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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Effects of five tree-selection strategies when thinning spruce (Picea abies) stands: a case study in a field trail in southern Sweden

Liziniewicz, Mateusz; Eko, Per Magnus; Klang, Fredrik


The aim of this study was to show the effects of five tree-selection strategies when thinning on quality and growth properties of Norway spruce stands, and their potential for improving quality in the stands. The five strategies were thinning to retain high-quality (HQ) and low-quality (LQ) trees, thinning from above (A) and below (B) and thinning to obtain an even distribution of residual trees (S). The study was conducted in two planted stands close to rotation age, located in southern Sweden, which had been thinned twice since the establishment of the thinning experiment. In the two quality-based treatments trees were selected for harvest on the basis of the following growth and quality traits: tree class, vitality, dbh, height, straightness, branch diameter and quality defects. The quality traits were found to be largely independent of tree size, thus the selection strategies based solely on dbh (A and B) did not improve quality within the stands. Thinning targeting HQ traits promoted the retention and growth of HQ trees, and improved overall quality of the stands compared to the other treatments. HQ thinning increased the share of straight trees by 15%, on average. Significant proportions of stem crooks and quality defects detected before the first thinning were invisible 21 years after it. All thinned stands had higher proportions of naturally pruned trees than unthinned stands. The selection method had no influence on periodic annual increment after thinning.


Norway spruce; thinning method; quality traits; selection; thinning from above; thinning from below

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2016, volume: 31, number: 5, pages: 495-506

Authors' information

Liziniewicz, Mateusz
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Klang, Fredrik

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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