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Maintenance - thinning
Maintenance - Thinning
In some cases it may be necessary to thin your planting at some stage after establishment. Direct seeding uses a lot of seed to compensate for seasonal variation and ant predation. Sometimes, everything goes well and most of the seeds germinate, resulting in very thick vegetation growth. You can allow nature to take its course and thin the site by competition for moisture in a dry year, or you can actively thin the site. Natural regeneration often results in infrequent, dense stands of seedlings, which may take decades to naturally thin themselves out. This is particularly common in some species such as coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah), white cypress (Callitris glaucophylla) and river cooba (Acacia stenophylla).
Direct seeding sometimes results in dense vegetation that requires thinning.
There are numerous techniques available for thinning. The technique you choose will depend on the size of the planting, the density, the species and the cost. You should aim to allow a few metres of space between plants after thinning, leaving healthy vigorous plants. Techniques and tools include:
Stem-injection of herbicide,
Slashing - suitable for young seedlings only,
Dozing - beware of creating an erosion hazard.
RIRDC has produced a guideline for landholders wishing to manage native forest for timber and biodiversity, which contains some methods for thinning - Management Guidelines for Private Native Forests, by Clinnick, McCormack and Connell
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