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Woodlot Thinning to Achieve Landowner Goals_ Applying Crop Tree

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					Landowner Tree Selection for
    Forest Improvement

                             Peter J. Smallidge
                             Cornell University
                      State Extension Forester
     2” in 10 years
                      www.ForestConnect.info
      What I Hope You Learn Today
Overall: how to grow healthy trees that
make you feel good about your forest.

Specifically:
  – How your objectives relate
    to tree selection
  – Factors to consider when
    selecting trees to cut and
    leave
  – Strategies to remove
    unwanted trees
            Why Grow Healthy Trees
Accomplish goals sooner
 and with greater control

•   Timber production

•   Wildlife habitat

•   Wildlife foods

•   Aesthetics

•   Water quality
            What makes for healthy trees?

The outputs related to health require adequate tree growth.
Sunlight typically limits tree growth. Cutting releases
desired (uncut) trees from competition for sunlight.
One example of good growth following
thinning
Sugar maple: 2” radial increment, 4” diameter, 10 years




                                                          Crown closure in a
                                                          spruce plantation.
Does an action support your objective?
How to Pick Winners and Losers


 You’re making an investment of
 time, money, and sunlight. Pick
 your investments carefully.
    Pick Winners and Losers Based On….

•   Owner objectives
    for favored species
    (soils)
•   Healthy crowns
•   Crown class
•   Species mix for soil
•   Vigor and defect
•   Spacing
The tree crown is the production factory.
Don’t invest in a weak factory.
                            Favor for
                            Crop Trees




                            Avoid as
                            Crop Trees




From Nyland, 1996. p. 355
Know your soil type and the tree species that grow well on those soils.
Favor trees suited for the soil. You can’t squeeze blood from turnip.

http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/
http://www.gmushrooms.com/Greenwood/Guide.htm




 Sandy loam, good organic matter. Sugar   Sand, low organic matter, very well
 maple, red oak, beech, white pine.       drained. White pine, red pine.
                                                           Eutypella


                                   Weak
                                   Crotch




                      Fusarium          Nectria




   Maple borer




Reduce defective trees. They have slower growth, provide
inoculum, and are more likely to break during a storm.
Try to adjust spacing for equitable distance
among retained trees. Not always possible.
Safe operations depend on your skill level
and available equipment. Most people
aren’t as good as they think they are.
 A garden approach to forest
        management.


     Crop Tree Management
 http://na.fs.fed.us/stewardship

Thin around the crowns of the most
           desired trees.
FTG = Free to Grow = 0




                      1   2

                      4    3




What makes a good crop tree?
FTG = 4 = Optimum Growth




                1   2

                4   3
FTG = 3 = OK for Adjacent Crop Trees




                 1   2

                 4   3
High Intensity Crop Tree Release
Low Intensity Crop Tree Release
    What to Expect from Correct
     Thinning – general trends
Positive effects
•   Best growth response with
    – High site quality
    – Trees 50 to 85 years
    – Healthy residual trees
•   30 to 50% growth (cords, board feet, etc.) increase
•   Improved quality of stems
•   Reduced mortality
•   Improved live crown ratio (start with young trees)
•   Diameter response in 2 to 5 years, varies by species
•   Diameter doesn’t predict response potential (Leak)
•   Response depends on intensity of cut
    What to Expect from Correct
     Thinning – general trends
Cautions
•   Increase in epicormics by 30% (Marquis 1969),
    but little effect on butt log quality (Smith et al
    1994)
•   No effect on height growth
•   No effect on release of low canopy trees
                      Directional Felling
•   …”you decide the direction a
    tree falls.”
•   Game of Logging for Landowners
•   Don’t “chase the tree”
•   Directional Felling Advantages
     – Reduce hung trees
     – Safely and quickly release hung
       trees
     – Position log for extraction
     – Reduce risk of personal injury
     – Increased productivity
Should you girdle ?
Flame Weeding (research)
-Will kill trees
- Is USDA organic approved
- Some logistical advantages
- Economics are unknown
       Herbicide Treatments for
               Thinning
•   Cut-stump treatment
    [Misc. publications at www.ForestConnect.info ]

•   Basal bark treatment

•   Foliar treatment

•   http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/UH174.p
    df
    – google psu uh174, #2 on list
Leave the losers to avoid damage to residual trees
                   So, should you thin?
    •   You should thin if                 •   You should not thin
         – Closed canopy and                   if
           irregular crowns                     – Shallow roots and
         – Dead lower                             thin soils
           branches                             – You see daylight
         – No understory
         – Disease and defect
         – Slow radial growth


Contact a NYS DEC forester for a FREE visit to evaluate stocking (number of trees
per acre). Flag trees and have a DEC forester discuss your selection with you.
DEC foresters will mark an acre to illustrate correct tree selection, or, will assess
your marking with constructive ideas.
              For More Information
•   www.ForestConnect.info

•   NYS DEC, public service forester
    http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4972.html

•   Consulting or industrial forester
    http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5230.html

•   Master Forest Owner volunteer (CCE)
    www.CornellMFO.info

•   http://na.fs.fed.us/stewardship (crop tree management)

				
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posted:6/14/2012
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