THINNING 'QUALITY' TIPS
1. Continue to do at least one check plot per day (1/100th ha). This helps to tune your eye quickly to the correct density usually 20 to 27 trees per plot -- or approx. 25 trees -- (8-12 trees/plot @ 1/100 of an acre) and allows you to check carefully for other quality items such as; wounded crop trees, poor crop tree selection, uncut competition, low live green branches, etc.
2. Concentrate on directional felling, tilting your blade, pushing the tree butts, and felling the trees out into the cut area. Fell trees in groups (as many as are required) to get them to fall to the ground by themselves.
3. Keep your working face as straight and organized as possible with the cut area to one side and the uncut to the other. This clean edge makes cutting the uncut competition easy. Cut back and forth to your gas or to the side strip lines. Do not get off your face, leaving yourself no open areas to fall cut trees.
4. With the crop tree at your back, rotate in a half circle, cutting everything that you can reach, before you step between your body and blade, causing you to have to back up or turn around to cut them. Start looking for your next crop tree(s), (2-3 ahead), before you step forward.
5. Accept no crop tree damage (nicks), always cut the wounded tree and select another. If you find that you frequently are wounding crop trees, your spacing is probably too tight. Open up the spacing, by selecting your crop trees earlier.
6. Avoid poor crop tree selection by choosing crop trees as early as possible. This means at least 5 to 10 feet away where you can evaluate species, dominance, stem and other defects.
7. As you cut along your face regularly look to the side, at your last pass in order to correct any infraction while you are close to it. Cut every little missed tree (uncut competition) that you see because there will be some that you do not see.
8. Prevent high stumps by making a second cut, leaving the pieces of stump lying around. Continue to do at least one check plot per day. This helps to tune
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Last Updated 08/19/2002