Influence of species proportion and timing of establishment on stem quality in mixed red alder – Douglas-fir plantations Public Deposited

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  • The relationships among stand structure, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) branch characteristics, and red alder (Alnus rubra (Bong.)) stem form attributes were explored for 10- to 15-year-old trees growing in mixed Douglas-fir – red alder plantations. Treatments included a range of species proportions, and red alder was either planted simultaneously with Douglas-fir or after 5 years. Both replacement effects (total stand density held constant) and additive effects (stand density doubled) of competition were considered. When the two species were planted simultaneously and red alder proportion was low, red alder trees had low crown bases and much stem defect (lean, sweep, and multiple stems). Douglas-fir grew slowly when the two species were planted simultaneously. When red alder planting was delayed, species proportion did not affect red alder stem form, and height to the base of the Douglas-fir live crown decreased with increasing red alder proportion. Doubling Douglas-fir density increased the height to the base of the Douglas-fir live crown; however, doubling stand density by adding red alder did not affect Douglas-fir crown height. Douglas-fir lumber coming from mixed stands may be inferior because of the changes in knot characteristics associated with these different patterns of crown recession. In stands with a low proportion of red alder, red alder product recovery may be compromised because of the stem defects described above.
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  • Amy T. Grotta, Barbara L. Gartner, and Steven R. Radosevich. 2004. Influence of species proportion and timing of establishment on stem quality in mixed red alder – Douglas-fir plantations. Can. J. For. Res. 34: 863–873.
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