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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles by Eero Poutiainen

Category: Research article

article id 7816, category Research article
Pentti Niemistö, Harri Kilpeläinen, Eero Poutiainen. (2018). Effect of first thinning type and age on growth, stem quality and financial performance of a Scots pine stand in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 2 article id 7816. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7816
Highlights: Early commercial first thinning at the top height of 11 m with tree selection targeting high quality of remaining stems was more profitable in a Scots pine stand than thinning from below at similar time or delayed thinning 10 years later; After early first thinning only one intermediate thinning was needed, but a late thinning at age of 60 years was feasible in connection with increased amount of high quality butt logs after artificial pruning; The optimal rotation period for a Scots pine stand using a lower interest rate of 1% was 80–85 years depending on the thinning pattern. With a higher rate of 4%, the optimal rotation took only 60 years.

The objective of the study was to ascertain the effects of tree selection (thinning from below, from above and according to stem quality) and timing of first commercial thinning (early and delayed) on the growth, yield and quality of trees in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand. A long-term field experiment (25 years) was measured in 5-year periods and the further development was simulated with growth and yield models to final cuttings using alternative rotation periods of 55–85 years. The measurements included also the exact location and type of technical defects detected on all trees in the experimental plots. The measured volume increment per unit area during the study period, 25 years after the early thinning stage was the lowest in the plots thinned from below, and the highest in the plots thinned from above or in the delayed thinning plots. However, the largest volume of saw logs during the whole rotation of 80 years was yielded after early first thinning according to the quality. The largest volume of very high-quality butt logs was produced by pruning connected with early thinning from above, and a smaller volume after early thinning according to stem quality but no after thinning from below or delayed first thinning. Without pruning an early quality thinning with one intermediate thinning was the most profitable thinning treatment in the Scots pine stand regardless the rotation length or the interest rate used. By interest rates of 1% and 2%, the optimal rotations were 80–85 years and 70 years respectively. A late thinning at the age of 60 year with long rotation was profitable only for the pruned pine stands with a low interest rate.

  • Niemistö, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Kampusranta 9 C, FI-60320 Seinäjoki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: pentti.niemisto@luke.fi (email)
  • Kilpeläinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production systems, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: harri.kilpelainen@luke.fi
  • Poutiainen, Oulu ORCID ID:E-mail: eero1.poutiainen@dnainternet.net

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