Forsythe II Project Lodgepole

Tightly spaced tree trunks
In the absence of fire, lodgepole pine grows in thick, "doghair" stands. Due to the shallow root systems that develop as a result of this type of growth, these stands cannot be thinned like mixed conifer. Rather, the preferred treatment is to clear cut the stand and either let it naturally regenerate with additional thinning approximately 10-15 years after the initial treatment, or to replant with a more diverse variety of mixed conifer species.

Lodgepole Pine Stands
Lodgepole pine stands have not departed from the historical fire regime. These stands are characterized by closed canopies, long fire return intervals (100+ years), and stand replacing fires that burn with high intensity and severity. Because these stands are homogenous in nature, they become susceptible to insect and disease under drought conditions. Creating a diversity of age structures between lodgepole pine stands would promote resiliency in the face of future insect and disease epidemics. Overall forest resilience to multiple disturbances can be increased when younger trees are a substantial component of the landscape (Taylor et al. 2006).



Shrubs, grasses and wildflowers grow in an area that was clearcut two years ago
Two summers after work is complete, this former lodgepole pine stand is a field of wildflowers, providing excellent habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. The area was planted this summer with mixed conifer seedlings.
Shows the edge of a lodgepole pine treatment
The edge of a lodgepole clearcut.
An old clearcut regenerates with young trees that need to be thinned
Thinning occurs in regeneration approximately 10-15 years after the initial treatment to maintain a healthy, well-spaced stand.


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