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Thinning and Nitrogen Fertilization in a Grand Fir Stand Infested with Western Spruce Budworm. Part III: Tree Wound Dynamics

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In a grand fir stand defoliated by western spruce budworm, we tested the effects of thinning and urea fertilization on stem-wound closure and associated wood decay as affected by tree growth and vigor. After 3 years, thinning or fertilizing significantly improved tree diameter growth, and fertilizing significantly improved tree vigor as measured by cambial electrical resistance (CER). Although wound closure and cross-sectional area of decay were not significantly affected by our treatments, the percentage of stem cross-sectional area with decay was significantly less in trees that had been both thinned and fertilized. We found relatively poor correlations between decay area or decay percent and tree vigor, tree diameter growth, or wound diameter, but relatively moderate correlations between wound diameter and tree vigor or tree growth. Heterobasidion annosum was the dominant fungus causing the stem decay. Our results support the use of thinning and fertilization to improve grand fir growth and vigor and reduce losses from wound-associated stem decay. For. Sci. 38(2):265-274.

Keywords: Abies grandis; stem decay; tree diameter growth; tree vigor

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Biological Technician, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 1401 Gekeler Lane, La Grande, OR 97850

Publication date: April 1, 1992

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