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B-SilvRD Broadleaf Silviculture Research and Development

This 5-year project on Broadleaf Silviculture began on 1 July 2010. The project, led by Dr Ian Short, Teagasc Forestry Development Department, is in collaboration with Dr Conor O’Reilly, UCD, and had the following objectives:

  • To provide a suite of silvicultural options and guidance for broadleaf plantation management regarding:
    - Establishment of mixtures
    - Thinning of pure and mixture crops
    - Rehabilitation of poorly performing broadleaf stands 
  • To provide a national network of well designed experimental and demonstration sites that can be used into the future to inform forest policy and the industry 
  • To build a critical mass of broadleaf silviculture expertise.

The project has four main streams of research:

  1. Establishment of optimum species mixtures
     - Spacing
     - Mixture configuration
     - Establishment of advance shelter
     - Response of mixtures to environmental factors 
  2. Remedial action for under-performing broadleaf stands
     - Pilot sites of various silvicultural options e.g. coppice with standards, underplanting, free-growth 
  3. Thinning of broadleaf/conifer mixtures
     - Timing of thinning
     - Method of thinning e.g. fell all nurse crop, fell alternate lines of nurse crop, selectively fell nurse crop
     - Products from thinnings
     - Thinning protocols 
  4. Thinning of pure broadleaf stands
     - Intensity of thinning
     - Products from thinnings
     - Thinning protocols 
  5. Dissemination

The majority of the experimental sites established by the project were designed to facilitate long-term research beyond the five years.

The project also has a strong focus on dissemination, including the establishment of demonstration sites and demonstration days to be held throughout the life of the project. More information can be obtained by contacting Dr Ian Short.