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Regeneration of White Spruce Under Aspen Canopies: Seeding, Planting, and Site Preparation

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This study investigated the establishment and survival of naturally and artificially seeded white spruce (Picea glauca), as well as three sizes of planted white spruce stock, on different types of scarification beneath mature aspen (Populus tremuloides) in northern Alberta. White spruce seed rain, natural and hand-seeded regeneration establishment and survival, and understory vegetation response were monitored for 4 yr on scarified strips (light blading, heavy blading, and ridged) and on undisturbed controls. Despite a heavy seed rain in 1993, seedling establishment on control plots was almost nil. On scarified plots, the number of seeds required to produce a live seedling after 3 growing seasons ranged from 15 to 37 and up to 68 in one site. Most mortality occurred during the summer. Germination rate on the hand-seeded plots ranged from 19 to 28% on the scarified strips. There was no significant difference in survival from seed (15%) after three growing seasons among the three scarification treatments. Survival of planted stock was 98% on scarified strips and 96% on control strips. Diameter growth was least on control plots but was not significantly different among the scarified treatments. In contrast, height increment was greatest on the light blading treatment and differed little among the other two treatments and control. These results suggest that spruce regeneration in aspen forests can be promoted by scarification or underplanting. West. J. Appl. For. 15(4):177–182.
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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E3

Publication date: 01 October 2000

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