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Development of Water Tupelo Coppice Stands on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta for Five Years After Precommercial Thinning and Cleaning

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Three 4-yr-old stands (or locations) were selected for treatment. Treatment consisted of two components: (1) thinning water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.) stump sprouts and (2) cutting all stems of Carolina ash (Fraxinus caroliniana Mill.) and black willow (Salix nigra Marsh.) (cleaning). Contrary to results in other areas, survival of water tupelo coppice was very high and was not affected by the treatments. Cleaning had little or no positive effect on the individual tree or stand-level variables we measured. Thinning sprout clumps significantly increased diameter growth of water tupelo; the effect of thinning was considerably larger for one location. Stand basal area growth was decreased by thinning sprout clumps. However, quadratic mean diameter was increased by thinning, particularly at one location. Although thinning decreased basal area 5 yr after treatment, the increase in quadratic mean diameter was sufficient for there to be no significant effect of thinning on total volume 5 yr after treatment. Because of this, and in anticipation of imminent natural thinning of the unthinned plots, we suspect that the thinned plots will eventually have significantly greater standing volume than the unthinned plots, at least for the location where density of large sprouts was initially the highest. Rotation age will be decreased for that stand because stems will achieve merchantable size sooner. Thus we consider precommercial thinning of sprout clumps to be a potentially effective practice in stands with a high density of large water tupelo sprouts. South. J. Appl. For. 25(4):165–172.
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Keywords: Bottomland hardwoods; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; intermediate practices; natural resource management; natural resources; silviculture; stand density

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Southern Hardwoods Lab, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, P.O. Box 227 Stoneville, MS, 38776 2: P.O. Box 717 The Timber Company, 128 Main St., Crossett, AR, 71635

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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