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Effects of Understory Removal in Hardwood Stands

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Control of understory vegetation has frequently been suggested as a method of increasing overstory growth by reducing competition for soil moisture. However, past studies have given conflicting results: some show marked increases in growth rate resulting from understory removal, while others show no effect. Results of understory removal in an oak-dominated, mixed-species hardwood stand in central Massachusetts showed no growth increase compared to control plots, even over 13 growing seasons. Most other southern New England studies found no response on a variety of glacial till soils with a wide range in soil-moisture-holding capacity. Understory removal does not appear to be a useful technique to increase growth in hardwood stands on glacial till soils in the Northeast, apparently because soil moisture is not usually limiting to tree growth on these sites. Results are compared with those from other regions in the eastern United States. North. J. Appl. For. 4:162-164, Sept. 1987.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511

Publication date: 1987-09-01

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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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