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Technical Note—Ponderosa Pine and Lodgepole Pine Growth Response to One-Time Application of Herbicide During Seedling Establishment in Western Montana

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This study examined long-term diameter and height response of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) to a one-time application of herbicide during seedling establishment in western Montana. Two herbicide trials initiated in 1981 and 1983 by Champion International Corporation were resurrected during the summer of 1997. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) F-tests along with Duncan's Multiple Range tests (DMR) were performed on mean tree dbh, tree height, and competing vegetation percent cover estimates. In addition, a graphical analysis of mean annual height growth over time was performed. Significant increases (alpha = 0.05) in ponderosa pine dbh (25 to 44%) and height (11 to 28%) were found after 16 yr of growth on Velpar L. (hexazinone) treated plots, while lodgepole pine had significant increases in dbh (70 to 118%) and height (41 to 82%) after 15 yr of growth on Velpar L. treated plots. Graphical analyses indicated a positive height growth effect for a period of 11 to 13 yr following treatment for ponderosa pine; however, total height gains had decreased in recent years. Positive increases in height growth for lodgepole pine were continuing after 15 yr of growth. These results indicate that a one-time application of herbicide applied during seedling establishment will promote faster tree growth in western Montana. We also note that proper density management will be necessary early in the life of the stand to maintain height gains. West. J. Appl. For. 18(3):149–154.
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Keywords: Pinus contorta; Pinus ponderosa; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; growth response; hexazinone herbicide; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

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

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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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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