Comparative effects of precommercial thinning, urea fertilizer, and red alder in a site 11, coast Douglas-fir plantation Public Deposited

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  • The authors varied the number of red alder retained with 300 Douglas-fir per acre on a high-quality site in coastal Oregon. Alder densities of 0, 20, 40, and 80 per acre were tested. The authors' fifth treatment eliminated nitrogen-fixing alder, but substantial nitrogen fertilizer. Treatment 6 had neither thinning nor alder control. Treatments were randomly assigned within each of three blocks in a 9-year-old plantation. Stand density was reduced within 15 of these 18 experimental units. Surplus conifers were cut, but surplus red alder were controlled by the 'hack-and-squirt' method. Because numerous trees of other species regenerated naturally, combined density of all species before thinning ranged from 1,400 to 5,700 trees per acre. Subsequent 17-year change in number, average height, basal area, and volume of Douglas-fir were compared. Retaining 20, 40, or 80 alder per acre reduced numbers of associated Douglas-fir by about 10, 17, and 23 percent, respectively. In pur Douglas-fir plots, gross volume growth was similar for nonfertilized and fertilized plots, indicating no measureable benefits of additional nitrogen. in mixed stands, red alder reduced yield of associated Douglas-fir, but not yield of combined species. Similar comparisons are needed at other locations, especially those with known nitrogen deficiency.
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