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Lesson 5Lesson 5

Background

Where cutblock boundary placement is restricted to achieve management or engineering objectives, edge treatment may be an option. The requirement to retain riparian, gully and biological reserves has led to experimentation with edge treatment methods such as feathering, manual tree topping and pruning, and helicopter top pruning.

Insights into the design of edge treatments can be gained from examining the behaviour of old block edges with similar characteristics to the proposed edge. Feathering is most likely to be effective where old edges have experienced partial damage. Topping has been used to reduce the wind load on riparian and gully reserve trees.

Chuck Rowan of the BCMOF Vancouver Forest Region has tested a variety of manual and helicopter topping/top-pruning techniques on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Results after four years indicate that topping, pruning and feathering do reduce damage compared to controls. It is critical to complete treatments before the first winter winds in October.

In coastal BC, topping and pruning treatments are ‘specified operations’ and costs can be incorporated into the stumpage appraisal for a cutblock.

 
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