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Growth Characteristics of Forest Trees

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The intermittent character of tree growth is reviewed. Different parts of trees grow at varying rates and at different times. Shoot growth of many Temperate Zone trees occupies a relatively short part of the frost-free season. Marked apical dominance in conifers is emphasized, with the amount of annual shoot elongation decreasing down the main axis and inward on branches of the main stem. Growth intermittency also is indicated by the production of lammas and proleptic shoots. There is considerable evidence that shoot growth of many species depends on stored foods rather than products of current photosynthesis. Often there is much better correlation of shoot growth with environment of the season of bud formation than with the season of bud expansion into a shoot. Cambial growth, which lasts longer than apical growth, also is basically intermittent. It varies with environmental change, at different stem heights, and around the tree bole. Intermittency in cambial growth is related to live crown ratios and degree of suppression. In suppressed trees cambial growth in the lower bole may be negligible. Much of the observed variation in radial change in stems reflects hydration changes which are superimposed on cambial growth. Cambial growth initiation may be readily confused with rehydration of stems prior to beginning of cambial growth in the spring.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forestry, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Publication date: September 1, 1963

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
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