White Pine Thinning 2008

Located in Floyd County, Virginia, and within sight of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this 5+/- acre planted white pine stand was thinned in early summer of 2008.  Thinning white pine like this always carries the risk of losing some of remaining trees to wind and ice, especially in the first several years after treatment.  However, in lieu of thinning some trees are lost every year for the same reasons regardless- as well as through natural thinning of suppressed trees.  The taller and skinnier the remaining trees, the more susceptible they are to blowdown or ice damage after the harvest.

On this particular tract, the poorest quality trees (many of which showed signs of previous ice damage) were removed, along with most of the smaller pulpwood trees.  The result is a stand of healthy, good quality trees that will now exhibit much faster growth rates.  Additionally, the onset of new growth in the understory (which before was nearly barren due to a lack of sunlight penetration) will provide food and cover to many wildlife species.  The “after” pictures were taken immediately after the harvest, and therefore do not show any new growth.  Because this stand is located along the Parkway, it was very important to maintain aesthetics.  Some might say that this pine stand looks even better after the harvest than it did before…

Click on any of the images below to view larger photos and a slideshow.

  • Planted white pine stand marked-to-cut prior to harvest.
  • Planted white pine stand marked-to-cut prior to harvest.
  • Planted white pine stand marked-to-cut prior to harvest.
  • Only good-quality trees were retained as part of the thinning. These residual trees will benefit from and increase in resources (sunlight, water, nutrients) and will experience much higher growth rates now.
  • Planted white pine stand post-harvest.
  • Planted white pine stand post-harvest.