and challenges. In: Bravo-Oviedo, A., Pretzsch, H. and del Río, M. (Eds.) Dynamics, Silviculture and Management of Mixed Forests. Managing Forest Ecosystems 31. Springer International Publishing, pp. 185-253.
- Short, I. and Hawe, J. 2018. Ash dieback in Ireland – A review of European management options and case studies in remedial silviculture. Irish Forestry 75 (1&2): 44-72.
- Short, I. and Hawe, J. (2018). Living with ash dieback - Silviculture systems for Irish ash. 8th Hardwoods Conference, Sopron, Hungary, 25–26 October, 2018.
- Coll, L. et al. (2018). Knowledge gaps about mixed forests: What do European forest managers want to know and what answers can science provide? Forest Ecology and Management 407: 106-115.
- Short, I. and Hawe, J. (2018). Living with ash dieback - Silviculture systems for Irish ash (Fraxinus excelsior). 8th Hardwoods Conference, Sopron, Hungary, 25–26 October, 2018.
- Short, I. (2018). Ash dieback - silvicultural options? Presentation to DAFM ash dieback review stakeholder meeting. 12 April 2018.
- Short, I. (2018). Productive Woodlands - a researcher's perspective (PDF). Presentation to Productive Woodlands Conference, Glenarm Estate, Co Antrim. 26 September 2018.
- YouTube video, 30 April 2018: Silvicultural education in Ireland: Challenges and opportunities. Native Woodlands conference, 30 April 2018.
- YouTube video, 6 May 2017: Growing quality broadleaves. TIMBER 2017, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois.
- Short, I. (2018). Broadleaf Forestry Research (1). Official opening of Teagasc Ashtown shared facilities.
- Short, I. (2018). Broadleaf Forestry Research (2). Official opening of Teagasc Ashtown shared facilities.