Precommercial thinning

John Brown John_Brown at
Fri Sep 19 10:47:45 EST 1997

Hey Mud,

	First of all, show a little respect for the work done by others.  If
there wasn't any research being done, we wouldn't know that
precommercial thinning is helpful in the first place. We also wouldn't
have stocking guides to plan for regular thinnings, spacing criteria,
or methods of suitable regeneration.  Pre-harvest planning can help
prevent the need to for precommercial thinning by choosing suitable
regeneration methods.  A shelterwood cut can promote advance
regeneration that can preclude the need to later precommercially thin. 
It's necessary to take into account the species desired/undesired. 
Alternatives to chainsaw will vary by species composition.  Take a
softwood/hardwood stand, where the hardwoods are undesirable. 
Herbiciding the stand when the hardwoods are translocating nutrients to
the roots can effectively remove the hardwood component.  Or, a hatchet
hypo, which injects herbicides into the bark can be somewhat easier to
use than a chainsaw.  However, controlling light conditions during the
regeneration phase would be easiest.  Knowledge is acquired through
research, not garnered from standing under the canopy and simply
applying whatever comes to mind.  It took Edison thousands of filaments
to get a light bulb that worked.  All but the last one worked.  I guess
you could say that all the others were "idiotic and wasteful of money".

John Brown
Grad student
University of Maine

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