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O’NEILL PINE COMPANY

O’NEILL PINE COMPANY

INCREASING FOREST HEALTH THROUGH YOUNG-STAND THINNING AND STAND RELEASE

O’Neill Pine Company is one of four landowners participating in NNRG’s project, Increasing Forest Health Through Thinning and Seedling Release. O’Neill Pine Company (OPC) hosted two research projects on their land. Learn more about and follow along with the results of these projects below. 

OPC owns approximately 2,230 acres of forestland in Lewis and Thurston Counties that host a wide array of stand types. The stands include young and mid-aged conifer plantations, mature conifer-dominated stands, and mature mixed conifer/hardwood stands. Their forests face two primary management challenges: 

OPC’s 15-year-old Douglas-fir stands are overstocked and in the competitive exclusion phase.
Newly established conifer plantations are becoming overgrown with competing vegetation.

The two projects hosted by OPC addressed these management challenges. The overstocked 15-year-old Douglas-fir plantations was pre-commercially thinned using two different treatments, and the non-native vegetation overtaking the new conifer plantations was removed using two types of treatment. 

YOUNG DOUGLAS-FIR STAND PCT

Project
Status

Completed January 2020

Location

Coulson Road
Chehalis, WA

Project Description

This project treated a dense stand dominated by 15 year old Douglas-fir with the following three prescriptions:

  1. Pre-commercially thin to 200 TPA (15’x15’ spacing)
  2. No treatment – 2 acres
  3. Pre-commercially thin to 300 TPA (12’x12’ spacing)
 

Stand Description

Prior to treatment, stocking across this stand ranged from 340 – 720 TPA, averaging about 540 TPA.
Tree diameters at base height (DBH) ranged from 4”-8”, averaging 5”-6”. 
Live crowns across most of the dominant and co-dominant trees exceeded 40%, but are quickly diminishing. 
There was a high rate of storm damage across the unit resulting in forked or broken tops across approximately 15% of the trees. Storm damaged trees that were not expected to yield merchantable timber were removed.

Treatment Goals

The objective of each PCT treatment was to retain the most dominant and highest-quality trees. The two thinning treatments will allow long-term comparisons of the relationship between stocking density, diameter and height growth, and timber quality. 

Pre-Treatment Plot Data

View the pre-treatment stand plotcard data for this project here: PDF | Excel worksheet

Post-Treatment Plot Data

View the post-treatment stand plotcard data for this project here: PDF | Excel worksheet

Labor/Cost Statistics

        Assumption for carbon emissions: 19.64 lbs CO2/gallon. Source

Project Photos

NEW DOUGLAS-FIR PLANTATION STAND RELEASE FROM COMPETING SCOTCH BROOM

Project
Status

Completed January 2020

Location

Monroe Road
Napavine, WA

Stand Description

This project treated a newly established plantation of Douglas-fir that had become overgrown with Scotch broom. This unit was clearcut in 2017 and replanted the following winter exclusively with Douglas-fir at an 8×8 density (680 TPA). The following two treatments were used for this project:

  1. Hand cut and lop-and-scatter, then spray cut stumps of broom.
  2. Hand cut and pile, then spray cut stumps of broom.

Treatment Goals

The objective of each treatment was to reduce competition of Scotch broom until Douglas-fir reaches a free-to-grow height across the unit. The two differing methods allowed observations of regeneration response of broom to having cut material scattered across the site vs. piled, as well as cost comparisons of labor.

Study Design

The Monroe project included two 1.0-acre treatment sites. Within each treatment site four 1/20th-acre (0.05 acres) permanent monitoring plots/acre were installed prior to implementation of prescribed treatment. Each plot was permanently monumented with a rebar stake and 4’ white PVC pipe with bright orange ribbon tied to the top. The following macro-data was recorded for every plot: GPS plot location, Average stand age, Soil type, Site index & class, Elevation, Rainfall, Aspect, Slope. Pre-activity data was collected from the treatment sites, the respective treatments were implemented, and post-activity data was collected immediately following treatment. Plots were remeasured at 12 months and 24 months following treatment.

Plot design and data collection for each treatment was as follows:

  1. TPA
  2. Species
  3. Height
  4. Defect (e.g. browse Y/N)
  5. Qualitative evaluation of vigor (e.g. yellowing, etc.)
  6. Shrubs: species, % cover, avg. height of entire shrub layer. 
  7. Photo points from plot center: E, W, N, S

Pre-Treatment Stand Data

View the pre-treatment plotcard data for this project here: PDF | Excel worksheet

Post-Treatment Stand Data

View the post-treatment plotcard data for this project here: coming soon!

Labor/Cost Statistics

        Assumption for carbon emissions: 19.64 lbs CO2/gallon. Source

Project Photos

Initial Site Visit (pre-treatment)

During treatment

Post-treatment