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Twenty-Year Response of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.) to Treatment with Hexazinone in Northeastern Oregon

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Chemical control of competing vegetation with hexazinone is a common and effective silvicultural treatment for ensuring ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.) plantation success on dry sites in the western United States, yet few studies document the effect for more than the first few years after planting. This study, re-evaluated 20 years after planting, followed ponderosa pine growth and survival when hexazinone was applied in broadcast and spot treatments for control of competing vegetation. We continued work from the first 5 years after establishment that identified early differences in ponderosa pine seedling survival and growth with treatment. Examination of 20-year trends indicated that individual tree volume and volume per hectare continued to diverge among treatments. The economic differences among treatments may increase as more surviving, faster-growing trees in the broadcast treatments reach higher-value products sooner. Initial control of competing vegetation increased the likelihood of seedling survival and increased tree size after 20 years. Results pertained to ponderosa pine of the Douglas-fir/spiraea (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca Beissn./Spiraea betulifolia Pall.) and Douglas-fir/common snowberry (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca Beissn./Symphoricarpos albus [L.] S. F. Blake) plant associations in northeastern Oregon, but they should apply to similar sites throughout much of the intermountain West.

Keywords: broadcast application; herbicide; silviculture; site preparation; spot application

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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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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