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Impact of Intensive Forest Management Practices on the Bulk Density of Lower Coastal Plain and Piedmont Soils

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Trafficking during harvesting significantly increased soil bulk density to depths of 3 to 6 inches in areas outside of primary skid trails and 9 to 12 inches in primary skid trails. On the Coastal Plain site, bedding was effective in offsetting soil compaction in areas outside of primary skid trails, forming a new soil surface, 7 to 8 inches in height, over the surface trafficked during harvest. Bedding may not be so effective in the skid trails, because the original soil surface under the bed was so compacted that root growth may be inhibited. On the Piedmont site, disking was effective in restoring bulk density to preharvest levels in the upper 3 to 5 inches of soil, but soil compaction in the upper 3 to 9 inches of drum-chopped areas may result in reduced root growth, because of mechanical impedance.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Manager, Forest Management Research, Weyerhaeuser Company, Centralia, Washington

Publication date: February 1, 1985

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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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