Effects of precommercial thinning on tree growth and lumber quality in a jack pine stand in New Brunswick, Canada

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Abstract:

A naturally regenerated jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) trial established in 1966 in New Brunswick was studied to determine how three precommercial thinning intensities (1.22 m × 1.22 m, 1.52 m × 1.52 m, and 2.13 m × 2.13 m) and a control (154 trees in total) affected tree growth and lumber quality. Mild (thinned to 1.22 m) and moderate (1.52 m) thinning had a modest impact on tree growth after 34 years (stand age 59). However, intensive thinning (2.13 m, or 2212 stems/ha) increased tree height by 13.1% compared with the control, whereas tree diameter and merchantable stem volume per tree increased by >20% and >75%, respectively. Yields of No. 2 and Better increased slightly with increasing thinning intensity, but lumber bending properties decreased with increasing thinning intensity. There was, respectively, >20% and >15% difference in lumber strength (modulus of rupture) and stiffness (modulus of elasticity) between the mild (1.22 m) and intensive (2.13 m) thinnings. Intensive precommercial thinning (2.13 m) is recommended for increased volume growth, but rotation age (>59 years) should not be reduced if lumber bending properties are of concern.

Un test de régénération naturelle de pin gris (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) établi en 1966 au Nouveau-Brunswick a été étudié pour déterminer comment trois intensités d'éclaircie précommerciale (1,22 m x 1,22 m; 1,52 m x 1,52 m; 2,13 m x 2,13 m) et un témoin (154 arbres au total) ont affecté la croissance des arbres et la qualité du bois. Les éclaircies faible (1,22 m) et modérée (1,52 m) ont eu un impact modeste sur la croissance des arbres après 34 ans (peuplement âgé de 59 ans). Cependant, la hauteur des arbres a augmenté de 13,1 % comparativement au témoin tandis que le diamètre et le volume marchand ont augmenté respectivement de plus de 20 et 75 % à la suite de l'éclaircie forte (2,13 m ou 2212 tiges/ha). Le rendement en bois d'œuvre de qualité no 2 et meilleure a augmenté légèrement avec l'augmentation de l'intensité de l'éclaircie mais les propriétés du bois en flexion se sont détériorées. Il y avait une différence respective de plus de 20 et 15 % dans résistance mécanique et l'élasticité du bois entre les éclaircies faible (1,22 m) et forte (2,13 m). L'éclaircie forte est recommandée pour augmenter la croissance en volume mais la période de révolution (59 ans) ne devrait pas être raccourcie si les propriétés du bois en flexion sont importantes.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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