Current issue: 55(4)
Under compilation: 55(5)
This study’s aim was to identify how the application season and the method of early cleaning (EC), the first stage of multistage pre-commercial thinning (PCT), affected the time consumption in EC and in the subsequent second PCT operation. The worktime in EC was recorded in the spring, summer, and autumn in 22 sites, which were either totally cleaned or point cleaned. Later, these sites were measured at the time of the second PCT. Time consumption was estimated in PCT, based on the removal of the sites. The time consumption in EC was 5.3 productive work hours (pwh) ha–1, 7.3 pwh ha–1, and 6.2 pwh ha–1 respectively in the spring, summer, and autumn. EC in the spring instead of the summer saved 27–30% of working time, depending on the cleaning method. Point cleaning was 0.8 pwh ha–1 quicker than total cleaning, but the difference was statistically insignificant. The second stage, PCT, was 1 pwh ha–1 slower to conduct in sites which had been early cleaned in the spring instead of the summer. However, at the entire management program level, EC applied in the spring or autumn instead of the summer saved 11% or 5% respectively of the total discounted costs (3% interest rate) of multistage pre-commercial thinning. Today, the commonest time to conduct EC is in the summer, which was the most expensive of the analyzed management alternatives here. We can expect savings in juvenile stand management in forestry throughout boreal conifer forests by rethinking the seasonal workforce allocation.
In Nordic forests, consistent evidence about better seedling survival rate and increased growth due to site preparation have been obtained in numerous studies. Proper site preparation method can reduce costs of the whole regeneration chain through its effects on survival of planted seedlings, abundance of natural regeneration and competition in early stand development. This study compared the natural regeneration of birches (silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) and downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.)), amount of exposed mineral soil, and growth of planted seedlings between spot mounding and inverting site preparation methods. Present study was conducted in eight forest stands established in 2012 or 2015. Even though difference was not statistically significant, inverting exposed less mineral soil than spot mounding and thus reduced the natural regeneration of birch seedlings by 6135 seedlings ha–1 compared to spot mounding. However, the variation between regeneration areas was remarkable. There was no difference in seedling mortality or growth between the site preparation methods. In order to achieve high growth of conifers, moderate amount of exposed mineral soil and thus less naturally regenerated birch, inverting should be favored over spot mounding.