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Branch Diameter of Western Hemlock: Effects of Precommercial Thinning and Implications for Log Grades

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Branch diameter was measured in 29- and 38-yr-old western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) that had been precommercially thinned to spacings of 4.0 to 21.8 ft at about the time of initial crown closure (age 11 and 12 yr). Branch diameter increased with spacing, but did not exceed 2 in. even at the widest spacings. At the 40- to 60-yr rotations now planned by most industrial and private forest owners, western hemlock can be thinned to any of the spacings evaluated in this study without concern that increased knot size will lower log grades according to current standards. At these rotation lengths, it is probably more valuable to manipulate tree spacing so as to optimize tree size and stand volume production, rather than to minimize knot size. West. J. Appl. For. 9(3):88-90.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Products, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: July 1, 1994

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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