University of California

Effects of initial stocking on financial return from young-growth Douglas-fir


Rudolf F. Grah

Author Affiliations

Rudolf F. Grah was Lecturer in Forestry and Specialist in Forestry in the Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 29(14):613-679. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v29n14p613. April 1960.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Understocking of commercial Douglas-fir stands may markedly reduce financial return. The experiment reported herein was designed to study the effects of initial understocking, to analyze them within a financial framework, and to provide guides for the economic management of young-growth Douglas-fir stands. Four model stands at initial stocking rates of 25, 50, 751 and 100 per cent of normal stand values formed the basis of the experiment. Results were as follows:

Difference in total physical output between initially understocked and fully-stocked stands is minor, but quality of output, as measured by sawmill and peeler logs, is much lower in the understocked stands. Maximum reductions in net income and soil expectation values at 3 per cent interest were $612 and $44 per acre, respectively, for stands of low initial stocking.

Pruning and planting (at 3 per cent) are feasible means of eliminating or reducing the quality differential on some stands and sites. However, the level of profitability varies between stocking and site, and is highest on fully-stocked, highest-site lands. Thus, where funds for management inputs are limited, they should be allocated first to stands of high initial stocking and best sites.

When the interest rate was figured at 5 per cent, it was found that natural stands of the initial stocking levels and sites studied here can be profitably operated at that rate.

Under the 5 per cent rate, maximum soil expectation values were reduced substantially, and rotation ages were shortened. In addition, there was little difference in soil expectation values between the initially understocked and fully-stocked stands. This indicates that, within biological limits, stocking is not the important factor in economic success of a forest enterprise operating at a 5 per cent rate of return that it is under a 3 per cent rate. These conclusions would indicate that a “do-nothing” policy with respect to fill-in planting and pruning is the most profitable one. However, it is recognized that this is indicated only under conditions where stumpage values do not increase commensurate with interest rates.

Literature Cited

Baker Frederick S. Stand density and growth. Jour. Forestry. 1953. 51:95-97.

Barnes George H. Comments on the method of determination of the adequacy of restocking of cutover lands employed by the Oregon State Board of Forestry. Oregon State Board of Forestry Res. Bul. 1949. 1:15-40.

Beyer Dale N. A study of a stocking survey system and the relationship of stocking percent as determined by this system to number of trees per acre. 1949. Salem, Oregon: Oregon State Board of Forestry. 44p.

Beyer Dale N. The relationship of stocking percent to numbers of trees per acre on artificially seeded area 1952. p.12. Oregon State Board of Forestry Res. Note No. 9

Beyer Dale N. Evaluation of factors affecting natural reproduction of forest trees in central western Oregon 1954. p.49. Oregon State Board of Forestry Res. Bul. 3

Briegleb Phillip A. Progress in estimating trend of normality percentage in second-growth Douglas-fir. Jour. Forestry. 1942. 40:785-93.

Brown H. P., Panshin A. J., Forsaith C. C. Textbook of wood technology, Vol. I. 1949. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. 652p.

Carow John, Silene Roy R. Using the staggered setting system, what are logging costs?. The Timberman. 1957. 58:48-52.

Cowlin R. W. The stocked quadrat method of sampling reproduction stands. Jour. Forestry. 1932. 30:437-39.

Dickinson F. E., Hess Robert W., Wangaard Frederick F. Southern pine of potential veneer quality available from the operations of the Crossett Lumber Co. 1950. (Unpublished.)

Dimock Edward J. Peelers from pruned Douglas-fir. The Timberman. 1956. 57:74-76.

Douglas-Fir Second-Growth Management Committee. Management of second-growth forests of the Douglas-fir region. 1947. Oregon: U. S. Forest Serv. Pac. Northwest For. and Range Exp. Sta. Portland. 151p.

Drow John T. Relationship of locality and rate of growth to density and strength of Douglas-fir. U. S. Forest Service Products Lab. Rept. 1957. 2078:56

Eversole Kenneth R. Spacing test in a Douglas-fir plantation. Forest Science. 1955. 1:14-18.

Fleischer H. O. The suitability of second-growth Douglas-fir logs for veneer. Jour. Forestry. 1949. 47:533-37.

