Silvicultural systems research

In the province of British Columbia there has been a significant investment in terms of both money and time in the establishment, maintenance and measurement of a multitude of long-term silvicultural systems research trials.

These trials have been established in a variety of different ecosystems throughout the province and have generated a wealth of data and information on the impacts of the various silvicultural systems (e.g., shelterwood, single-tree and group selection, clearcut, etc.) on harvesting costs, growth and survival of planted and naturally regenerated seedlings, advanced regeneration, and residual trees, as well as wildlife values, biodiversity and coarse woody debris, levels of vegetative competition, and forest health agents (insects and diseases).

Northern interior

Integrated, controlled and replicated long-term silvicultural systems trials in B.C.
Experimental project # Trial name Estab. year General location Ecological zone Silviculture system
1119 and 1104

Northern Wetbelt Trials

  • Lucille Mountain
  • Pinkerton Mountain
  • Bearpaw Ridge
  • East Twin, Minnow, Lunate Creeks
  • Fleet Creek
  • Isaiah Creek
  • 1991
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000-01
  • 1994
  • 2006
Cariboo and Rocky Mountains East of Prince George



  • Clearcut
  • Group retention – 0.01ha to 0.1ha
  • Group selection/patch 0.02ha
  • Irregular shelterwood
  • Single tree selection
  • Uncut control
1162 Summit Lake Residual Basal Area Density Study
  • 1991
Prince George SBS
  • 10m2/ha residual basal area
  • 20m2/ha residual basal area
  • Uncut control
1219 Date Creek Research Forest
  • 1991
Hazleton ICH
  • Clearcut
  • Light (30%) and heavy (60%) removal
  • Canopy opening size range from single tree to 0.5ha
1361 Fort Nelson Mixedwoods Silvicultural Systems Trial
  • 1996
Fort Nelson BWBS
  • Group shelterwood
  • 0.13ha and 1ha openings

