Pine Thinning

What is pine thinning ?

Thinning a pine stand is a management and a harvesting method.  Some of the trees are cut out of the stand to give the other trees room for growth.

What are the benefits of thinning?

The main purpose of thinning is to remove volume of wood from a stand or tract of timber being managed. The main reason for doing this is so that the other trees can grow faster and bigger. When a forest grows, especially pines, they start off fast and then as they start to reach carrying capacity they slow down. Carrying capacity is how much the land itself can support and this changes for different areas. By taking out some of the trees, the trees left behind have a chance to keep growing and grow bigger. Bigger trees are more valuable which turns a bigger profit at the end of the rotation.

Another benefit to thinning is that it allows for the land owner to receive a payment before the rotation of the stand has been completed.  Money is a benefit but it is not the main objective. The main objective to create a healthier forest and a more valuable forest by removing the trees that are the least valuable.

As a forest reaches carrying capacity and starts the growth starts to slow down, trees start to die. We have all seen a pine stand with trees falling in piles. This is a waste of resources and a loss of profit.  A weak forest is an unhealthy forest. If a forest is stressed it can cause other problems and contaminations such as the southern pine beetle. The most effective way to prevent southern pine beetle is by thinning. At the end of a rotation of pine trees we want healthy large trees, not weak small trees that are beetle infested and dying.  With timber as an investment people need to thin to get the best return on their money.