Thinning

One of the most important management operations that is repeated at intervals throughout the rotation.

Not always carried out as cost of first thinning operation often greater than the revenue from the timber produced.

Multiple benefits of a correctly thinned woodland:

  • Trees of poor growth and form gradually removed to allow more light and space for remaining trees – essential for light demanding species such as pines, larches, birches, oaks.
  • Improvement in volume increment as a result of more light available to the remaining trees.
  • Encourages adaptive growth of remaining trees which improves resistance to windthrow throughout the woodland, except in very exposed upland areas of Britain.
  • Increased warmth and light beneath the tree canopy encourages growth of understorey vegetation and provides better habitats for the majority of woodland fauna.
  • Thinning operations following the initial one typically generate an income for the owner, provided the growth (volume) of the trees and the market price for the standing timber is reasonable.
  • First thinnings also make later thinning interventions more efficient as a result of less variable timber and by creating more space to work.
  • We have teamed up with a local contractor that specialises in harvesting first thinnings that are processed into biomass chip – together we are able to efficiently thin younger woodlands (up to 25 years old) using mechanised harvesting.
  • A site visit to your woodland is always required to assess the standing timber to ensure the work is viable and consider any practical constraints such as access.
  • Please contact Emma on 07725 557332 or email emma@nativeforestry.co.uk if you wish to discuss the forestry services that we offer.