Thinning a stand of trees

We have lots of trees on our property. In one spot there are a zillion little ones about 1 foot apart. How can I thin these so that the remaining ones will grow better/faster? Take out every other one? Take out the smaller and leave the larger? Some other plan?

Are you planning to let them grow in situ, or are you planning on eventually moving some of them somewhere else? Because if you’re planning on them growing into adult trees where they sit right now, you’ll have to remove most of them, if not all but one.

These are going to be TREES…they’re probably going to need at least 10 feet between them, probably more.

I was going to say “remove them all” unless you want a high density “forest”. I have a huge problem with overgrown trees and slowly but surely I have been thinning out the overgrown, dead and dying so that the remaining healthly ones have a chance to survive and grow. If I have a huge bare spot I may plant a healthy young tree to fill it in rather than wait for nature to do the job, but heavy thinning is probably the best thing you can do if you have an overcrowed situation…

Looks like the squirrels were busy there. I see Ponderosa Pines in your picture.
They will grow faster in that bunch and will kill off the weak as they climb for the sun. I would wait for the natural selection to show you the weak, unless you must have more room.
That is very open forest, to open for good wildlife cover IMHO. Very nice scenery:)

Jayjay is right that you eventually want about 10 feet between trees.

But my advice would be to thin them by removing only about every other one now – pick the weaker looking one of each pair to remove. Then repeat this again next Spring, and continue doing this until there is only 1 tree left per 10 feet stretch.

If you remove all but one per 10 feet now, the one you leave might happen to die. If you do it year by year, you have moe to choose from, and can pick the strongest looking trees to leave. (But as they get older & bigger, it does get harder to thin them out.)