Southern interior

Integrated, controlled and replicated long-term silvicultural systems trials in B.C.
Experimental project # Trial name Estab. year General location Ecological zone Silviculture system
370b Fosthall Creek Road Trial -  Partial Cutting in the Columbia Forest Zone  1957 Nakusp ICH
  • Diameter limit cut
  • Salvage cut
  • Improvement cut
  • No harvest control
  • Replication
371 Bolean Lake Trial 1951 Falkland ESSF
  • Clearcut
  • Strip cutting – 50% retention
  • Group selection
  • Single tree selection
  • No replication
903 and 1149 IDF Mule Deer Winter Range Single Tree Selection Systems Trial 1983 Williams Lake IDF
  • Single tree selection
  • No harvest control
  • Understory spacing
987.04 Westwold - Selection harvesting of dry-belt Douglas-fir 1993 Kamloops IDF
  • 15, 20, 25 m2 basal area retained
  • 2 Q values
1017 Operational broadcast burning site productivity trial 1985 Redfish Creek ICH
  • Unburned ICHdw/01a
  • Burned ICHdw/01a
  • Burned ICHdw/01b
1104.01 Uniform Shelterwood systems for even-aged Douglas-fir and lodegepole pine stands in the Sub Boreal Spruce (dry warm) subones in the Cariboo Forest Region 1990 Williams Lake SBS
  • Uniform shelterwood - Five levels of BA retention (15, 20, 30, 40, 60m²)
  • Clearcut
  • Uncut control
1104.02 Quesnel Highland/Mt Tom Alternative Silvicultural Systems - Group selection systems for high elevation forests to maintain caribou habitat in the Cariboo region 1990 Likely and Wells ESSF
  • Clearcut
  • Group selection with 0.03ha to 1.0ha openings
  • Uncut control
1135.01 Effectiveness of repeated manual cutting for release of Engelmann spruce from mixed-shrub communities in the Revelstoke District 1992 Revelstoke    
1135.05 An evaluation of Chondrostereum purpureum for the  control of aspen and Sitka alder 1995 Wilgress Lake/ Ripperto Creek    
1135.06 An evaluation of Chondrostereum purpureum for the control of Sitka alder found in a forty year-old NSR stand (ESSFwc1) 1999 Boundary Lake    
1148 Long-term soil productivity study 1999 Invermere/Kootenay Lake IDF/ICH  
1186 Mount Seven/Ice Road Partial Cutting Research Trials - Partial cutting systems research in Armillaria root rot infected stands 1993 Golden/Nakusp MS/ICH
  • Irregular Uniform Shelterwood  – 4 levels of BA retention (zero, light, heavy and full)
1188N Effects of harvest season and root rot treatment on sensitive soils in the Rocky Mountain Trench 1996 Nine Mile Creek    
1188W Harvesting options in highly constrained IDF stands in the Rocky Mountain Trench 1996 Whitetail Brook    
1191 Burton Creek partial cutting 1994 Nakusp ICH
  • Patch cut (0.75ha)
1199 Multifactor manual brushing studies in the Nelson Forest Region 1993 Bigger Creek    
1202 Climate, snow, sediment and streamflow monitoring and research in the West Arm Demonstration Forest 1992 Kootenay Lake    
1208 Itcha-Ilgachuz Alternative Silvicultural Systems Trial - Silvicultural systems to maintain northern caribou habitat in lodepole pine forests in the MSxv and SBPSxc subzones in the Cariboo Region 1994 Puntzi Lake SBPS/MS
  • Clearcut
  • Irregular group shelterwood – stem-only harvesting (50% area retention)
  • Irregular group shelterwood – whole tree harvesting (50% area retention)
  • Group selection (70% area retention)
  • No-harvest controls
1209.12 Skid trail rehabilitation effects on soil properties and resulting forest productivity 1992 Cranbrook/Invermere    
1209.13 Tree growth on rehabilitated haul roads in southeast British Columbia 1988 Cranbrook/Invermere    
1212 Viewland Mountain - Silvicultural systems for Douglas-fir stands on very deep snowfall Mule Deer Winter Ranges in the Cariboo Forest Region 1996 Horsefly ICH
  • Group selection
  • Patch cut
  • Various opening sizes (0.25ha to 2.0ha) and orientation.
1295 Opax Mountain Silviculture Systems Research Project 1991 Kamloops IDF
  • 80% and 50% retention
  • Aggregated and dispersed
  • Openings 0.1ha, 0.4ha and 1.6ha
1317 Sicamous Creek Silvicultural Systems Research Project 1992 Sicamous ESSF
  • Single tree selection – 33% removal
  • Group Selection – 0.1ha, 1.0ha
  • Patch cut - 10.0 ha 
  • No harvest control
1328 Isobel Lake Research Trial 2002 Kamloops IDF
  • 50 to 60% removal
  • 75 to 80% removal
  • Single tree to 10m2 openings created
  • No harvest control
1365 St Mary’s Residual Basal Area Study in a Mixed Conifer Stand 1993 Cranbrook IDF
  • Single tree selection 
  • 4 levels of residual basal area (8, 16, 24, 37 m²)
1367 Managing ingrown Douglas-fir stands for biodiversity, forage and timber: the Farwell Canyon project 2001 Riske Creek IDF
  • Single-tree selection with four treatments:
    • Harvest
    • Harvest with spacing
    • Harvest with spacing and underburning
    • No-harvest controls


Integrated, controlled and replicated long-term silvicultural systems trials in B.C.
Experimental project # Trial name Estab. year General location Ecological zone Silviculture system
862.34 Rennell Sound Silviculture Systems Trial 1996 Queen Charlotte Island CWH
  • Clearcut
  • 25 and 50% removal as group selection
  • 25% removal as single-tree selection
  • No harvest control
1151 Boston Bar Silvicultural Systems Trial 1991 Boston Bar IDF
  • Clearcut
  • Seed tree
  • Shelterwood
1213 STEMS - Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward 2000-2007 Campbell River CDF/CWH
  • Extended Rotation (uncut control)
  • Extended Rotation with commercial thinning
    Clearcut with reserves
  • Modified patch cut
  • Group selection
  • Aggregate retention
  • Dispersed retention
1216 HyP3 Project - Pattern, process and productivity in Hypermaritime forests of coastal British Columbia 1997 Prince Rupert CWH
  • Diameter limit logging
1256 Robert’s Creek Study Forest 1992 Sechelt CWH
  • 10% dispersed retention
  • 50% aggregated retention
  • Clearcut with reserves
  • Strip shelterwood
Silvicultural Systems Trial # SS026 Cats Ears Creek 1992 Port Alberni CWH
  • 75% dispersed retention
  • Aggregated retention with 0.15, 0.3, and 1.4ha openings
  • No replication