Evaluation of precommerical thinning of lodgepole pine from long-term research installations in Alberta: Fo148-1/16E-PDF

"As the forestry landbase shrinks and demand for wood increases, improving productivity of commercial forest stands becomes more important. Because of its commercial value and common occurrence, lodgepole pine is a candidate for productivity improvement. Regenerating lodgepole pine forests are often characterized by very high density and slow growth, limiting their value. Therefore, a variety of precommercial thinning treatments have been tried at long-term installations, which provide valuable data to evaluate projections from existing growth and yield models. In this report, we evaluate the stand growth and yield from different thinning treatments in long-term silviculture installations in the Upper Foothills (Gregg Burn and Teepee Pole Creek) and Lower Foothills (MacKay) subregions of Alberta. The MacKay installation was established in 1954 with the objective of determining whether precommercial thinning of lodgepole pine could improve merchantable volume and quality at a young age, and in turn shorten rotation and increase annual allowable cuts. The Gregg Burn and Teepee Pole Creek installations were established in the 1960s to assess the response of tree and stand growth to different juvenile spacing treatments, with densities ranging from 500 to 8 000 stems per hectare. Tree growth and survival in these installations are measured periodically to evaluate the effect of different intensities of thinning on the growth and yield of the lodgepole pine crop trees. To provide a decadal update to previous measurements and evaluation, published in 2006, we examined total and merchantable volumes in these installations using the most recent data (2011–2014). Our analysis found that thinning is unlikely to increase yields; however, if thinning is carried out for other reasons, judicious choice of a thinning regime can avoid a yield loss. Thinning to 2 000–3 000 stems per hectare appears to be optimal, maximizing the positive effect on tree growth without major losses in volume"--Abstract, p. iii.

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Department/Agency Natural Resources Canada.
Title Evaluation of precommerical thinning of lodgepole pine from long-term research installations in Alberta
Series Title Information report,
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Format Electronic
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Date 2017.
Number of Pages viii, 62 p. :
ISBN 978-0-660-08065-9
Catalogue Number
  • Fo148-1/16E-PDF
Subject Terms Forest management, Research