Thinning is one of the most powerful forest management tools available to landowners for achieving a wide range of goals and objectives. Thinning influences: Trees’ growth rates and potential economic value Which species of trees and other plants will be in the stand Trees’ resistance to insects and disease Quality of wildlife habitat Forage production The stand’s aesthetic appearance Another, very important effect is that thinning increases a forest’s ability to survive wildfire.Thinning is: Removing trees that, if left in the stand, could increase fire risk and could lessen stand vigor (for example, through overcrowding) Retaining and managing trees that will best meet your long-term goals and objectives Aggressive fire suppression over the last 100 years means many forests are much more dense than they were before European settlement. As a result, in Oregon today more than 70 percent of forests are at dangerously high risk of severe wildfire. It’s not a question of whether a fire will occur but when and how severe it will be.
Parker B, Bennett M. Thinning. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University; 2008 p. 4. Available from: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1573-e.pdf