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Residual Stand Damage from Cut-to-Length Thinning of a Mixed Conifer Stand in Northern Idaho

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We collected residual stand-damage data from a mixed conifer stand in northern Idaho that had been commercially thinned with a cut-to-length harvesting system. The stand composition after harvesting was 76% grand fir (Abies grandis); 14% Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca); 5% western redcedar (Thuja plicata); and 5% lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), western white pine (Pinus monticola), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). For all crop trees, damage to the bole, roots, and crown was assessed using systematic sampling with a random start and fixed area plots. Wounding occurred on 37.4% of the remaining trees, but the severity of wounding varied significantly by species (P < 0.05). Eighty-four percent of wounding for all species combined was considered as small size (<194 cm2). The greatest average amount of damage to a bole occurred along the first 2 m up from the ground (67.2%) and also within 4 m of the forwarder centerline (67.7%). Gouges were present on 41% of all scars. Tree location to forwarder trail appears to have a significant effect on the number and height of scars on a tree (P < 0.05). We estimated that throughout a 20-year period, volume losses for grand fir because of decay would be 2.57% compared to 1.31% in an undamaged stand of similar composition.
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Keywords: Wounding damage; decay; grand fir; partial harvest; volume losses

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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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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