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Strip Thinning and Spacing Increases Tree Growth of Young Black Spruce

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Two different thinning methods were applied to three 6- or 7-yr-old black spruce stands in northern Minnesota which were measured after 20 yr. Overall, thinning improved the growing conditions for crop trees. Strip thinning with a 0.6 m leave strip and three widths of cleared strips (1.5 m, 2.1 m, and 2.7 m), and spacing to 1.5 m, 2.1 m, and 2.7 m resulted in reduced numbers of crop trees, but with larger diameters and, in the spacing thinned plots, greater heights. Because of these contradicting trends, stand volume was unaffected by thinning. Crop tree growth was not affected by the width of the cleared strip, but the distances between the leave trees in the square spacing were positively related to the increased growth response after thinning. The study is still too young to evaluate the economic feasibility of both thinning treatments, but shorter rotations or substantially increased volume seem possible by early thinnings of black spruce. North. J. Appl. For. 13(2):68-72.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, 831 HW 169 E, Grand Rapids MN 55744

Publication date: 1996-06-01

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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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