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Growth of Young Black Walnut Plantations in Kentucky

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Height, basal diameter, and crown width were determined for 2- to 16- year-old black walnut trees in 61 plantations distributed throughout Kentucky. Measurements from the 3050 trees sampled were used to develop height/age, diameter/age, and crown width/diameter equations and curves. These curves provide benchmarks for evaluating the early growth of typical plantations. Annual height and diameter growth were compared among different geologic substrates, landscape positions, levels of competition control, and soil suitability classes. At an average age of 6 years, height and diameter growth averaged 0.9 ft/yr and 0.2 in./yr, respectively, for all 61 plantations. Height growth was 35% greater for plantations located on suitable soils compared to plantations on soils of questionable suitability. Soil suitability did not affect diameter growth, but plantations with good competition control had 50% greater diameter growth compared to plantations with fair or poor competition control. Results of this study re-emphasize two principles of black walnut management: (1) only plant on good sites and (2) always control competition. North. J. Appl. For. 6(1):17-20, March 1989.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0073

Publication date: 1989-03-01

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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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