Forest Thinning & Harvesting

Forest thinning is carried out through our sister company Euroforest Timber Ireland Limited.

Brash Harvesting Video

The image  shows the projected income per ha from productive forestry

Thinning is profitable. Timber sales are profitable and are income tax free (subject to limits).The above is a projection only. For a more accurate projection, please fill in the contact form below.

What is Thinning
Thinning is best described as the selective removal of inferior stems in order to favour the growth of the remainder better quality stems. It is a normal and essential part of most forest crop rotations, and is essential if crops are to produce the maximum number of high value logs and consequently increase profitability. Thinning is generally undertaken 2 to 5 times over a forest rotation depending on the productivity of the crop.

Why Thin?
It is essential that forest thinning be carried out correctly and on time. When done, the benefits of thinning for an owner are;

  • The correct management of the crop
  • Tax-free revenue from timber sales
  • Increase in asset value of the remaining crop
  • Remaining trees increase in volume faster which allows clear felling to be completed as quickly as possible

Not thinning will result in a larger number of smaller sized trees per hectare with a significantly reduced value on clearfelling.

Clear felling is the harvesting of all marketable trees at the end of a forest rotation. This can vary from year 30 to 50 depending on species.

To find out when your crop is ready to be thinned please contact Forestry Services Ltd.

Planning for Thinning
Planning for first thinning should start when the crop is 10 years old. Inspection paths need to be cut to permit access to the crop to determine its productivity and its projected first thin year. Cutting an inspection path or ‘brashing’ involves removing the branches to head height between two lines of trees.

Forest roads need to be planned and a General Felling Licence applied for.

General Felling License
Tree felling is controlled through the 1946 forestry Act. Before an owner can thin a plantation a general felling license must be secured from the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. Forestry Services ltd. Ltd applies for these licenses on behalf of the owner. This license specifies how the thinning is to be completed, and any environmental conditions that must be adhered to.

Types of Thinning
There are many types of thinning, with the most common one being what is normally referred to as 1 in 7 plus selection. This means 1 in every 7 lines of trees is completely removed to facilitate access with inferior quality trees selected for removal in the intermittent lines. This is normally completed mechanically with motor manual (chainsaw operator) employed only on specific stands.

Mechanical thinning uses specialised harvesting heads, which are fitted to purpose built harvesters or standard excavators. The timber is then removed to the roadside by a forwarder, which is a specialised forest machine.

In the past chainsaw harvesting combined with horse extraction of timber was common. This is now only used in exceptional cases.


View a selection of vidoes in relation to our Forestry Services. Planting Trees, Forest Thinning, Farmers & Landowners.


For your ease we have available documents such as Forestry Grant Schemes, our Company Brochures & Flyers and so on.


Contact Forestry Services today and get advice from one of our professional advisers.