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Incidence of Heterobasidion annosum in Mixed-Conifer Natural Regeneration Surrounding Large True Fir Stumps 20–25 Years after Harvesting in Northeastern Oregon

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High-elevation true fir stands on federal lands have a long history of selective harvesting. In 1989 a high frequency (89%) of Heterobasidion annosum, the cause of annosus root disease, was found in residual true fir stumps (mean, 20-in. diameter) cut 5–9 years earlier in northeast Oregon. In 2004, H. annosum was found at the stump surface of 29% of the natural conifer regeneration (mean, 18 years) within 20 ft of infected residual stumps. A total of 16 of 122 (13%) live saplings had H. annosum–caused stain or decay. Only 3% of 126 sample trees, however, were dead and infected by H. annosum. Infection was confirmed in 62% of decayed trees, 33% of stained trees, and 22% of trees with no visible stain or decay at the stump surface. Only 3 of 122 living saplings showed typical root disease crown symptoms (chlorosis), but only one of these had H. annosum. Only 1 of 16 live saplings with H. annosum–caused stain or decay was chlorotic. Incidence of infection was 44% in Engelmann spruce (7 of 16 trees), 31% in Douglas-fir (5 of 16 trees), 31% in subalpine fir (4 of 13 trees), and 27% in grand fir (21 of 77 trees). The S-type of H. annosum was confirmed in a sampled grand fir. There were no significant differences between H. annosum–infected and apparently healthy trees regarding live crown ratio and distance from infected residual stumps. Infected trees, however, were significantly (P = 0.025) larger in diameter than apparently healthy trees. The dynamics of H. annosum infection in spruce and Douglas-fir in northeast Oregon are discussed as well as treating true fir stumps with boron-containing products to prevent stump infection by H. annosum.
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Keywords: Annosus root disease; Douglas-fir; Engelmann spruce; Umatilla National Forest; boron; grand fir; seed tree and selection harvesting; stain and decay; subalpine fir

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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