Tending and thinning operations are essential to produce quality timber in broadleaf forests. Thinning and tending provide growing space for the final crop trees to mature.
Tending readies your plantation for future management options by removing a number of less favoured trees such as malformed, large, diseased, snapped, competitors etc which allows access to manage your plantation.
Thinning is the removal of a number of trees to reduce competition and provide increased room for the final crop trees to mature.
The Woodland Improvement Grant scheme provides financial support (€750/ha) towards the cost of woodland improvement works associated with tending and thinning of forests planted since 1980. The aim of the scheme is to stimulate investment in the improvement, protection and development of broadleaved woodlands and forests for a range of functions, including: healthy tree growth, landscape improvement, biodiversity enhancement, soil protection and water protection. These aims will be achieved through improvement felling of malformed and over mature trees; felling of additional trees to release potential crop trees (PCT); pruning to improve stem quality; thinning or re-spacing to promote growth and management and re-spacing of natural regeneration. Tending and thinning also benefits biodiversity by increasing light and contributing to shrub and ground flora abundance.
Your forest should be inspected annually to ensure the crop is growing satisfactorily. A site inspection is necessary to inspect for:
- Trespass (deer, cattle, sheep, hares)
- Tree Vigour – healthy colour, diameter, strong tall leaders
- Drains clear – Waterlogging
- Boundary Fences
- Inspection Paths
- Forest Access Planning
- Inventory (volume and potential yield)
Please contact your local co-op forester if you would like your forest inspected (to include a professional site report and up to date species map). Forest management planning is very important to maximise the return on your forest investment.