Brad withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension agent for Benton, Linn and Polk Counties
As you know I am an outspoken advocate of thinning woodland stands, suggesting that for many (not all) family landowners “thin early, thin often” is the path to the future forest they envision. Amy and I have posted numerous articles illustrating the many reasons for and benefits that thinning provides to family forest landowners. This single practice applied with purpose, at the appropriate times, can shape a young forest into a uniform timber stand…. or a complex and chaotic habitat for wildlife. The choice is really up to you.
OSU Extension released a new publication this summer to help landowners better understand, visualize and apply thinning decisions to their properties. Competition and Density in Woodland Stands EM 906 [link] describes in some detail the effects that different levels of competition has on a developing stand of trees, introduces Relative Density as a way to determine the level of competition, and presents a unique new style of stand density table as a way to apply this information in the field. The publication provides examples of how the tables can be used in determining if, when and how many trees to remove in a thinning, according to the objectives of the landowner. It includes printable stand density tables for six different Oregon tree species.
Make this publication part of this winter’s reading list.