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Management of eastern hemlock for deer wintering areasAuthor(s): Russell S. Reay
Source: In: McManus, Katherine A.; Shields, Kathleen S.; Souto, Dennis R., eds. Proceedings: Symposium on sustainable management of hemlock ecosystems in eastern North America. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-267. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 144-147.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionHemlock stands provide superior winter cover for white-tailed deer. When a site is suitable for the support of a hemlock community, a decision to undertake active management is appropriate, however the difficulty of securing adequate hemlock regeneration must guide and govern the timber management plan. The need to maintain deer wintering areas creates some limitations to the optimum application of silvicultural guides. Stand diversity caused by site quality variation, management history, or species composition can be exploited to improve quality of cover or to expand a wintering area. Up to 30% of the main canopy can be non-hemlock, high value timber. A wintering area should be managed by area regulation to assure that at least 50% of the area is in functional cover at all times. Uneven-age management using small group selection techniques maintains tree vigor and stocking levels for periodic timber yield, while also maintaining adequate winter cover for deer. Single tree selection is not recommended, because it does not adequately stimulate regeneration. Even-age regeneration practices are appropriate only when the stand is large enough to retain the required area of functional cover. Where the wintering area is comprised of large sawtimber with few stems available to replace a harvested component, or where the stand acreage is too small to afford winter cover following a partial harvest, a nocut prescription is appropriate.
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CitationReay, Russell S. 2000. Management of eastern hemlock for deer wintering areas. In: McManus, Katherine A.; Shields, Kathleen S.; Souto, Dennis R., eds. Proceedings: Symposium on sustainable management of hemlock ecosystems in eastern North America. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-267. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 144-147.
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