Technical notes

Assessing the mechanical stability of trees in artificial plantations of Pinus nigra J. F. Arnold using the LWN tool under different site indexes


In young black pine plantations, the most valuable and interesting thinning scheme is mainly based on the positive selection of dominant and well-shaped trees to be candidates for carbon sequestration, timber production and natural regeneration. The mechanical stability of candidate trees is here a fundamental skill that must be taken into account and the slenderness ratio (HD) is one of the main indicators. HD has been recently proved to be correlated to the living whorl number (LWN) by Cantiani & Chiavetta (2015). In this study, the statistical model was re-calibrated in order to study the influence of soil fertility on the HD - Living whorls number (LWN) relationship.

The fertility-balanced models estimated a different LWN threshold. The model for the highest fertility class (Site index 24) estimated 12 LWN (RMSE of 20%). Similarly, a lower value were detected for the other two fertility classes, SI20 and SI16, where 10 LWN were considered enough with an associated RMSE of 16% and 17% respectively. Compared to the general model provided by Cantiani & Chiavetta (11 LWN with 18% of RMSE) the site index approach improved the accuracy and reliability.


Pinus nigra; living whorl number; tree stability; slenderness ratio; site index; silviculture

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