Effects of thinning on growth of six tree species in north-temperate forests of Lithuania


This paper summarises the results from 35 years-observed thinning experiments on 256 permanent sample plots in 10–60 year-old stands of ash, aspen, birch, oak, pine and spruce in Lithuania. Thinning enhanced crown projection area increment of residual trees. The largest effect was observed in stands of aspen and birch (growth increase by 200%), followed by ash and oak (over 100%), and spruce and pine (about 80%). Thinning also promoted dbh increment, especially in younger stands, and the increase of dbh increment was positively correlated with the thinning intensity. The strongest reaction was exhibited by oak and aspen, while ash, birch and conifers reacted to a lower extent. Low and moderate intensities of thinning stimulated volume production in younger stands while the opposite was observed in older stands with increasing removals. Spruce stands exhibited relatively strongest increase of volume increment and pine, –the weakest, while the effect on deciduous species was intermediate. The results demonstrate that significant increase in volume increment is achievable with thinning of only young forest stands, e.g. 10–20 year-old pine, birch and ash, or 10–30 year-old oak, aspen and spruce.

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Correspondence to R. Vasiliauskas.

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Communicated by Hans Pretzsch

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Juodvalkis, A., Kairiukstis, L. & Vasiliauskas, R. Effects of thinning on growth of six tree species in north-temperate forests of Lithuania. Eur J Forest Res 124, 187–192 (2005).

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  • Betula pendula
  • Betula pubescens
  • Fraxinus excelsior
  • Growing space
  • Growth
  • Picea abies
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Populus tremula
  • Quercus robur
  • Thinning