Thinning is the process of removing individual trees from a forest to reduce the woodland density. Through removing poorer quality trees, growth is focused on the stronger remaining trees. This silvicultural operation improves timber quality, growth rates, and adds value both financially and environmentally to the stand. Thinning interventions can occur periodically throughout the life of the crop depending on management objectives, species, tree stability, and age.
Thinning contributes hugely to improving the forest environment. It improves the overall ecology of the forest, and has a substantial impact on the visual appeal, improving light and providing a view into the woodland. A thinned forest provides a far more rewarding experience to members of the public and visitors to the woodland, and demonstrates varied forest management practices.
Euroforest have been heavily involved in thinning operations since their inception and over this time have developed a great depth of knowledge and experience in hardwood and softwood thinning. To facilitate harvesting, Euroforest can assist with infrastructure works and can offer support in all aspects of forest road planning, maintenance, and construction, as well as various funding options for forests where production has not started. Euroforest can thin to varying intensities as well as target specific species removal, which is always agreed prior to works starting subject to the forest management objectives.
This ensures the correct level of trees are removed from the stand, which should ensure it remains stable and not prone to windthrow, while maximising the possible income for the forest owner.
Euroforest work with a number of specialist contractors across the country who can undertake a varied range of thinning activities from specialist hardwood, to commercial plantations, and thinning in high amenity areas. Euroforest recently acquired a specialist thinning business in South Scotland and are now able to offer a thinning service across the UK, operating a range of purpose built thinning machines.
All Blacklock Harvesting machines deployed in our thinning contracts have GPS and remote access capabilities. This allows us to demonstrate the areas of the coupe thinned to date, giving us the ability to generate a map showing the area thinned upon completion. These useful management tools create accurate production forecasts and allow us to generate detailed feedback reports for the client.
Regular checks are also undertaken through the duration of the thinning operation by Euroforest and contractors to ensure that the correct thinning intensity is being achieved. This is done through regular basal area sweeps which assess the tree volumes within a sample area. These plots are then mapped with GPS to ensure that the area being thinned has been correctly checked and assessed throughout the duration of the operation.