Hardwood thinning is essential to produce quality timber in broadleaf forests. Thinning provides growing space for the final crop trees to mature through 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 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 and water protection.
These aims will be achieved through the:
- 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.
- Thinning also benefits biodiversity by increasing light and contributing to shrub and ground flora abundance.