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Overturning resistance of western redcedar and western hemlock in mixed-species stands in coastal British Columbia

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Specific information about the applied forces that cause trees to fail is required to validate mechanistic models of windthrow in different forest types. Static tree-pulling tests were conducted to examine the overturning resistance of western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) in a mixed species second-growth stand in coastal British Columbia. Although widely used, tree-pulling techniques are not standardized. Data from three inclinometers were used to estimate stem deflection, which was found to increase with tree slenderness. Differing methods of fitting stem curvature had a small effect on estimates of self-loading at failure. The distance of the pivot point from the centre of the stem base increased with tree diameter. Accounting for the correct self-loading at failure produced a small difference in the overall turning moment regressions but did not improve the fit of these regressions. However, this difference increased with tree size and warrants consideration in future tree-pulling tests with large or plate-rooted trees. The stem mass – overturning resistance relationship had the best fit and was not significantly different for these species in spite of their differences in wood density and stem form.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-05-03

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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