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Crowns after thinning

This is a shot I took of the crowns after the hardwood thinning was finished.  It is hard to take just one photograph from this perspective, as the trees are not evenly spaced like in a plantation.  It was my best effort to illustrate what a hardwood thinning should look like. If you compare the earlier pic to this one, you can get a somewhat good idea of the difference. The goal is to allow the crowns to have some growing room - but not excessive openings so the lower stems on the trees are affected by additional sunlight.  Epicormic branching can occur if the residual density isn't high enough.  If it isn't low enough, there will not be enough light for seedling establishment. It is a fine balance, which is made more difficult by mulitple values and species that have different growth characteristics.