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Does Raking Basal Duff Affect Tree Growth Rates or Mortality?

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Mortality and reduced growth rates due to raking accumulated basal duff were evaluated for old, large-diameter ponderosa and Jeffrey pine trees on the Lassen National Forest, California. No fire treatments were included to isolate the effect of raking from fire. Trees were monitored annually for 5 years after the raking treatment for mortality and then cored to measure basal area increment. Results showed that raking basal duff and litter to mineral soil from the bole out to 60 cm had no effect on basal area increment or mortality for 5 years posttreatment. Results are pertinent to managers who question whether raking basal duff will decrease tree vigor or increase tree mortality of large and old ponderosa and Jeffrey pine trees in northern California.
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Keywords: Jeffrey pine; basal area increment; duff; fire effects; mortality; ponderosa pine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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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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