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Soil Disturbance by Logging in New England--Review and Management Recommendations

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The extent and magnitude of soil disturbance caused by mechanized, whole-tree harvesting was studied on a central hardwood site in Connecticut, a northern hardwood site in New Hampshire, and a spruce-fir site in Maine. Twenty-nine percent of the soil surface at the central hardwood site was undisturbed, but only 8% on the other sites was undisturbed. Mineral soil was exposed on 8 to 18% of soil surfaces after cutting, with wheel ruts more than 30 cm deep occupying less than 3%. Mechanized whole-tree harvesting causes a greater proportion of soil disturbance than other harvesting systems and will affect advanced and subsequent regeneration to a greater degree. If deep rutting occurs on wet soils, equipment should be moved until drier conditions prevail; winter logging and conversion from wheel to track vehicles may be options for reducing impact. Skid trails should follow the land contours. Travel routes should be predetermined to reduce the surface area being compacted. Practices that expose infertile mineral soil should be minimized. North. J. Appl. For. 5:30-34, March 1988.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, P.O. Box 640, Durham, NH 03824

Publication date: 1988-03-01

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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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