THE winner of the 2023 Silvicultural Prize has been announced. 

Dr Guillaume Morea, a researcher in the department of wood and forest sciences at Québec's Laval University, was awarded the prestigious honour following a recent paper. 

Judges felt his work – 'Simplified tree marking guidelines enhance value recovery as well as stand vigour in northern hardwood forests under selection management’ – had contributed to the sector’s knowledge of silviculture.

Developed alongside a number of colleagues, the paper was first published in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research

Upon receiving the award, Guillaume said: “It is an honour to receive the Silvicultural Prize for 2023 and I am very grateful for this recognition.

"I am absolutely delighted that our work attracted the attention of the Forestry editors, for which I have the greatest respect. This award is particularly important to me, as I valued practical research that has the potential to directly improve silvicultural practices." 

At the university, Guillaume leads a new research program in silviculture and specialises in understanding the environmental drivers of tree vigour both in terms of survival and growth. Since 2018, he has authored more than 16 research papers, the majority as the lead author. 

One of his important contributions to the field of silviculture is the use of dendrochronological methods as a tool to quantify the effects of silvicultural treatments and other environmental drivers of tree growth at the tree and stand scale. He is also the author of a series of six publications aimed at improving our knowledge of the links between apparent tree defects (including crown and stem defects), and their vigour. 

In addition to enabling better monitoring of overall forest health through visual indicators, these projects have led to the development of a new tree classification system for selective cutting.

"I am very pleased to accept this award in recognition of the collaborative efforts of all the co-authors, the industry partners, Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve and Domtar, and to the many people who contributed to the collection of the data at the Direction de la recherche foresters," he added. 

Editor in chief of Forestry, Professor Dr Fabian Faßnacht, said: “This paper is a well-deserved winner of the Silvicultural Prize because the authors present a study which is not only scientifically interesting and sound but also of highly practical value. 

"The study assesses existing tree marking guidelines for logging operations in northern hardwood forests in Eastern Canada under selection cutting management regimes.

"The methodical approach, which includes marking simulations based on the detailed individual tree information available from before and after selected logging operations, is an elegant solution for an otherwise hard to conduct study.”