Norway spruce production and static stability in IUFRO thinning experiments in the Czech Republic

Dušek D., Novák J., Kacálek D., Slodičák M. (2021): Norway spruce production and static stability in IUFRO thinning experiment. J. For. Sci., 67: 185–194.

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Despite recent issues, Norway spruce remains the most important commercial tree species which might be demanded henceforth for its broadly utilizable wood. Even before foresters faced both the bark beetle outbreaks and spruce decline, spruce monospecific stands were known to be prone also to other damage due to snow and wind. On this basis, measures that help prevent such failures were looked for, which resulted in the establishment of international IUFRO experimental series focused on impacts of different thinning regimes on stability and production of spruce stands. The thinning treatments differed in numbers of trees removed and retained on the site when dominant height of crop trees was reached or allowable cut in non-crop trees was accumulated. Also effects of different width of skid trails were tested. The study summarizes the results from the two IUFRO experiments in the Czech Republic. Effects of thinning regimes on spruce were found positive though thinning reduced the total volume production of wood while improving crop-tree stability which enhanced production safety. Different widths of skid trails had no effect on wood increment. Early thinning of spruce can be used to prevent their damage. No such measure, however, can alleviate the spruce decline.

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