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Plantation Birch: What Works, What Doesn't

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In a 10-year pilot test of plantation management in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, fertilization and brush control caused small or no increases in height or diameter growth of yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis); mortality was 50 percent and a high proportion of the stems were of poor quality. In contrast, paper birch (B. papyrifera) showed increases of 16 percent in height over the control and 75 percent in diameter growth. As a result, basal-area growth of paper birch increased by 282 percent. Paper birch mortality was 10 percent, and all stems were of high quality. Estimates are that paper birch could average 52 feet in height and 13 inches in diameter at 30 years. The conclusion is that paper birch is well suited to intensive plantation management and that yellow birch is not.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Plant Physiologist, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Durham, NH 03824. He is now retired

Publication date: 1984-01-01

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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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