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Removal or Retention of Unmerchantable Saplings in Allegheny Hardwoods: Effect on Regeneration after Clearcutting

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Disposition of residual saplings left after a 1937 clearcutting for chemical wood in a northern hardwood stand in Pennsylvania had a major effect on the development of the new stand. Where these saplings were mowed down (cut), the new stand, after 35 years, is dominated by fast growing, shade-intolerant black cherry. (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) in the overstory whereas the slower growing sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) are relegated to the understory--even though these tolerants were present as advance seedlings before cutting. Where the tolerant species were retained as saplings up to 5 or 6 inches d.b.h. after cutting they are represented in the larger diameters and upper crown strata. Plots with residual saplings have higher average stand diameter and higher basal areas in merchantable-sized trees than plots on which stems over 0.5 inch d.b.h. were mowed.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Research Silviculturist and Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Warren, Pennsylvania

Publication date: 1981-05-01

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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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