Terms - Silvicultural Terms in Canada
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paint gun [pistolet marqueur (n.m.)]
A low-pressure hand tool for squirting a distinctive mark of paint on trees and timber. (3)


partial cutting [coupe partielle (n.f.)]
see partial harvest


partial harvest [coupe partielle (n.f.)]
Any cutting in which only part of the stand is harvested. (1)


partial seeding [ensemencement localisé (n.m.)]
Seeding confined to limited areas, e.g., drills, strips, patches, or nests, generally according to a regular spatial pattern. (3)


patch burning [brûlage par placettes (n.m.)]
Burning felling debris, grass, etc. in patches for the purpose of preparing sites for group planting or sowing. (3)


patch cutting [jardinage par bouquets (n.m.)]
see selection cutting


patch logging [exploitation par blocs (n.f.)]
A modification of the clearcutting system developed in the Pacific Coast region of North America, whereby patches of about 5 to 200 ha are logged as single units, separated for as long as practicable (preferably until the regeneration is adequately shading the forest floor) by living forest; this secures the optimum dispersal of seed and avoids the high hazard of large continuous areas of slash, particularly with respect to fire. (3)


patch planting [plantation sur placeaux (n.f.)]
see spot planting


patch scarifier [scarificateur de placeaux (n.m.)]
A mechanized implement used to expose patches of mineral soil in a systematic pattern. (21)


patch seeding [ensemencement sur placeaux (n.m.)]
see seeding: spot


pathogen [pathogène (n.m.)]
A microscopic organism or virus directly capable of causing disease. (3)


PCT [éclaircie précommerciale (n.f.)]
see thinning: precommercial


peg planting [plantation au bâton (n.f.)]
see dibble planting


pelleting [enrobage (n.m.)]
Incorporating seed in a matrix of fungicide, insecticide, repellent, coloring material or inert carrier, or any combination of these, so as to form a small ball termed a seed pellet. (3)


periodic block [affectation de régénération (n.f.)]
The part(s) of forest allocated for regeneration (the regeneration block) or other treatment during a specified period. (3)


pest [ravageur (n.m.)]
Any organism, whether insect, pathogen, mammal, or competing vegetation, capable of causing damage to a forest crop.


pesticide [pesticide (n.m.)]
Any preparation used to control populations of injurious organisms, plant or animal. (3)


phenology [phénologie (n.f.)]
The study of timing of periodic phenomena, such as flowering, growth initiation, growth cessation, etc., especially as related to seasonal changes in temperature, photoperiod, etc. (11)


phenotype [phénotype (n.m.)]
An organism as observed, i.e., as judged by its visually perceptible characters resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment. Identical phenotypes do not necessarily breed alike. (3)


piling [mise en andain (n.f.)]
Slash disposal whereby coarse woody debris are gathered into windrows or isolated piles. (21)


piling and burning [empilage-brûlage des rémanents (n.m.)]
Piling slash after lopping, and subsequently burning the individual piles. (3)


pioneer species [essences transitoires (n.f.)]
A species adapted to early stages of natural forest succession or growth on newly available sites.


pit planting [plantation sur trous (n.f.)]
Setting out young trees in small depressions, natural or excavated, with a view to collecting and conserving moisture. (3)


plantation [arracheuse (n.f.)]
A forest crop established by artificial, either by sowing or planting. (5)

In British Columbia, a lodgepole pine stand naturally regenerated after drag scarification is called a plantation. Also, a stand that was regenerated naturally after a fire and then spaced and managed may be referred to as a plantation.


plantation forest [arracheuse (n.f.)]
see planting


plantation forestry [pourcentage de réussite des semis (n.f.)]
Application of forestry principles to an artificial crop or stand.


planting [caissette (n.f.)]
Establishing a forest by setting out seedlings, transplants, or cuttings in an area. (4)


planting auger [plantation (n.f.)]
A motorized auger used to create planting holes.


planting bar [plantation forestière (n.f.)]
A long-handled, tapered spade used to make narrow, deep holes for young plants of tap-rooted tree species. (3)


planting gun [foresterie de plantation (n.m.)]
Special devices of varying complexity which make holes by compression and either set or shoot a containerized seedling into the soil. (10)


planting machine [plantation (n.f.)]
Specially designed machine that cuts a narrow trench through the soil in which seedling roots are inserted and then held in place by closing of the trench. (3)


planting out [tarière (n.f.)]
see planting


planting spot [bêche à  planter (n.m.)]
The exact spot where a young tree has been set out. (3)


planting stock [plantoir à  pistolet (n.m.)]
seedlings, transplants, cuttings, and occasionally wildlings, for use in planting. (3)


plant lifter [planteuse (n.f.)]
see plant lifting machine


plant lifting machine [plantation sur le terrain (n.f.)]
A specially designed machine that loosens and removes plants from the ground.


plant percentage [emplacement (n.m.)]
The percentage by number of seeds in a given sample that develop into seedlings at the end of a given period, generally the end of the first growing season. (3)


plant tray [matériel de reproduction (n.f.)]
A flat, box-type container in which plants are raised. (3)


ploughing [labourage (n.m.)]
Operation designed to loosen compacted soils and/or to pull the roots of unwanted plants out of the ground by means of single- or double-moldboard ploughs or special shaping devices pulled by a tractor, bulldozer, or similar equipment. (21)


plug seedling [semis fiche (n.m.)]
see seedling


plug transplant [plant fiche (n.m.)]
A small container seedling which is to be planted and raised as a bare-root seedling.


plus stand [peuplement plus (n.m.)]
A stand containing a preponderance of good phenotypes, but not necessarily plus trees. (3)


plus tree [arbre plus (n.m.)]
A phenotype judged (but not proved by testing) to be unusually superior in some quality or qualities, e.g., exceptional growth rate relative to site, desirable growth habit, high wood quality, exceptional apparent resistance to disease and insect attack or to other adverse local factors. (3)


poison girdling [annélation avec phytocide (n.f.)]
see girdling


pole [perche (n.f.)]
A tree between a sapling and small sawtimber size. Size varies by region, e.g., for boreal and eastern forests 12-20 cm dbh. (1)


pole stage [stade de perchis (n.m.)]
see stand development


pollard [têtard (n.m.)]
see pollarding


pollarding [taillis sur têtards (n.m.)]
Cutting back, in more or less systematic fashion, the crown of a tree to produce a close head of shoots (a pollard) beyond the reach of browsing animals, either for commercial purposes (e.g., fuel, withes for willow and poplar basketwork) or for amenity. (3)


pollard system [émondage (n.m.)]
The systematic harvest cutting of pollard shoots, with due provision for replacing exhausted or defective pollards. (3)


polyculture [polyculture (n.f.)]
The simultaneous cultivation of a number of crops as opposed to stands composed of a single species. (15)


pot planting [plantation en pot (n.f.)]
Setting out young trees in pot-shaped receptacles having a closed or only perforated end and made of various materials, in which they have been raised from seed or to which they have been transferred from the seed bed; a type of container planting. (3)


prechilling [stratification froide (n.f.)]
see stratification


precommercial thinning [éclaircie précommerciale (n.f.)]
see thinning: precommercial


predominant [prédominant (n.m.)]
A tree whose crown has grown above the general level of the upper canopy. (3)


pregermination [germination physiologique (n.f.)]
The germination of seed, generally to the stage when the radicle is just emerging, before sowing in the field or nursery. (3)


preparatory cutting [coupe préparatoire (n.f.)]
Removing trees near the end of a rotation so as to permanently open the canopy and enlarge the crowns of seed bearers, with a view to improving conditions for seed production and natural regeneration, as typically in shelterwood systems. (3)


prescribed burning [brûlage dirigé (n.m.)]
The knowledgeable application of fire to a specific land area to accomplish predetermined forest management or other land use objectives. (6)


pricking out [repiquage (n.m.)]
Transplanting seedlings that are too small to be handled by conventional lining-out methods, individually into boxes, flats, containers, etc., or into nursery beds. (3)


principal crop [peuplement principal (n.m.)]
see main crop


principal species [essences principales (n.f.)]
The species to which the silviculture of a mixed forest is primarily directed, either for its (or their) economic or protective value. (3)


production nursery [pépinière de production (n.f.)]
see nursery


productive capacity [capacité productive (n.f.)]
see site capability


productivity [productivité (n.f.)]
The rate of production of wood of given specifications, by volume or weight, for a given area. (5)

cf. site capability


progeny [descendance (n.f.)]
The offspring of a particular tree or a combination of one female and one male tree. (11)


progeny test [test de descendance (n.m.)]
A test in which the genetic constitution of an individual is evaluated from the performance of its progeny produced by some specific mating system. (3)


progeny trial [test de descendance (n.m.)]
see progeny test


progressive clear-strip system [mode de régénération par coupes rases en bandes contiguës (n.m.)]
A shelterwood system with clearcutting in strips that are generally not wider than the height of the adjoining trees and are generally laid out against the prevailing wind; regeneration is mainly natural, though sometimes supplemented artificially; the crop is young, even-aged. (3)


provenance [provenance (n.f.)]
1. The geographical area and environment to which the parent trees, etc., are native and within which their genetic constitution has been developed through natural selection. (3)

2. The geographical source, i.e., place of origin, of a given lot of seed, propagules, or pollen. (3)


provenance test [test de provenance (n.m.)]
An experiment, usually replicated, comparing trees grown from seed or cuttings collected from many parts of a species, natural range. (11)


pruning [élagage (n.m.)]
1. The removal of live branches from standing trees, termed green pruning; or of dead branches, dry pruning.

