Periodic thinning increases the yield and size of individual trees, but the fir component of subalpine spruce-fir stands is likely to be greatly reduced by repeated thinning, so that the stand at the time of final harvest will be almost pure Spruce.
In the Cascades, the European balsam woolly adelgid has caused significant mortality to subalpine fir, virtually eliminating it from some stands in Oregon and southern Washington. Windthrow is a common problem in subalpine fir, presumably because of its relatively shallow root system. Pruning should be kept to a minimum, for when older branches are removed, new growth seldom develops and, consequently, the trees become ragged and unkempt.
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