Publication Details

Thinning strategies to increase the regional availability of oak timber in the Mid-Appalachian Region

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Brooks, John R.; Wang, Jingxin; LeDoux, Chris

Year Published

2011

Publication

In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 2-9.

Abstract

Plot data from 6,727 fully stocked oak-hickory stands were selected from Forest Inventory and Analysis data from five ecoregions common to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Each plot was thinned from below using an existing thinning algorithm, where 30, 50, and 70 percent of the existing basal area was removed. These thinning strategies were selected to capture most thinning intensities applied in this region. Utilizing three (low, average, and high) delivered pulpwood and sawtimber values and estimated harvesting and transportation costs from the ECOST simulator, we determined net thinning value for two cut-to-length (CTL) systems and two feller buncher systems. Net thinning value increased with increasing thinning intensity, higher pricing levels, and use of feller-bunchers. Under the low pricing scenario, neither CTL system was profitable based on average net value per acre. The feller buncher systems possessed, on average, a slightly positive net value with little difference exhibited by thinning intensity. An attempt was made to isolate those stand variables that would correctly identify profitable thinning scenarios. The main problem with quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and the other stand variables explored, is that negative thinning values are found across the range of the stand variable examined. Under higher price regimes and heavier thinning intensities, however, value tends to increase directly with the stand QMD.

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Citation

Brooks, John R.; Wang, Jingxin; LeDoux, Chris. 2011. Thinning strategies to increase the regional availability of oak timber in the Mid-Appalachian Region. In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 2-9.

Last updated on: June 14, 2011