2. Removal of live or dead branches from ground level to as high as a person's reach (2.0-2.5 m) in a young stand, known as brashing; above a person's reach (e.g., with a ladder), high pruning. If only crop trees are high pruned, the operation is selective high pruning. Pruning or lopping that increases the clearance under a tree is sometimes termed lifting the canopy.


pruning saw [scie à  élaguer (n.f.)]
A saw specially designed to prune standing trees.


pure live seed [graine pure vivante (n.f.)]
see germinative capacity


pure stand [pur (adj.)]
A stand in which at least 80% of the trees in the main crown canopy are of a single species. (1)

The threshold in Manitoba and New Brunswick is 75%.

cf. mixed stand


        Terms in the glossary are arranged alphabetically. In some instances, terms within a family (for example, thinning) are grouped together to make it easier for the reader to compare them. In such cases, each member of a family (for example, precommercial thinning) is also listed alphabetically, but the reader is referred to the family name.

        Each term appears in boldface letters and is followed by its equivalent term in French in brackets. Terms used as both nouns and verbs are identified as such by n and v, respectively. The generic of the French equivalent term is offered in this edition, and refers to the dominant noun when the equivalent is not a single word.

        The number in parentheses following a term refers to the source of the definition. These sources are listed below. In many cases, definitions taken from such sources have been paraphrased and/or edited to agree with house style. This publication is the source of those definitions not followed by numbers in parentheses.

1. Adams, D.L., et al. 1989. Recommended changes in silviculture terminology. Unpublished. Silviculture Instructors Subgroup, Silviculture Working Group (D2), Society of American Foresters. Washington, DC.

2. Crcha, J.; Martel, J.; Savard, J. 1977. Normes de traitements sylvicoles. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources, Québec.

3. Ford-Robertson, F.C. 1971. Terminology of forest science, technology practice and products. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC.

4. Forestry Statistics and Systems Branch, Canadian Forestry Service. 1984. Reporting and summarizing forestry change data—Manitoba pilot study. Petawawa National Forestry Institute, Chalk River, Ont. Inf. Rep. PI-X-36.

5. Haddon, B.D., editor. 1988. Forest inventory terms in Canada. 3rd ed. Canadian Forest Inventory Committee, Forestry Canada.

6. Merrill, D.F.; Alexander, M.E., editors. 1987. Glossary of forest fire management terms. 4th ed. National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Committee on Forest Fire Management, Ottawa. Publication NRCC No. 26516.

7. New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources. No date. Glossary of terms.

8. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1984. Glossary of terms. Unpublished.

9. Province of Saskatchewan. 1989. Silviculture definitions. Unpublished.

10. Smith, D.M. 1986. The practice of silviculture. 8th ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

11. Wright, J.W. 1976. Introduction to forest genetics. Academic Press, New York.

12. Zobel, B.; Talbert, J. 1984. Applied forest tree improvement. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Sources Added to Second Edition

13. Agriculture Handbook No. 553. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC.

14. Holmes, S. 1979. S. Henderson’s dictionary of biological terms. 9th ed. Longman Group Ltd., London.

15. Zumer-Linder, M. 1979. Environmental word-list. Ecological Studies 3. Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences, International Rural Development Centre, Uppsala, Sweden.

16. Forestry Commission Leaflet No. 77. Oxford, UK.

17. Dawkins, H.C. 1958. The management of natural tropical high forest with special reference to Uganda. p. 127–129 in Inst. Paper No. 34, Int. For. Inst., Oxford, UK.

18. Moore, R.; Mills, T. 1977. An environmental guide to Western surface mining. Part two: Impacts, mitigation and monitoring, p. VI.1-VI.9. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

19. 1974. A glossary of terms used in range management. 2nd ed. Society for Range Management, Denver, CO.

20. Collocott, T.C. (Ed.). 1971. Dictionary of science and technology. W. & R. Chambers Ltd., Edinburgh.

21. Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada. 1993. Personal communications.

22. Winters, R.K. (Ed.). 1977. Terminology of forest science, technology, practice and products. English-language version. Addendum 1. Soc. Am. For., Washington, DC.

23. Sutton, R.F.; Tinus, R.W. 1983. Root and root system terminology. Forest Science Monograph No. 24. For. Sci. 29 (Suppl.).

24. Franzese, M.L.; Thompson, T.J.; McNutt, J. 1978. Comp. glossary of forestry related terms. Potlach Corporation, Lewiston.

25. Snyder, E.B. 1972. Glossary for forest tree improvement workers. Southern For. Exp. Stn., For. Serv., US Dep. Agr. 22  p.

26. Steppler, H.A.; Nair, P.K.R. 1987. Agroforestry: A decade of development. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya. 276 p.

27. Sutton, R.F. 1985. Vegetation management in Canadian forestry. Govt. Can., Can. For. Serv. Sault-Ste-Marie, Ont. Inf  Rep. O-X-369. 34 p. + Append.

28. Ontario Ministry of Natural Ressources. 1987. Timber management guidelines for the protection of tourism values.

29. Thompson, A.J.; Fleming, R. 1991. Legislative and policy limits to successful integrated pest management in Canada’s forest. For. Chron. 67(5):493-499.