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Grass or fern competition reduce growth and survival of planted tree seedlingsAuthor(s): Larry H. McCormick; Todd W. Bowersox
Source: In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 286-293
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.42 MB)
DescriptionBareroot seedlings of northern red oak, white ash, yellow-poplar and white pine were planted into herbaceous communities at three forested sites in central Pennsylvania that were clearcut 0 to 1 year earlier. Seedlings were grown 4 years in the presence and absence of either an established grass or hay-scented fern community. Survival and height growth were measured annually at the end of each growing season. Fourth year results showed significant decreases in the average survival of northern red oak, white ash and yellow-poplar seedlings grown in the presence of grass or hay-scented fern. Survival of the white pine was not affected by the presence or absence of either herbaceous community. Tree heights were also affected by herbaceous competition. After four growing seasons, the average heights of all tree species were significantly greater in areas maintained free of grasses or hay-scented fern. Average height responses due to release from herbaceous competition were greatest for white ash and yellow-poplar with average increases of up to 150% after four growing seasons. White pine showed the least response to control of herbaceous vegetation with average height increases of < 30%. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of controlling herbaceous vegetation when artificially regenerating hardwoods on forested sites that have been clearcut.
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CitationMcCormick, Larry H.; Bowersox, Todd W. 1997. Grass or fern competition reduce growth and survival of planted tree seedlings. In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 286-293
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