Early effects of pre- and post-harvest herbicide application and partial cutting in regenerating aspen – jack pine mixtures in northeastern Ontario

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Silvicultural options to obtain mixtures of broadleaved and conifer tree species in boreal forests remain limited, especially for mixtures of broadleaves and shade-intolerant conifers. In this study, we tested a series of treatment packages that included variation in harvesting pattern, site preparation, renewal treatments, and timing and patterns of tending to establish trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) mixedwoods in intimate mixtures or spatial mosaics in northeastern Ontario. Preharvest spray resulted in fewer but better growth of aspen suckers compared with postharvest spray, which both reduced sucker density and decreased their vigour. Partial cutting reduced aspen regeneration in both the harvested and leave corridors but did not affect other broadleaved species, in this case predominantly red maple (Acer rubrum L.). After treatment, the rapid development of understory vegetation (shrubs, herbs, and grasses) and regeneration reduced total light transmittance at 0.5 m but had no effect at 4.0 m after 5 years. Future stands will be jack pine dominated following both pre- and post-harvest sprays, despite higher density, more uniform distribution, and better growth of broadleaved regeneration with preharvest spray, but will be balanced broadleaf and conifer mixtures in the partial cut areas.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x11-021

Affiliations: 1: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Forest Research Institute, 1235 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada. 2: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Forest Policy Section, Suite 400, 70 Foster Drive, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6V5, Canada. 3: 608 – 265 Poulin Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y8, Canada.

Publication date: May 28, 2011

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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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