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Logging damage to residual trees following partial cutting in a green ash-sugarberry stand in the Mississippi DeltaAuthor(s): James S. Meadows
Source: In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 248-260
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionPartial cutting in bottomland hardwoods to control stand density and species composition sometimes results in logging damage to the lower bole and/or roots of residual trees. If severe, logging damage may lead to a decline in tree vigor, which may subsequently stimulate the production of epicormic branches, causing a decrease in bole quality and an eventual loss in value of the stand. To investigate this hypothesis, a partial cutting to remove pulpwood-sized trees (i.e., low thinning/improvement cutting) was performed in the summer of 1990 in a 45-year-old green ash-sugarberry stand located adjacent to the Mississippi River in west-central Mississippi. The goal of the thinning operation was to remove small trees of low-value species, particularly sugarberry, and to promote the growth of high-value residual trees, such as green ash. Thinning removed about 40 percent of the trees and 25 percent of the basal area, while increasing average stand diameter by about 12 percent. The partial cutting was also successful in increasing the relative proportion of green ash and decreasing the relative proportions of sugarberry and other species. The logging operation caused widespread damage to the residual stand, with about 62 percent of the residual trees being damaged at least to some extent. Damage to the lower bole and to exposed lateral roots of residual trees were the two most common types of damage. Damage to most trees was minor, but 35 percent of the residual trees experienced at least moderate logging damage. Sugarberry was more commonly damaged than was green ash. Most of the logging damage occurred during the skidding operation. Diameter growth of the residual dominant and codominant green ash averaged 0.39 in. during the first year after thinning. The partial cutting resulted in only a modest increase in the number of epicormic branches per tree, with most of the increases occurring in lower-crown-class trees, already under stress from suppression prior to harvest. Residual green ash and sugarberry trees of the upper crown classes produced very few new epicormic branches during the first year after harvest. These latter data must be considered preliminary in that the possible stimulation of the production of epicormic branches in damaged trees is thought to be a more long-term response to logging damage.
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CitationMeadows, James S. 1993. Logging damage to residual trees following partial cutting in a green ash-sugarberry stand in the Mississippi Delta. In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 248-260
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