Girard James W., Bruce Donald. Tables for estimating board feet volume of trees in 16-foot logs. Portland, Oregon: Mason, Bruce, and Girard. 44p. No date.

Grah Rudolf F. Markets for woodlands products in California. 1955. Univ. California Agr. Ext. Serv. 29p. (Mimeo.)

Hawley Ralph C., Smith David. The practice of silviculture. 1954. New York: Wiley and Sons. 354p.

Huey Ben M. The profit in pruning western white pine and ponderosa pine 1950. p.6. U. S. Forest Service. Nor. Rocky Mt. For. and Range Exp. Sta. Res. Note No. 85.

Isaac Leo A. Reproduction habits of Douglas-fir. 1943. Washington, D. C.: Chas. Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation. 107p.

Lavender Dennis P., Bergman Morris H., Calvin Lyle D. Natural regeneration on staggered settings 1956. p.36. Oregon State Board of Forestry Res. Bul. No. 10.

Mcardle Richard E., Meyer Walter H. The yield of Douglas-fir in the northwest. U. S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1949. 201:74

Mcclay T. A. Economic considerations in Douglas-fir stand establishment. U. S. Forest Service. Pac. Northwest For. and Range Exp. Sta. Res. Paper. 1955. 15:12

Meyer Walter H. Rates of growth of immature Douglas-fir as shown by periodic remeasurements on permanent sample plots. Jour. Agr. Res. 1928. 36:193-215.

Meyer Walter H. A study of the relation between actual and normal yields of immature Douglas-fir forests. Jour. Agr. Res. 1930. 41:635-65.

Meyer Walter H. Approach of abnormally stocked forest stands of Douglas-fir to normal condition. Jour. Forestry. 1933. 3:400-06.

Meyer Walter H. Height curves for even-aged stands of Douglas-fir 1936. p.3. U. S. Forest Serv. Pac. Northwest For. and Range Exp. Sta., Portland, Oregon. pp. (Mimeo.)

Munger Thornton T. The spacing in plantations 1946. U. S. Forest Service. Pac. Northwest For. and Range Exp. Sta. Res. Note 34.

Oregon State Board of Forestry. Oregon forest practice act administrative handbook. Oregon State Board of Forestry Bul. 1946. 11:87

Paul Benson H. Knots in second-growth Douglas-fir. U. S. Forest Service. Forest Prod. Lab. Rept. 1947. R1690:17

Paul Benson H. Importance of wood quality in tree breeding. Jour. Forestry. 1955. 53:659-61.

Puget Sound Log Scaling and Grading Bureau, et al.. Official log scaling and grading rules. 1954. Washington: Puget Sound Log Scaling and Grading Bureau, Tacoma. 38p.

Shaw Elmer W., Staebler G. R. Financial aspects of pruning 1950. p.45. U. S. Forest Service. Pac. Northwest For. and Range Exp. Sta. Monograph. Portland, Oregon.

Smith J., Harry G. The economics of pruning. For. Chron. 1954. 30:197-214.

Smith J., Harry G. An example of the importance of change in form class to calculations of clear wood growth. For. Chron. 1956a. 32:260-62.

Smith J., Harry G. Even 75 year-old fir can be pruned for profit. B. C. Lumberman. 1956b. 40:24-28.

Snodgrass James D. Young-growth Douglas-fir: is it predisposed to warp?. For. Prod. Jour. 1955. 12:406-12.

Society of American Foresters. Forest cover types of North America. 1954. Washington 6, D. C.: Society of American Foresters. 60p.

Staebler George R. Predicting the volume and normality of reproduction stands of Douglas-fir. Jour. Forestry. 1949. 47:828-33.

U. S. Forest Service. Wood handbook. U. S. Dept. Agr. Handbook No. 72. 1955. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office. 528p.

West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau. Standard grading and dressing rules for Douglas-fir, west coast hemlock, Sitka spruce, western red cedar. 1956. Portland, Oregon: West Coast Lumbermen’s Assn. 338p.

Grah R. 1960. Effects of initial stocking on financial return from young-growth Douglas-fir. Hilgardia 29(14):613-679. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v29n14p613
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu