Apples thinning: before (at left) after (at right)

Thinning is a term used in agricultural sciences to mean the removal of some plants, or parts of plants, to make room for the growth of others.



Thinning in forestry is the selective removal of trees, primarily undertaken to improve the growth rate or health of the remaining trees. This may be done to make the stand more profitable in an upcoming final felling. Overcrowded trees are under competitive stress from their neighbors. Thinning may be done to increase the resistance of the stand to environmental stress such as drought, insect infestation or extreme temperature. [1] A thinning in which the trees removed have little or no economic value is called a pre-commercial thinning. Ecological Thinning is a variant of this being trialled for use in forest conservation in Australia. Chemical thinning is a form of non-commercial thinning in which the trees are killed while they stand by injecting a chemical such as glyphosate (Round Up) into a cut made in the stem. This reduces the number of live stems remaining, providing a benefit to those that remain and may be undertaken where the cost of a traditional thin is high. It can also be done on very exposed sites where breaking the canopy through a traditional thinning operation would expose the stand to a high risk of windthrow.


In agriculture and gardening, thinning is the selective removal of flowers, fruits, shoots, and seedlings or young plants to allow adequate space for the remaining organs/plants to grow efficiently. In large-scale farming, techniques like precision seeding and transplanting can eliminate the need for thinning by starting plants at their optimum spacing. On a smaller scale, such as a home vegetable garden, thinning can be used as a way to make maximum use of space for certain crops. For example, beets, carrots, green onions and others can be planted densely, and then thinned to make room for continued growth of the plants left in the soil, and also as a harvest of baby vegetables (beet greens, baby carrots, baby onions).

Digital Geometry

In digital geometry, thinning is the transformation of a digital image into a simplified, but topologically equivalent image.


  1. ^ "Ecological Restoration vs. Thinning". Northern Arizona University. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thinning — Thin Thin, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Thinned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Thinning}.] [Cf. AS. ge[thorn]ynnian.] To make thin (in any of the senses of the adjective). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • thinning — adj. Thinning is used with these nouns: ↑hair …   Collocations dictionary

  • thinning — thin|ning [ˈθınıŋ] adj someone with thinning hair is losing their hair …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • thinning — praskiedimas statusas T sritis Standartizacija ir metrologija apibrėžtis Tirpalo koncentracijos sumažinimas tirpikliu ar skiedikliu. atitikmenys: angl. dilution; thinning vok. Verdünnen, n; Verdünnung, f rus. разбавление, n; разведение, n pranc.… …   Penkiakalbis aiškinamasis metrologijos terminų žodynas

  • thinning — praskiedimas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Tirpalo koncentracijos mažinimas tirpikliu ar skiedikliu. atitikmenys: angl. dilution; thinning rus. разбавление; разведение ryšiai: sinonimas – skiedimas …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • thinning — noun the act of diluting something the cutting of whiskey with water the thinning of paint with turpentine • Syn: ↑cutting • Derivationally related forms: ↑thin, ↑cut (for: ↑c …   Useful english dictionary

  • thinning — in aquaculture, removing part of a stock from a pond to ensure better growth of the remainder …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • thinning — Causing a decrease in viscosity by dilution, including by chemical means, as by the addition of a solvent, or by mechanical means, as in shear t.. shear t. decreasing the viscosity of a polymer or macromolecule or gel by increasing the rat …   Medical dictionary

  • thinning — Synonyms and related words: Sanforizing, abatement, adulteration, atrophy, attenuation, attrition, blunting, consumption, contour plowing, cultivating, cultivation, culture, cutting, damping, deadening, debilitation, devitalization, diluent,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • thinning — θɪn v. make thin or thinner, dilute, make weak; become thin or thinner, become diluted adj. flimsy, skinny; small; sheer, transparent …   English contemporary dictionary

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