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Ecological Aspects of Forest Management Planning: A Northern Hardwood Forest Case Study

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In a stand managed for timber production, increased crown dieback and mortality of trees generally signal a need for reevaluating site conditions, management objectives, and harvesting practices. In this paper, we describe a case study of a northern hardwood forest stand intended for timber production but showing crown dieback and mortality. Plans for a diameter-limit cut were confounded by the presence of diseased and poor quality trees (especially sugar maples), a history of high-grading, and fair to poor site characteristics for sugar maple growth over much of the area. After evaluating the site, we suggested a revised management plan including a shelterwood cut favoring regeneration of both yellow birch and sugar maple. Forest management decisions based on ecological and economic considerations can promote both the long-term health and productivity of forest stands. However, management for long-term health and productivity are not likely to be accomplished under current market conditions in much of New England. North. J. Appl. For. 12(3):121-126.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Louis C. Wyman Forest Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 640, Durham, NH 03824-9799

Publication date: 1995-09-01

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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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