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Site Damage from Mechanized Thinning in Southeast Alaska

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Damage to the site was assessed in a second-growth stand of western hemlock and Sitka spruce on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, after thinning with a Menzi-Muck walking backhoe. The qualitative procedure used to assess disturbance of forest soils with organic horizons is outlined. Almost half of the area in thinning roads received some level of disturbance, but less than 1% of the total thinned area was heavily disturbed (mineral soil exposed) or heavily compacted during felling-bunching operations. Approximately 90% of the leave trees had some stem or root abrasion, although only 5% of these scars were >1 ft². The most probable infection courts for fungi were split or severed roots, which occurred on 10% of the leave trees. Most soil disturbance, compaction, and root damage was caused by the metal pads on the front legs of the machine, or by abrasion by logs during bunching. North. J. Appl. For. 3:94-97, Sept. 1986.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Forest Pest Management, Region 10, Juneau, AK 99802

Publication date: September 1, 1986

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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