Broadleaf thinning in Ireland – a review of European silvicultural best practice.

  • Jerry Hawe Sylviron Ltd., Forestry Consultancy and Research, Belfast Co. Antrim.
  • Ian Short Teagasc Forestry Development Department, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Co. Dublin.
Keywords: Silviculture, selective thinning, thinning intensity, thinning control.


A substantial first-rotation broadleaf plantation resource in Ireland is progressively entering a thinning phase. Silvicultural best practice in support of such a management intervention needs to be developed for this new woodland resource to achieve its maximum commercial potential. National research trials are key to the provision of information for the development of best practice. Determining the current state-of-the-art is a prerequisite to the design and implementation of appropriate research trials. This study reviews the literature concerning the fundamental principles of broadleaf thinning with particular regard to timing, intensity and impacts on crop tree growth response, focussing on a range of commonly planted broadleaf species in Ireland. The overall aim of this review is to gain a fuller understanding of the most effective thinning methodology to be employed to maximise the production of high quality hardwood timber. In doing so it is intended that the information presented may support ongoing and future research trials with regard to potential silvicultural treatments to apply, data types and analysis and the likely results of practical application to commercial forestry.
How to Cite
Hawe, J. and Short, I. (2014) “Broadleaf thinning in Ireland – a review of European silvicultural best practice.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).