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Response of Immature Trembling Aspen to Season and Height of Cut

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Forest managers in Ontario have identified trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) as the most significant competitor of our commercially important spruce and pine crop. Although herbicides can be used to effectively control aspen, the public of Ontario would prefer to have herbicide alternatives, such as motor-manual cutting, used on public lands. Cutting of aspen has not been very successful, and research is required to improve its effectiveness. Effects of season and height of cutting to control the regrowth of young trembling aspen were studied on four sites in Ontario, Canada, with each location providing a replicate for the trial. Aspen stems, averaging 1.5 to 3.2 m in height, were cut in fall (October 1993), winter (February/March 1994), and summer (June/July 1994) at 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 cm above ground level. Density and height of new root suckers; number, point of origin, and growth of stem sprouts; and tissue mortality in cut stems were evaluated by analyses of variance with linear contrasts to determine the effects of cutting height, season of cutting, and their interactions. Two years of post-treatment data indicate that aspen regeneration may be reduced if manual cutting occurs in June/July, at a cutting height of 50 to 75 cm. This timing and cutting height provides maximum stem mortality with minimum number of sprouts per stem and minimum sucker regeneration. If aspen regeneration is the goal, cut in the fall at 25 cm for maximum regrowth. North. J. Appl. For. 16(2):108-114.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Mallette Lumber, Box 1090, Timmins, ON P4N 7J3

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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