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Harvest Cutting Old-Growth Mountain Spruce-Fir in Colorado

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The effect of 3 cutting methods on natural reproduction, growth and, mortality of Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii parry) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa [Hook.] Nutt.) were tested. Sixty percent of the merchantable volumes (in trees 9.6 inches d.b.h. and larger) were removed by: (1) Alternate clear-strip cutting; (2) circular patch clearcuting; and (3) individual tree selection cutting. Well distributed abundant reproduction was established under all cutting methods: a large proportion is spruce. Growth of residual stands was not stimulated by any of the cutting methods. Mean annual net increment was related to reserve volume. Mortality was not reduced by any of the cutting methods. Windfall losses were heavy in all residual stands. Alternate clear-strip cutting is recommended as the best harvesting method tested. More abundant and better distributed reproduction was established under that cutting method and it offers the best opportunities to reduce windthrow and improve net increment.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Expt. Sta., Forest Service, U. S. Dept. Agric., with headquarters at Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Publication date: 1963-02-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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