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Stand Structure in Evenaged Northern Hardwoods: Development and Silvicultural Implications

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Stand structure was examined in evenaged northern hardwoods in New Hampshire in terms of diameter distribution (numbers of trees by dbh class) and spatial distribution of basal area by species. Diameter distributions by species and for all species combined were graphed for stands varying in age class from 7-9 yr up to 60-68 yr. Over time, these northern hardwood stands develop a layered canopy structure with the intolerant and short-lived paper birch and aspen dominating the larger size classes and exhibiting a bell-shaped diameter distribution. Longer lived species, most abundant in the smaller size classes, exhibit flat or very skewed bell-shaped distributions. The usual silvicultural recommendation in such stands is to thin to prescribed stocking levels, leaving adequate stocking in larger stems of the longer lived species and gradually removing the intolerants as they reach maturity. However, appreciable spatial variation in the abundance of aspen-birch and longer lived species may prevent uniform application of this approach; i.e., some areas in certain stands do not have adequate stocking of the longer lived species once the aspen-birch is removed. In variable stands such as this, a gradual transition to group selection may be a better tactic. North. J. Appl. For. 16(2):115-119.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Northeastern Research Station, P.O. Box 640, Durham, NH 03824, (603) 868-7655;, Fax: (603) 868-7604

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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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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