Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Early pruning affects 15-year growth of cottonwood planted at 40- by 40-foot spacing

Author(s):

Roger M. Krinard

Year:

2013

Publication type:

Research Paper (RP)

Primary Station(s):

Southern Research Station

Source:

Res. Pap. SRS-RP-53. Asheville, NC: USDA-Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 9 p.

Description

We compared the growth of eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.) trees planted at 40- by 40-foot spacing and subjected to four pruning treatments from the 2nd through the 8th year of growth. Treatments were (1) no pruning, (2) prune to one-third of total height annually, (3) prune to one-half of total height annually, and (4) prune to 17 feet when diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) exceeded 8.5 inches, which occurred in the 4th year. Diameter and height measurements were taken annually for 15 years. By age 15, average diameters differed significantly among all four treatments and ranged from 16.8 inches (half-height pruning) to 19.8 inches (no pruning). Pruning had no effect on total height, which averaged 110 feet across all treatments. Total sawtimber volume differed significantly among treatments and ranged from 3,921 board feet (Doyle) per acre (half-height pruning) to 6,919 board feet (Doyle) per acre (no pruning). In widely spaced cottonwood plantations, pruning is not recommended if pulpwood production is the sole objective of management, but is necessary if quality sawtimber production is the primary objective of management. The mean d.b.h. of unpruned trees planted at 40- by 40-foot spacing represents the maximum potential diameter achievable for cottonwood and can serve as a benchmark for comparison to diameters observed at narrower spacings.

Citation

Meadows, James S.; Krinard, Roger M. 2013. Early pruning affects 15-year growth of cottonwood planted at 40- by 40-foot spacing. Res. Pap. SRS-RP-53. Asheville, NC: USDA-Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 9 p.

Cited

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/42531