iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of thinning and pruning on stem and crown characteristics of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don)

M Paulina Fernández (1-2)   , José Basauri (3), Carolina Madariaga (3), María Menéndez-Miguélez (1), Ricardo Olea (4), Ane Zubizarreta-Gerendiain (5-6)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 383-390 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2037-009
Published: Mar 16, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Simultaneous applications of thinning and pruning are common silvicultural practices in radiata pine (Pinus radiata) forest plantations. Their separate effects on tree growth and wood quality have been well studied, but their combined effect is not clear yet. The aim of this study is to identify how thinning and pruning together affect the stem structure and properties of the pruned but also the unpruned section of the trees (the portions formed immediately after the application of these management efforts). The effects of pruning and thinning on the number of growth units per year, internode length, number of branches, and branch diameters was analyzed in managed and unmanaged stands of radiata pine grown in Chile. When used jointly, these practices generated larger individual tree volumes (135% more) and clear wood in the pruned logs; however, they also reduced the sawn wood quality of the unpruned stem section for some years after the silvicultural interventions. The managed trees showed more growth units per annual shoot and shorter internodes, thus generating more knotty wood. Moreover, managed trees showed more taper. As trees of the managed stand restore the foliar biomass lost due to pruning, managed and unmanaged stands approach the same level of canopy closure, and differences minimize.


Annual Shoot, Silviculture Management, Branching, Knots, Tree Volume, Taper, Wood Quality

Authors’ address

M Paulina Fernández
María Menéndez-Miguélez
Department of Ecosystems and Environment, Faculty de Agronomy and Forest Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago (Chile)
M Paulina Fernández
UC Timber Innovation Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago (Chile)
José Basauri
Carolina Madariaga
Undergraduate School of Forest Engineering, Faculty de Agronomy and Forest Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago (Chile)
Ricardo Olea
Department of Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago (Chile)
Ane Zubizarreta-Gerendiain
University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Yliopistokatu 7, FI-80101 Joensuu (Finland)
Ane Zubizarreta-Gerendiain
Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), 48008, Bilbao (Spain)

Corresponding author

M Paulina Fernández


Fernández MP, Basauri J, Madariaga C, Menéndez-Miguélez M, Olea R, Zubizarreta-Gerendiain A (2017). Effects of thinning and pruning on stem and crown characteristics of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don). iForest 10: 383-390. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2037-009

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Mar 02, 2016
Accepted: Oct 20, 2016

First online: Mar 16, 2017
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2017
Publication Time: 4.90 months

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