Preliminary Investigations on the Effects of Branch Withering and the Thinning of Trees for Living Snow Fences in Northern Hokkaido, Japan

The authors investigated the growth rate and branch conditions of Pinaceae trees that make up living snow fences, and examined their effect on drifting snow. In total, the authors examined 22 snow fences, all located in Hokkaido, Japan, consisting mainly of Picea glehnii, Picea abies, and Abies sachalinensis. Some trees, usually among those in the inner parts of the fence, had withered branches at heights of 1-2 m above the ground. Also, some trees will be thinned. But how does 1) the withering of their branches, and 2) their thinning affect the mitigation of blowing snow? This study is a preliminary investigation to address these questions. The authors' findings include the following: 1) The height-integrated mass flux of snow decreases as a function of horizontal distance, throughout the 30-m forest width. 2) The windspeed was found to be higher after thinning than before thinning. 3) The visibility in blowing snow in the sparse forest, on the other hand, is unchanged from that of the dense forest when the wind direction is nearly orthogonal to the forest and the roadway. These findings should be considered for further investigations on improving living snow fences using Pinaceae trees.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AHD65 Standing Committee on Winter Maintenance.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Sakurai, Toshimitsu
    • Ito, Yasuhiko
    • Watanabe, Takashi
    • Matsuzawa, Masaru
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2017


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 11p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627766
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-01849
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 5:12PM