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Old-Growth Douglas-Fir and Western Hemlock: A 36-Year Record of Growth and Mortality

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Growth and mortality were measured at 6-year intervals in a 1,180-acre old-growth stand in southwestern Washington. Principal tree species were Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and western white pine (Pinus monticola). They composed 59, 27, 6, 6, and 1%, respectively, of the total cubic volume (13,290 ft³) in 1947. Gross volume growth averaged 94 ft³ per acre per year, and mortality averaged 86 ft³ per acre per year. Net growth was therefore minimal, and total stand volume remained nearly constant for 36 years. Douglas-fir, which accounted for only one-third of the gross growth and nearly one-half of the mortality, is losing dominance to western hemlock, which provided nearly one-half the gross growth and only 28% of the mortality. Pacific silver fir increased in importance in the lower canopy and composed 60% of the in-growth. Thus, although net gain in timber volume was nil, substantial changes occurred in stand characteristics during the 1947-1983 period. West. J. Appl. For. 2(4):111-114, October 1987.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: 1987-10-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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