Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Need For Thinning

One of my landowners planted these white pines in 1989. He used a planting machine, did a fine job, and had good survival. The spacing is 10' x 10', for 436 trees per acre. He sold the ground and this photo was taken in 2015, when the new owner was harvesting trees and sawing lumber. Note that the crowns are crowded and the live crowns are quite short because of overcrowding. 

I looked it up on Google Earth the other day, and it was flown last October. Only part of the project was cleared, and a home now sits where the portable sawmill was located. The new owner has not thinned the trees, and you can see that they are hanging on. White pine is fairly tolerant of overcrowding, and if you plant a stand of pure white pine you must thin to maintain a good growth rate. 

I planted a shelter belt of white pine around 1990 alongside one of our hardwood plantings, and planned on being lazy. I mixed red pine in the rows, because red pine gets pine wilt disease at our latitude, and they passed out of the picture after 15 years. If you have a tree planting project that is older than 15 years, contact your forester, get out there with a chainsaw, and do your thinning. 

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