Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.
Continuing on the general theme of young stand management and especially the need for thinning, I’d like to look at strategies for thinning a young stand. Let’s start with some things to keep in mind about Young Stand Thinning or YST (also called precommercial thinning or PCT):
- The idea of young stand thinning (YST) is to avoid harmful overcrowding later by removing excess trees early on.
- The impact of thinning out a tree is very local. The overall stocking level (trees per acre) can be misleading. It is the spacing among immediate neighbors that counts.
- The greatest benefit of YST is increased growing space rather than selection among trees. Creating more growing space to benefit as many leave trees as possible is the primary goal. Culling is secondary.
- YST is key to achieving longer rotations and many non-timber objectives many family forest landowners desire.