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Precommercial Thinning Increases Diameter Growth of Appalachian Hardwood Stump Sprouts

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In West Virginia crop trees were selected from 7- or 12-year-old yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), basswood (Tilia americana L.), red maple (Acer rubrum L.), black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) stump sprouts. Crop trees were dominant or codominant, well-formed sprouts that originated not more than 6 inches above groundline and did not fork in the lower 17 feet. Four treatments were evaluated: (1) control; (2) thinning; (3) pruning; and (4) thinning plus pruning. Five years after treatment the diameter (d.b.h.) growth of thinned sprouts was 1.5 times greater than that of control sprouts. Pruning did not cause a significant decrease in five-year d.b.h. growth. Height growth was not affected by the treatments. Most of the epicormic branches produced by pruning were dead five years after treatment. Natural pruning was reduced by thinning; the average clear bole length of thinned sprouts was about 2 feet shorter than that of the control sprouts. Survival was nearly 100 percent.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Timber and Watershed Laboratory, Parsons West Virginia 26287

Publication date: 1983-05-01

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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