Thinning / harvesting

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Thinning / harvesting

Harvesting

Learning from experience can be very expensive when it comes to timber sales. Years of growth and value are accumulated in a single transaction. Many forest owners are apprehensive about selling timber, as they do not know the value of their timber and do not want to sell too cheaply, or have concerns that future productivity may be damaged as a result of over thinning. While these concerns are valid they can be avoided by careful planning.

Too much is at stake for you to sell your timber without an understanding of the quality and quantity of your timber and the markets. This guide aims to provide private forest owners with information on a few important facts, which along with adherence to good forest management practice, should help forest owners to receive a fair price for your timber and retain a plantation that is in good productive condition. Even if you hire a professional forester to manage the sale of your timber sale it is important that you have some prior understanding of what is involved.

When should I thin?

The following ready reckoner for Sitka spruce is based on estimated yield class (YC) at a top height (metres) at age 10 and approximates the timing of roading and thinning.

Top Height YC Age to plan Forest Road Age to construct  Forest Road  

Age of first thinning

 

Average yields (m3/ha) from thinnings
2.6 – 2.9 12 22 23 24 35
3.0 – 3.4 14 20 21 22 40
3.5 – 3.8 16 19 20 21 48
3.8 – 4.0 18 18 19 20 54
4.5 – 4.9 20 17 18 19 58
5.0 – 5.4 22 16 17 18 64
5.5 – 6.0 24 15 16 17 70
6.1 – 6.4 26 14 15 16 74
6.5 – 7.0 28 13 14 15 80
7.0 – 7.5 30 12 13 14 88

Source: Irish Farmers Journal 20th June 2015

IFA’s practical guide to selling timber

Timber selling guide cover

Felling Decision Tool

The Felling Decision Tool estimates timber revenues for main conifer species – it shows the impact of felling age on financial return.

Timber Transport

Find information regarding managing timber transportation and guidelines here.

Useful documents:

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