Research article

Relationships of Chamaecyparis formosensis crown shape and parameters with thinning intensity and age

Tian-Ming Yen

Tian-Ming Yen
Department of Forestry, National Chung-Hsing University; Address: No. 250, Kuo Kuang Road, South District, Taichung, 40227, Taiwan. Email:

Online First: June 29, 2015
Yen, T. 2015. Relationships of Chamaecyparis formosensis crown shape and parameters with thinning intensity and age. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2015.408

Taiwan red cypress (Chamaecyparis formosensis Matsum) is an indigenous
and important cypress conifer with a broad area of natural forests and plantations in Taiwan. Because of the high economic value and multiple uses of the species, numerous researchers have studied its growth and yield within plantation forests. However, few studies have examined how the crown characteristics of the tree respond to different thinning regimes, particularly in the long run. The crown is a dominant outline of aboveground component of a tree that can sensitively reflect competitions from trees located nearby. This study evaluated the crown form of Taiwan red cypress at three different growth stages with different thinning intensities over 20 years. The study began in 1982, when the three plantations examined were aged 7, 15, and 21 years, and when thinning treatments began. In 2002, crown form parameters (CFPs) and crown profile equations (CPEs) were used to analyze the thinning effects at the tree level. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that age class influenced most CFPs and that thinning treatments influenced all CFPs, indicating that both factors could simultaneously affect the CFPs. Moreover, the CPEs fit the observed data well for all age classes, demonstrating that the equation had a high capacity for predicting crown form. The CPEs were used to determine the mean crown shape profile for each thinning treatment and age class. According to the mean crown profile predicted by CPEs, we found that crown length and width increased with thinning intensity for all aged trees, especially after a heavy thinning treatment.

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