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Thinning and Nitrogen Fertilization in a Grand Fir Stand Infested with Western Spruce Budworm. Part II: Tree Growth Response

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The effects of thinning and nitrogen fertilization on tree growth in a grand fir (Abies grandis [Dougl.] Forbes) stand infested with western spruce budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman) were evaluated over 5 years by a replicated split-plot experiment. Fertilization treatments resulted in significantly reduced defoliation and significantly heavier biomass of shoots and foliage for the last 3 years of the study. There were, however, 30% fewer buds on fertilized grand fir midcrown branches at the end of the study. Height growth of fertilized trees was significantly greater than unfertilized trees 3 to 5 years after treatment and was almost double that of controls. Radial growth measured at breast height and base of live crown was significantly greater for fertilized trees 3 to 5 years after treatment; 5 years after treatment, radial growth of thinned trees also was significantly greater than the controls. Trees thinned and fertilized had almost double the growth of controls 2 to 5 years after treatment. Fertilized trees apparently produced fewer buds m-2 of foliage but more foliage per shoot than budworm larvae could destroy, and this resulted in significantly increased tree growth. The results of the study have implications for using fertilization as a management option for some budworm outbreaks. For. Sci 38(2):252-264.
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Keywords: Abies grandis; defoliation; foliage production

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forestry Technician, Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory, 1401 Gekeler Lane, La Grande, OR 97850

Publication date: 1992-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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