Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): T.L. Wurtz; J.C. Zasada
    Date: 2001
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 31: 999-1011
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (162 KB)


    We present 27-year results from a comparison of clear-cutting and shelterwood harvesting in the boreal forest of Alaska. Three patch clearcut and three shelterwood units were harvested in 1972; about 100 dispersed white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) leave trees per hectare were retained in the shelterwoods. Units were mechanically scarified and an exceptionally large seed-crop was dispersed that year. Shelterwood trees were removed after 15 years. After 27 years, overstory treatment had no effect on the density or growth of the species we studied, while scarification had highly significant effects. In 1999, scarified areas were densely populated with white spruce seedlings and saplings (118 000 – 129 000 stems/ha, with spruce in 100% of plots). Unscarified areas had far fewer spruce stems but were nevertheless well stocked (11 000 –15 000 stems/ha, with 87% frequency). Initially, spruce grew best on scarified surfaces, but by 27 years, growth of the tallest spruce saplings was significantly greater on unscarified than scarified surfaces. By 27 years, cover of the grass Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) Nutt. had returned to preharvest levels in all treatment types. Because criteria for evaluating forest management practices have changed since this study was begun, partial overstory retention systems for the management of Alaska’s boreal forest deserve further study.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.


    Wurtz, T.L.; Zasada, J.C. 2001. An alternative to clear-cutting in the boreal forest of Alaska: a 27-year study of regeneration after shelterwood harvesting. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 31: 999-1011

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page