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Comparing Tree and Stand Volume Growth Response to Low and Crown Thinning in Young Natural Douglas-fir Stands

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We consider tree and stand response to low, crown, and no thinningof well-differentiated, naturally regenerated even-aged Douglas-firstands over 15 years on a moderately productive Cascade Mountains siteand over 10 years on a highly productive Oregon Coast Range site.Regardless of treatment, trees in dominant and codominant crown classescontinued growing at preinitiation rates and contributed 92–100% ofstand growth 5–15 years later. Most leave trees in suppressed crownclasses died during the first 10 years and suppressed and intermediatecrown classes contributed little to stand growth because survivorscontinued to grow slowly. Low thinning remains the most reliablethinning method for increasing stand volume in high-quality trees.Crown or selection thinning may be used to achieve certain objectivesif managers carefully use information about response of trees invarious crown classes. Growth rates of residual stands will depend onthe amount of residual growing stock and the degree to which it iscomprised of vigorously growing dominant and codominant trees.Residual subordinate trees may provide snags but few living trees insmall-diameter classes. Implications for management of the Douglas-firare discussed.

Keywords: crownclass; relative density; stand differentiation; thinning strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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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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