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Using Stem Char to Predict Mortality and Insect Infestation of Fire-Damaged Slash Pines

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Monthly observations of planted slash pines (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) damaged by a March wildfire showed that the magnitude and rapidity of tree mortality were directly related to severity of stem char. Cumulative tree mortalities by November were 5, 25, and 79 percent for 7- to 8-year-old trees in plots with light, medium, and severe stem char classifications (average stem char <61 percent, 61 to 80 percent, and >80 percent of total tree height, respectively). In 15-year-old plantations the mortality rates were 46, 95, and 100 percent for the three damage classes. Most tree mortality occurred rapidly (before mid-May) in the younger plantations and in the severely damaged portions of the older plantations; mortality rates were slower and continued until August in lightly and moderately damaged areas of the older plantations. Ips engraver beetles and the southern pine sawyer were the principal insects infesting trees in May. Reproduction weevil broods were common in tree roots during November. Implications for pest management are discussed.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611

Publication date: 1984-05-01

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