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Thinning of Pure Broadleaf Stands

Objective

  • To establish a minimum of 3 experimental sites that can be used to produce tending and thinning guidelines for broadleaf plantations
  • To investigate the products available from thinnings of pure broadleaf plantations

WP5a – State-of-the-Art

  • A comprehensive literature review will be conducted, making use of the internet and available abstracts databases.
  • All literature collected will be entered into a database (EndNote) and filed.
  • A review of unpublished work undertaken in Ireland will be carried out
  • NATFOREX database will be interrogated to source existing national trials to visit.

WP5b – Thinning Intensity

  • Source a minimum of 3 suitable sites
  • With regard to information gained from WP5a, establish plots (months 6 – 42)
    • Possible treatments may include removal of 1, 2 or 3 competitors per Potential Crop Tree
    • Endeavour to use recognised experimental designs and plots of sufficient size to facilitate long-term research in conjunction with demonstration
  • Measure and monitor plots to end of project
    • Survival; Stem diameter; Stem height; Stem form
  • Manage the trial sites to end of project

WP5c – Products from Thinnings

  • A comprehensive literature review will be conducted, making use of the internet and available abstracts databases.
  • All literature collected will be entered into a database (EndNote) and filed.
  • Visits to existing producers using small-dimension roundwood from thinnings, both nationally and internationally where feasible, will be conducted and reported upon.
  • Links with WP4c and WP5a.

WP5d – Thinning Protocols

This WP depends on the results of WP5a and WP5b. Thinning Protocols will only be produced if there is sufficient data and reliable results to form the new protocols

  • Draft Thinning Protocols will be derived by the Programme team and distributed for comment to industry
  • Final Thinning Protocols will be produced and disseminated.

Progress

The project is using a number of existing broadleaf thinning research trials and has also established another one. One site is an alder thinning trial and the other two are in ash. The new trial site is also in ash.

With the approval of the private owners of the sites used for National Demonstration days, two plots per site are monitored during the following years. These plots are:

  1. unthinned
  2. thinned

Currently there are a number of ash plots, sycamore, oak and Scots pine/oak mixture which are being monitored. A large experiment in oak/Scots pine mixture is being planned for late 2013. Other broadleaf sites are always required and if you have a site that is at tending stage (trees 8 – 10 m tall) that you think may be suitable as a research trial site and you would be willing for it to be used for such work, please contact Dr Ian Short.