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Effects of Growing Space on Growth for 20-Year-Old Giant Sequoia, Ponderosa Pine, and Douglas-Fir in the Sierra Nevada

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Relationships between growing space per tree and tree growth components (dbh, height, percentage of live crown, height-diameter ratio, tree volume, and tree biomass) were studied in three single-species, 20-year-old Nelder plots in the Sierra Nevada. Study species included ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa [P.&C. Lawson]), coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum [Lindl.] Buchh.). Spacing distance between trees varied from 1.77 to 17.78 ft, and growing space per tree varied from 4.1 to 411.0 ft2 (computed using Thiessen polygons). Relationships between growing space and tree height, tree diameter, and percentage of live crown were all significant and showed increasing trends as growing space per tree increased. Height:diameter ratios were high at close spacing and decreased with increasing growing space. Volume growth and biomass per tree increased, whereas stand volume and stand biomass decreased with increased growing space. Ponderosa pine produced the most stand volume and biomass of the three species.

Keywords: Nelder plots; Pinus ponderosa; Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii; Sequoiadendron giganteum; biomass; density management; planting density; spacing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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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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