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First Thinning in a Mixed White Pine - Hardwood Forest
The improvement-cutting stage is eventually followed by thinning, which continues the process of removing trees that compete with selected crop trees.
The thinning taking place in the hardwood stand to the right of the road is a "crown thinning" or "high thinning." Its purpose is to give the best oak, birch, and white ash plenty of crown space by cutting the poorest of the competing overstory trees. Great care is taken to save some overtopped smaller trees as trainers to shade the crop tree stems and help "prune off" their lower limbs.
At the left center, the thinning has been completed - the logs dressed and neatly stacked.
In the center, thinning is in progress.
On the right, a forester is marking the trees to be removed with spots of red paint.