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Effects of Planting Density on Early Growth of Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

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Almost no information exists for stocking and growth of young giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) plantations. This study measured 2,086 giant sequoia seedlings, planted at true spacings of 7 to 20 ft, over a period of 7 yr. Compared to other species that have been studied, giant sequoia shows remarkably early and extensive effects of intertree competition. Unlike results for other species, spacing substantially affects early height growth of sequoia. A general least squares model showed that crown width, stem diameter, and height increased linearly with the natural log of spacing distance at 4, 5, and 7 yr after planting (all P-values < 0.0001). By 7yr, trees at wide spacing (14-20 ft) were showing 45-78% wider annual diameter growth and 29-67% higher annual height growth than trees at one-half each respective spacing (7-10 ft). Results indicate that for close initial planting densities (7-12 ft spacings), early precommercial thinning (before 7 yr after planting) may be required to avoid intertree competition. West. J. Appl. For. 14(2):65-72.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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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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