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Tending Your Growing Stand
Tending refers to a group of activities including thinning, pruning and fertilization used to change the growth or condition of forest. Thinning in particular is a very important tool used in tending a piece of woods. By removing some trees you give the remaining trees more room to grow, which can help keep your trees vigorous and your woods healthy. Thinning is an important practice in shaping the future appearance and condition of your woods, so thinning directly influences the benefits you receive from your property. By thinning you can alter the composition (mix of species) and the structure of the stand – key parts of habitat. A thinning harvest may provide some income today, while allowing you to improve the type and quality of the timber in the stand and increasing its value for tomorrow.
This page provides links to publications on thinning and other tending activities that may be broadly applicable to a variety of species and conditions, as well as some guides for growing particular types of trees.
“I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect that the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe. It is a matter of what a man thinks about while chopping, or while deciding what to chop. A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land. Signatures of course differ, whether written with axe or pen, and this is as it should be.”
Aldo Leopold. Axe-in-Hand (1949) A Sand County Almanac
Publications and Other Resources
Thinning Systems for Western Oregon Douglas-fir (EC 1132)
Thinning, an Important Timber Management Tool (PNW 184)
Hazardous Fuels Reduction on Woodland Property: Thinning (EC 1573 E)
Hazardous Fuels Reduction on Woodland Property: Disposing of Woody Material (EC 1574 E)
Other Management Topics
Establishing and Managing Ponderosa Pine in the Willamette Valley (EM 8805)
Tree Growth, Forest Management & Implications for Wood Quality (PNW 576)