Management of Norway Spruce

In 1974 the former Institute of Silviculture and Forest Management established a thinning experiment for the from an economic perspective most important tree species in Germany: Norway Spruce (Picea abies). A 27 year old stand in the district office of Freising (Bavarian State Forest Service) was used to set up the demonstration plots. Varieties of at that time commonly used thinnings were tested with the two extreme variants - a plot without any treatments as a reference and a plot with a for that time extremely heavy selective thinning.

Due to the long term monitoring and the incorporation of extreme variants the experiment produces up to now most valuable data. A number of plots are now reaching target diameters so that the stand regeneration could be initiated. Currently, the experiment is analysed once again focussing on biological and economic features. Some questions are worked on as diploma theses, e.g. the relation of competition and profitability of single trees is investigated.

Furthermore, the experiment and the existing data are also used by other disciplines for further research. The Institute of Wood Science (Holzforschung München) assesses the quality of the sawntimber from the different experimental plots. The Chair for the Ecophysiology of Plants (Lehrstuhl für Ökophysiologie der Pflanzen) carries out a study on the water efficiency of the growth of trees of different social position. Both use the timber of the thinning operation from winter 2007/08.