Study: Thinning aids forest health

Mechanical thinning is helping to improve the health and resiliency of seasonally dry forests in Eastern Oregon, according to research by Oregon State University.

For the last decade, a team of scientists led by James Johnston, assistant professor in the College of Forestry at OSU, has trekked into a rugged area of the Malheur National Forest north of Burns to study the environmental effects of one thinning project.

What they found was that cutting down some younger trees resulted in greater biodiversity and made older, larger trees more resistant to drought and disease, Johnston said.

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