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Thinning in Hardwood--Danish Guidelines for American Practices

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Thinning principles observed in hardwood stands by Danish foresters have been developed through centuries of experience. These principles furnish guidelines in the management of American species that are silvically similar. "Heavy" thinning is typical in hardwoods, but this adjective relates more to the frequency of the cut than to the amount of material removed. This situation reflects the acceptance of Wiedemann and C. M. Møller's conclusions that within certain wide limits the annual volume increment of intensively-managed even-aged stands is not closely related to growing stock volumes. The "critical" growing stock level in hardwoods is set at about 50 percent of the maximum that might exist with the species at a given age on the site. Thinnings or weedings in hardwoods are begun at an early age. They are made necessary by the abundance of reproduction obtained in the regeneration of even-aged stands and the need to keep the best elements of the new stand in favored positions. Variations in thinning practices occur among forest districts and among species. Four examples are presented to illustrate thinning intensities from light to heavy. Because of differences in silvical characteristics among beech, oak, maple, and ash, thinning practices with these species vary. These variations and their implications are mentioned.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Director of the Danish Forest Expt. Sta., Springforbi, Denmark

Publication date: 1964-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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