Thinning removes trees within a stand to regulate the level of site occupancy and subsequent stand development. Before thinning is applied, foresters determine the amount of residual growing stock, the spatial distribution of the residual trees, and the criteria used to select trees to cut. In this study, a portion of a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation was surveyed through a complete tree tally with the coordinates of each individual tree recorded. The dataset was then processed in a GIS program composed in Arc Marco Language (AML) applying a moving circular quadrat system superimposed over the study area. In each quadrant, tree attributes including DBH (nearest 0.1 inch), basal area (sq ft per ac), and density (trees per unit area) were utilized as determining factors for tree selection. A 3D visualization before and after thinning was created with a goal of equal distribution of trees across the stand.
Hung, I-Kuai; McNally, Benjamin C.; Farrish, Kenneth W.; and Oswald, Brian P., "Using GIS for Selecting Trees for Thinning" (2005). Faculty Presentations. Paper 3.