Forest Practices Code, Province of B.C.

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This Forest Practices Code Guidebook is presented for information only

It is not cited in regulation. The Forest and Range Practices Act and its regulations took effect on Jan. 31, 2004. This replaced the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and regulations. For further information please see the Forest and Range Practices Act.

Spacing Guidebook

November 1995

Also see: Guidelines for Developing Stand Density Management Regimes


Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act
Operational Planning Regulation
Silviculture Practices Regulation

Table of Contents


Impacts of spacing


Operational Planning Regulation
Spacing: pre-free growing
Spacing: post-free growing areas
Silviculture Practices Regulation

Spacing required by silviculture prescription

Maximum density
Planning for maximum density
Setting density levels
Salal-cedar hemlock sites
Earliest and latest free growing dates
Amendments for forest health concerns
Implementing maximum density spacing

Guidelines for including spacing in stand management prescriptions

Biological criteria
Site quality
Stand density
Height and age of stands
Forest health factors
Operational considerations

Fire protection

Estimating fire hazard
Strategies to reduce fire risk

Maintaining stand level biodiversity

Species management
Stand level management to maintain biodiversity
Wildlife trees
Variable stocking levels
Maintaining understorey species composition
Maintaining native trees composition
Riparian areas
Wildlife trails

Considerations for post-treatment densities

Forest health factors
Site quality
Target stand conditions
Wildlife habitat
Future treatments
Commercial thinning
Pruning and fertilization

Methods of spacing


Crop tree selection

Monitoring and reporting



  1. Stand selection guidelines for use in stand management prescriptions
  2. List of referenced guidebooks

List of figures

  1. Example showing the relationship between maximum density target stocking standard, maximum post-spacing density, minimum stocking standard, and minimum post-spacing density
  2. Perspective of a spaced stand in which attributes that support biodiversity have been maintained or enhanced
  3. A visual buffer may be provided by topography or vegetation

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