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Minimizing Windfall Around Clear Cuttings in Spruce-Fir Forests

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A study of windfalls around the perimeters of 234 clearcut units in Picea engelmannii Parry-Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. forests identified many situations and conditions where windthrow hazards were above and below average. The possibility of minimizing windthrow by cutting-area layout depends upon whether the area will be subjected only to normal wind exposure or whether it may be exposed to topographically accelerated winds. If wind exposure is normal, blowdown can be reduced by locating cutting boundaries where windfall hazards are below average. Where exceptional hazards from topographically accelerated winds prevail, the special wind problems may be handled in two ways: (1) Minimize all other hazards. Where the common practice of removing timber from one-half of the area in alternating units is to be followed, this approach must be used. Locate all boundaries, but especially the leeward boundaries where windfall hazards are below average. (2) Use a modified pattern of successive strip cutting in some high hazard areas to eliminate the vulnerable leeward boundaries by progressive cutting into the wind.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester with the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Expt. Sta., maintained at Fort Collins, Colorado

Publication date: June 1, 1964

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