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A stand of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) severely affected by Armillaria root disease was treated with five different levels of sanitation by root removal to reduce root disease losses in the regenerating stand.
Treatments included the following: (1) all trees pushed over by machine, maximum removal of roots by machine ripping, and visible remaining roots removed by hand; (2) all trees pushed over by machine and maximum removal of roots by machine ripping; (3) all trees pushed over by machine with
no further removal of roots; (4) smaller trees pushed over by machine but large stumps left, otherwise maximum removal of roots by machine ripping; and (5) all trees felled and removed by skidding, area cleared of slash, sod scalped, and no removal of roots. After 35 years, we found that the
more intense and thorough root-removal treatments were generally more effective in reducing the occurrence of Armillaria root disease. However, even the most intensive treatment (treatment 1), which experienced significantly less disease than most other treatments, had 23% of the area expressing
mortality. The only operationally feasible treatment (treatment 3) also reduced levels of mortality, but not significantly (40% mortality versus 52% in the control, treatment 5). Although these results support the concept that inoculum removal can reduce root disease levels, the treatment
necessary to provide a meaningful reduction in disease loss does not seem to warrant its cost.
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.