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Growth and Injury Patterns of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.) Seedlings as Affected by Hardwood Overstory Density and Weeding Treatments

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White pine seedlings were underplanted under a range of overstory densities in a hardwood stand in northern Minnesota. Vegetation surrounding seedlings was left untreated (control), weeded annually, or completely removed through monthly weeding. After 4 years, the benefit of weeding woody competition for diameter growth of seedlings was limited to areas with relatively open overstory conditions. Seedling height growth was reduced in areas with higher overstory density, but improved through weeding treatments that removed woody vegetation. The removal of herbaceous vegetation did not improve growth of seedlings in any conditions. Open growing conditions created by overstory removal and weed control resulted in higher incidences of seedling injuries, e.g., through infection by white pine blister rust. Conditions for pine bark adelgids also were enhanced in areas with low overstory densities and weeding treatments. The incidence for white pine weevil seems to follow a similar pattern, although the number of trees infected was minimal. Results show that improving growing conditions through management of the overstory and understory vegetation improves seedling growth rates, but must be balanced with potentially higher incidences of seedling injuries under more open conditions.
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Keywords: White pine; competition; injury agents; overstory density; understory vegetation management

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology US Air Force Academy USAFA/DFB 2355 Faculty Drive, Ste. 2P389 USAFA CO 80840-6226 2: Department of Forest Science Oregon State University 321 Richardson Hall Corvallis OR 97331-5752

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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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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