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The Combined Effects of Forest Tent Caterpillar Defoliation and Timber Stand Improvement Activity on Epicormic Sprouting of Sugar Maple and Black Cherry

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A 2 × 2 factorial analysis of variance design assessed the combined effects of severe defoliation by the forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria (Hub.), from 1991 through 1993 and concurrent timber stand improvement (TSI) treatments on the occurrence of epicormic sprouting for both sugar maple (SM), Acer saccharum (Marsh.) and black cherry (BC), Prunus serotina (Ehrh.) in the Tug Hill region of New York State. The potential economic effects of epicormic sprouting by dominant and codominant (DC) SM after defoliation and TSI were statistically significant but negligible. TSI treatments alone and defoliation alone, however, promoted sprouting in intermediate SM, which may result in future grade reduction. The combination of defoliation and TSI treatment resulted in prolific epicormic sprouting by DC BC. These two disturbances have the potential to cause significant standwide value losses in this species.

Keywords: black cherry; defoliation; epicormic sprouting; sugar maple

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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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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