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Predicting Age of Pinyon and Juniper Using Allometric Relationships

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Management of pinyon-juniper ecosystems often is hampered by insufficient tree age structure data. We developed allometric relationships based on visible and easily measured tree characteristics as tools for predicting tree age. In this study, we tested tree height, diameter at root collar, and crown radius using both single- and multiple-regression analyses to determine which attributes best correlated with tree age. Because soil type and site productivity often affect growth rates of pinyon and juniper, three common soil types in northern Arizona were assessed to determine variation in regression equations. Stepwise regression analysis determined that height and diameter at root collar of juniper were the best variables for predicting age. For pinyon, crown radius on basalt-derived soil and diameter at root collar on limestone-derived soil were the variables of best fit; however, we suggest using diameter at root collar across all sites. We developed models from these allometric relationships to aid in the management of the pinyon-juniper ecosystem.

Keywords: Juniperus osteosperma; Pinus edulis; Southwest; allometrics; ecosystem management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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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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